The British Gentry, the Southern Planter, and the Northern Family Farmer

Agriculture and Sectional Antagonism in North America
Narrated by: Drew Bott
Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: History, American

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Publisher's Summary

This groundbreaking study of agriculture's role in the war defies long-held notions that Northern industrialization and urbanization led to clashes between North and South. Huston argues that the ideological chasm between plantation owners in the South and family farmers in the North led to the political eruption of 1854-1856 and the birth of a sectionalized party system. More invested in egalitarianism and personal competency than in capitalism, small farmers in the North operated under a free-labor ideology that emphasized the ideals of independence and mastery over oneself. The ideology of the plantation, by contrast, reflected the conservative ethos of the British aristocracy, which was the product of immense landed inequality and the assertion of mastery over others.

Economic interests pitted the plantation South against the small-farm North. The Northern shift toward Republicanism depended on farmers, not industrialists: While Democrats won the majority of Northern farm congressional districts from 1842 to 1853, they suffered a major defection of these districts from 1854 to 1856 to the antislavery organizations that would soon coalesce into the Republican Party. Utilizing extensive historical research and close examination of the voting patterns in congressional districts across the country, James Huston provides a remarkable new context for the origins of the Civil War.

The audiobook is published by Louisiana State University Press.

©2015 Louisiana State University Press (P)2019 Redwood Audiobooks

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