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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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Emancipation in Comparative Perspective

Emancipation in Comparative Perspective

(p.181) Chapter 8 Emancipation in Comparative Perspective
Between Slavery and Capitalism

Martin Ruef

Princeton University Press

This concluding chapter summarizes the evidence gathered for the postbellum South and compares it with other postemancipation projects in the Americas. The common pattern of gradual emancipation seen in former colonial possessions in the Caribbean and South America has considerable similarity with early efforts to manage uncertainty in the era of Radical Reconstruction. As in the case of the American South, those postemancipation projects soon fell victim to competing claims and mobilization among landowners, workers, and other parties, leading to profound and durable uncertainty in the economies of former slave societies. Even in the twenty-first century, some of this durable uncertainty remains as the United States struggle with the legacies of slavery and emancipation.

Keywords:   postbellum South, postemancipation projects, gradual emancipation, colonial possessions, Radical Reconstruction, former slave societies, slavery, emancipation

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