Masters, Slaves, and Exchange: Power's Purchase in the Old South (Cambridge Studies on the American South)

Masters, Slaves, and Exchange: Power's Purchase in the Old South (Cambridge Studies on the American South)

By: Kathleen M. Hilliard (author)Paperback

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This book examines the political economy of the master-slave relationship viewed through the lens of consumption and market exchange. What did it mean when human chattel bought commodities, 'stole' property, or gave and received gifts? Forgotten exchanges, this study argues, measured the deepest questions of worth and value, shaping an enduring struggle for power between slaves and masters. The slaves' internal economy focused intense paternalist negotiation on a ground where categories of exchange - provision, gift, contraband, and commodity - were in constant flux. At once binding and alienating, these ties endured constant moral stresses and material manipulation by masters and slaves alike, galvanizing conflict and engendering complex new social relations on and off the plantation.

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About Author

Kathleen M. Hilliard is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at Iowa State University. She received her BA from Wake Forest University and her PhD from the University of South Carolina, where she worked under the direction of Mark M. Smith and won the Wienefeld Award for the best dissertation in history. Since 2006 she has studied and taught about the Old South, slavery, and the social and cultural contradictions of antebellum America at the University of Idaho and Iowa State University. Portions of her work have been published in major essay collections and presented in scholarly meetings in the United States, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. She has served on the Editorial Board for Agricultural History and Gale/Cengage's 'Slavery and Anti-Slavery' digital history project.


Introduction; 1. Money and moralism; 2. Slaves and spending; 3. Servants served; 4. Black markets; 5. Gilt chains; 6. The choice; Conclusion.

Product Details

  • publication date: 23/12/2013
  • ISBN13: 9781107636644
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 226
  • ID: 9781107636644
  • weight: 320
  • ISBN10: 1107636647

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