Industrial Slavery in the Old South Author:Robert S. Starobin The nature of slavery in the United States and in the political economy of the Old South is shown in a new perspective by Mr. Starobin's examination of the use of slave labor in southern industries. The study, extending from 1790 to 1861, also traces the several ways in which the movement for slave-based industries influenced political developme... more »nts leading up to the civil war.
Drawing upon manuscript and documentary collections of southern industrial enterprises and the papers of slaveowning businessmen, Mr. Starobin describes the living and working conditions of the industrial slaves--employed mainly in manufacturing, mining, lumbering, crop processing, and the construction operation of roads, canals, and railroads. He shows how they acquiesced in and resisted work routines and the slave regime. He also tells how they were disciplined, finding in many cases a level of racial oppression exceeding that on the plantations. As citizens of the South and the North became increasingly concerned with the significance of this profitable from slavery, he finds, it took on more and more importance on state and federal levels, reinforcing the movement for southern nationhood, as well as northern opposition to slavery's extension, which culminated in the Civil War.« less