The Old South's Modern Worlds

Slavery, Region, and Nation in the Age of Progress

by L. Diane Barnes, Brian Schoen,

The Old South has traditionally been portrayed as an insular and backward-looking society. The Old South's Modern Worlds looks beyond this myth to identify some of the many ways that antebellum southerners were enmeshed in the modernizing trends of their time. The essays gathered in this volume not only tell unexpected narratives of the Old South, they also explore the compatibility of slavery-the defining feature of antebellum southern life-with cultural and material markers of modernity such as moral reform, cities, and industry. Considered as proponents of American manifest destiny, for example, antebellum southern politicians look more like nationalists and less like separatists. Though situated within distinct communities, Southerners'-white, black, and red-participated in and responded to movements global in scope and transformative in effect. The turmoil that changes in Asian and European agriculture wrought among southern staple producers shows the interconnections between seemingly isolated southern farms and markets in distant lands. Deprovincializing the antebellum South, The Old South's Modern Worlds illuminates a diverse region both shaped by and contributing to the complex transformations of the nineteenth-century world.
  • Oxford University Press; April 2011
  • ISBN: 9780199840960
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure EPUB format
  • Title: The Old South's Modern Worlds
  • Author: L. Diane Barnes (ed.); Brian Schoen (ed.); Frank Towers (ed.)
  • Imprint: Oxford University Press

In The Press

"This is a volume of insight, learning, and intellectual verve, sure to spark wide discussion."--Journal of American History
"[A] provocative collection of original essays."--The Journal of Southern History
"The contributors comprise some of the leading younger scholars in the field, and they engage with the subject and with each other in genuinely original and innovative ways that reflect the most recent research questions, and answers, relating to slavery and the South. Absolutely ideal for teaching purposes."--American Nineteenth Century History
"Students and specialists alike will find this collection extraordinarily helpful in placing the Old South within the modernizing world of the nineteenth century. Engaging, insightful and provocative, these essays will become a familiar landmark in the historiography of the South."--John Majewski, University of California, Santa Barbara

About The Author

L. Diane Barnes is Associate Professor of History at Youngtown State University, associate editor of the Frederick Douglass Papers, and author of Artisan Workers in the Upper South: Petersburg, Virginia, 1820-1865.Brian Schoen is Associate Professor of History at Ohio University and author of The Fragile Fabric of Union: Cotton, Federal Politics, and the Global Origins of the Civil War. Frank Towers is Associate Professor of History at the University of Calgary and author of The Urban South and the Coming of the Civil War.