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Between Slavery and CapitalismThe Legacy of Emancipation in the American South$
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Martin Ruef

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162775

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162775.001.0001

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Status Attainment among Emancipated Slaves

Status Attainment among Emancipated Slaves

Chapter:
(p.50) Chapter 3 Status Attainment among Emancipated Slaves
Source:
Between Slavery and Capitalism
Author(s):

Martin Ruef

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691162775.003.0003

This chapter analyzes the legacy of slavery for status attainment among the first generation of blacks who were liberated from this institution. Its quantitative findings suggest that categorical uncertainty became more pronounced over time: while the internal hierarchy of slavery clearly predicted the occupations that emancipated blacks would hold after the Civil War, it became largely decoupled from status attainment in the succeeding decades. Mediating effects, such as the Freedmen Bureau's educational interventions and black migration, also served to curtail the reproduction of antebellum status. By the early twentieth century, the most durable predictor of the kinds of jobs that were available to blacks who had been born in the antebellum South was the legal distinction between those who were free and those who were slaves before 1865.

Keywords:   slavery, status attainment, emancipated blacks, categorical uncertainty, Civil War, Freedmen Bureau, black migration, antebellum South

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