Wright, Gavin.

Slavery and American economic development / Gavin Wright. - Baton Rouge : Louisiana State University Press, c2006. - x, 162 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm. - Walter Lynwood Fleming lectures in southern history . - Walter Lynwood Fleming lectures in southern history. .

Includes bibliographical references (p. 135-151) and index.

Introduction : what was slavery? -- Slavery, geography, and commerce -- Property and progress in antebellum America -- Property rights, productivity, and slavery -- Epilogue : the legacy of slavery.

"Through an original analysis of slavery as an economic institution, Gavin Wright presents a fresh look a the economic divergence between North and South in the antebellum era. Wright draws a distinction between slavery as a form of work organization (the aspect that has dominated historical debates) and slavery as a set of property rights. Slaves could be purchased and carried to any location where slavery was legal; they could be assigned to any task regardless of gender or age; they could be punished for disobedience, with no effective recourse to the law; they could be accumulated as a form of wealth; they could be sold or bequeathed. Wright argues that slave-based commerce was central to the eighteenth-century rise of the Atlantic economy, not because slave plantations were superior as a method of organizing production, but because slaves could be put to work on sugar plantations that could not have attracted free labor on economically viable terms"--BOOK JACKET.

0807131830 (cloth : alk. paper) 9780807131831


Slavery--Economic aspects--United States.
Right of property--History.--United States

United States--Economic conditions--To 1865.

E441 / .W93 2006