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Carlson, L. The Political Economy of the American South
Economics/History 355: The Political Economy of the American South
Professor Leonard Carlson
The American South has been a unique and complex region throughout its history. We will focus on selected economic issues in Southern history from the first English settlement in 1607 to 1970. Among other questions, we will consider: (1) What factors det ermined the growth (or lack of it) of southern incomes during slavery and after its abolition? (2) What has been the impact of racial antagonisms and divisions during slavery and, later, in the era of segregation, on the economic life of Southerners? Where possible, we will use economic analysis will be used to supplement more traditional historical approaches. Since there is no textbook for this class and I will be drawing from a variety of sources, your success in learning this material will depend upon your attendance and participation in class more than in most classes.. This course is organized around a number of questions.
Prerequisites: Economics 101 and 112, or consent of the instructor.
The following are on order at the book store:
McCusker and Menard, The Economy of British America, 1607-1789, University of North Carolina Press, 1986.
Gavin Wright, The Political Economy of the Cotton South, Norton, 1978.
Robert Fogel, Without Consent or Contract, Norton, 1989.
Gavin Wright, Old South, New South: Revolutions in the Southern Economy Since the Civil War, Basic Books, 1986.
Plus, "Readings For Economics/History 355" available in the bookstore.
The honor code is taken seriously in this course. If you have a question, ask me. In general, you are expected to behave in a way such that your academic integrity is beyond question.
M, W, F 10:00 to 10:45 and by arrangement. Office and Phone: 1641 N. Decatur Road, 727-6375
Examinations and Assignments
Assignment /Date /Weight
Class Attendance and Participation 5%
Mid-term Exam (Th Oct 20) 25%
Final Exam (Monday, Dec 12, 4:30-7:00 pm) 40%
This schedule of exams and assignments is subject to change. Any changes will be announced in class. Students are responsible for all announcements made in class.
Each of you will be expected to do a grammatically sound term paper on a topic of your choosing. The paper should be typed and double spaced and roughly 15 pages in length, exclusive of tables and references. The bibliography must have at least ten entries. I will not accept late papers, but you can have a 24 hour grace period for a 5% reduction in grade. I will pass out some topics later and I will schedule meetings to discuss these with you. A paper should contain descriptive material, but the paper should center on a basic argument. For example, you might argue that slavery was incompatible with the rise of factories in the South. A brief abstract and working bibliography is due September 29.
To improve the quality of the paper we will use an in-class double-blind review system. The review system works as follows: I will distribute your paper to one of your classmates for critical comments. Your reviewer will not know who you are and you wil
l not know you (hence the phrase double blind). To participate, you must have a finished draft for anonymous review on November 21. The reviewer then picks up the paper and has one week to make comments. You then get the comments and have one week to revise the paper. You will turn in both the first and final versions of the paper along with the comments.
The paper will be graded roughly as follows: 50% for content and conceptual clarity; 20% for grammar and style; 20% for integration of issues and concepts covered n class; and 10% for participation in the review process. If you put off the paper until the last moment I can almost guarantee you that no will be satisfied with the final product.
Sept 29: Abstract and bibliography due.
November 15: First draft of the paper is due
November Referees reports are due
November Final version of paper is due.
COURSE OUTLINE AND READINGS
Please note the following. 1) The readings on this list are subject to revision -- additions and deletions. 2) Read each item critically. Some of these articles contradict one another or the arguments made in class. Evaluate the logic and the evidence used to support the author's points. Just because it's written, does not make an argument correct. 3) Items marked with a * are required. All books and articles are on reserve in Chandler Library. Selected articles can be purchased in the bookstore.
Meeting Topic and Assignments
1. Th Aug 25 Introduction: Why Study the South? Is There a Distinctive "Southern" History?
2. Tu Aug 30 English Settlement in the Chesapeake.
*Morgan, "The Labor Problem at Jamestown, 1607-18" American Historical Review (June, 1971).
*McCusker and Menard, Economic of British America, chs. 1 & 2
3. Th Sept 1 The Introduction of Unfree Labor and the Domar Hypothesis.
*Domar, "The Origins of Slavery: An Hypothesis", Journal of Economic History, March, 1970.
Handlin and Handlin, "Origins of the Southern Labor System", William and Mary Quarterly, 1950, pp. 192-222.
*Galenson, "White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery in Colonial America," Journal of Economic History, March 1981.
*Fogel, Without Consent, ch. 1.
4. Tu Sept 6 The Development of English Settlements in N. America.
*Egnal, "The Economic Development of the American Colonies, 1720-1770" William and Mary Quarterly, April 1975.
*Perkins, Colonial Economy, pp. 47-56, chs. 3,4,5,6,9.
5. Th Sept 8 The Development of the Southern Colonies. (Continued)
6. Tu Sept 13 The American Revolution and the Post War Economy
*Perkins, Colonial Economy, ch. VIII.
*North, The Economic Growth of the U.S. 1790-1860, pp. 24-45; 66-74; 122-134.
*Spicer, A Short History of the Indians of the United States, pp.16-25;57-64.
7. Th Sept 15 The Growth of the Cotton/Slave Economy.
*Wright, Political Economy of the South, chs. 1,2.
8. Tu Sept 20 Slavery and Southern Economic Development: Questions and Debates.
* Phillips, "The Economic Cost of Slaveholding in the Cotton Belt" Political Science Quarterly, June 1905) or in Aiken (ed) Did Slavery Pay?.
*Wright, Political Economy of the South, chs. 3,4.
Genovese, The Political Economy of Slavery, ch. 7
*Fogel, Without Consent, ch 3, 4.
9. Th Sept 22 Slavery and Southern Economic Development. (Continued)
*Weiman, "Urban Growth on the Periphery of the Cotton Belt: Atlanta, 1847-1860," Journal of Economic History (June 1988) pp. 259-272.
10. Tu Sep 27 Manufacturing, Urbanization, and Slavery.
*Wright, "Cheap Labor and Southern Textiles Before 1880," Journal of Economic History, (September 1979) pp. 655-680.
Miller, "Fabric of Control: Slavery in Antebellum Cotton Textile Mills,"
Business History Review, (Winter 1982)
Bateman and Weiss, A Deplorable Scarcity
11. Th Sep 29 Life Under Slavery.
*Fogel, Without Consent, ch 2, 5, 6.
David, et al, Reckoning With Slavery.
*David and Temin, "Slavery the Progressive Institution?" Journal of Economic History, September 1974 or chapter 5 in Reckoning With Slavery.
*Sutch, "The Treatment Received By American Slaves," Explorations in Economic History, (Oct. 1975)
12. Tu Oct 4 Life Under Slavery. (Continued)
13. Th Oct 6 Origins of the Civil War: Is There an Economic Explanation?
*Wright, Political Economy of the South, ch. 5.
*Attack and Passell, A New Economic View of American History, 2nd Edition, ch. 13.
*Fogel, Without Consent, ch 10.
*Ransom, Conflict and Compromise, ch 5.
14. Th Oct 13 The Economics of the Civil War
*Lebergott, "Why the South Lost: Commercial Purpose in the Confederacy, 1861-1865," Journal of American History, June 1983, pp. 58-74.
*Ransom, Conflict and Compromise, ch 6.
15. Tu Oct 19 The Impact of the Civil War and an Overview of the Southern Economy 1865-1940.
*Engerman, "The Economic Impact of the Civil War," Explorations in Economic History, (Spring/September, 1966).
*Wright, New South, ch. 1-3.
16. Th Oct 20 Mid-Term Exam (Material Covered Will be discussed in class).
17. Tu Oct 25 Reconstruction and Reform of the Land/Labor System.
*Ransom and Sutch, "The Impact of the Civil War and of Emancipation on Southern Agriculture," Explorations in Economic History, Apr. 1975 pp. 1-28
18. Th Oct 27 The rise of Tenancy and the Stagnation of Southern Incomes.
*Ransom and Sutch, "The Ex-Slave in the Post-Bellum South: A Study of the Economic Impact of Racism in a Market Environment," Journal of Economic History (March 1973), pp. 131-148.
19. Tu Nov 1 Tenancy. (Continued)
*Wright, New South, chs. 4,5
*Higgs, "The Accumulation of Property by Southern Blacks", American Economic Review (September 1982).
*Weiman, "The Economic Emancipation of the Non-Slaveholding class," Journal of Economic History, (March 1985) pp. 71-93.
*Kantor, "Razorbacks, Ticky Cows, and the Closing of the Georgia Open
Range," Journal of Economic History, December 1991, pp. 861-886
20. Th Nov 3 Industry Comes South.
Wright, New South, ch. 6
21. Tu Nov 8 Industry Comes South: The Impact on Race Relations.
*Carlson, "Labor Supply, the Acquisition of Skills and the Location of Southern Textile Mills 1880-1900", Journal of Economic History, (March 1981).
22. Th Nov 10 Infrastructure and Southern Growth.
*James, "Financial Underdevelopment in the Postbellum South, Journal of Interdisciplinary History, (Winter 1981).
Klein, "The Strategy of Southern Railroads, 1865-1893," American Historical Review, (April 19680
23. Tu Nov15 The 1920s and 1930s.
*Wright, New South, ch. 7.
*Margo, Race and Schooling in the South, ch. 6
24. Th Nov17 The New Deal and the South.
*Alston and Ferrie, "Paternalism in Agricultural Labor Contracts: Implications for the Welare State," American Economic Review, Vol. 83, no. 4, Sept. 1993, pp.
25. Tu Nov22 The End of the Old South, 1946-1970.
*Wright, New South, ch. 8.
26. Th Nov29 Trends in Income, Migration.
*Olson, "The South Shall Fall Again: The South as Leader and Laggard in Economic Growth", Southern Economic Journal, (April 1983).
*Margo, Race and Schooling in the South, ch. 7
*Heckman and Payner, "Determining the Impact of Federal Antidiscrimination Legislation on the Economic Status of Blacks: A Study of South Carolina," American Economic Review, (March 1989).
27. Th Dec 1 Overview of the Southern Economy.
28. Tu Dec 6
Dec 12 FINAL EXAM 4:30 - 7:00 (Monday).
Economics/History 355: The Political Economy of the American South
Professor Leonard Carlson
Instructions: Answer your questions in a blue book marked only with your student identification number. Please sign the Honor code statement at the end of the exam.
Honor Pledge: I pledge that I have neither given nor received information concerning this exam that would constitute a violation of the Honor Code. I am not aware of any honor code violations.
(Signed at the completion of the exam)
Part I: (25%). Identify and briefly explain the historical significance of four of the following:
Natural Limits Thesis
"Trail of Tears"
The Northwest Ordinance (1787)
Part II: Do two out of the following three (75%)
1. There has been a lively debate about the various estimates about the profitability of owning slaves. Carefully interpret the meaning of such calculations. Why have some argued that slavery was unprofitable? How have economists interpreted these issues.
What light, if any, do these calculations throw on the key issues in the development of the South. In particular does it make a difference if you are looking at the decision of an individual planter or the region as a whole? What are the issues and how does it relate to this calculation.
2. How you would characterize the differences between the South and the North in the colonial period. What institutional factors did the two regions have in common? What were the key differences? In particular, how do you explain the differences in bound and free labor between the Northern colonies, the Southern colonies and the Caribbean colonies? Does this fit Domar's model about the origins of slavery and serfdom? When did indentured servitude decline in the Caribbean and the South?
3. Was there a "Deplorable Scarcity" of manufacturing in the South prior to 1861, as some authors have claimed?
Traditionally, historians have argued that manufacturing could not develop in a slave society. Why? Fogel and others have argued that the South could have developed manufacturing, but that Southerners simply chose not to develop either cities or manufacturing. Why? What evidence do they cite? In particular, how does Fogel explain the fact that the census found relatively little manufacturing in the South?
Wright and others take a different view. How why/does they see slavery as a structural impediment to manufacturing?
Leonard A. Carlson Voice: 404-727-6375
Department of Economics Fax: 404-727-4639
Emory University E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org
Atlanta, Georgia 30322-2240 USA