Planters, Merchants, and Slaves: Plantation Societies in British America, 1650-1820

Planters, Merchants, and Slaves: Plantation Societies in British America, 1650-1820

by Trevor Burnard

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As with any enterprise involving violence and lots of money, running a plantation in early British America was a serious and brutal enterprise. In the contentious Planters, Merchants, and Slaves, Burnard argues that white men did not choose to develop and maintain the plantation system out of virulent racism or sadism, but rather out of economic logic because—to speak bluntly—it worked. These economically successful and ethically monstrous plantations required racial divisions to exist, but their successes were measured in gold, rather than skin or blood. Sure to be controversial, this book is a major intervention in the scholarship on slavery, economic development, and political power in early British America, mounting a powerful and original argument that boldly challenges historical orthodoxy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226286242
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/27/2015
Series: American Beginnings, 1500-1900
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 360
File size: 4 MB

About the Author

Trevor Burnard is professor in and head of the School of Historical and Philosophical Studies at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Mastery, Tyranny, and Desire and Creole Gentlemen, as well as coeditor of The Routledge History of Slavery.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

List of Abbreviations

Introduction: Plantation Worlds

1          The Rise of the Large Integrated Plantation
2          Violence, White Solidarity, and the Rise of Planter Elites
3          The Wealth of the Plantations
4          “A Prodigious Mine”: Jamaica
5          The American Revolution and Plantation America

Epilogue: Slaves and Planters

Appendix: An Essay on Sources


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