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Lecture

American South Plantation Nexus Continued


Department
History
Course Code
HIS 3321E
Professor
Eric Jarvis

Page:
of 2
American South Sept 23
Plantation Nexus Con’t
Geographic factor
begin to see the difference between north and south
impact on how the south looks… sprawl of land inhibits city growth dispersed
population
this impacts southern social life
impacts public education
impacts the political system politics is in the hands of the plantation elite. There
is this notion of paternalism the idea that the elite should rule “civility”. Differed
politics idea that superiors should be in charge. The planters are usually voted
into power. Idea that they just know better. Always a colonial assembly assumption
that the assembly would levy taxes. People who can vote is a slim few/
People who cannot vote:
Roman catholics
Women
Indentured servants
Black slaves or free blacks
White men ho have little land
This leaves a little about of people who can vote and they usually vote for the elite.
A system where the leader (governor) is not from the colony appointed by the
crown.
Oligarchy looks out for their own interests
They believe what is good for them is good for the colony
If plantation life is booming so is the colony
This mentality will continue on throughout the history of the south
The idea of “betters”
Southern politics
The politics of the court house
Ppl that run the courthouse run the town
Where did they get the power (in the colonial south)
Justice of the peace
The Anglican church
Local planters assuming local power and building their political careers
The planting class begin to inter mary
(town meetings are rare)
The origins of these people
Part of the south is mythology
One is that they all came from the English civil war in 1660s they all supported the
king
They push this idea that they have this great lineage claim they were on the
mayflower
Hard working ruthless (in a capital sense)
Most of these men started with nothing. They are the closest thing to an aristocracy
See the,selves as English gentry
They had a large libraries and wine cellars
They act aristocratically but they are not because you don’t have to have a title to get
into this group
Not based on birth.
Last ¼ of the eighteenth century there are some very established southern families
Theses families are in control leading the revolution
Poor Whites
Largest number of people
The original indentured servants
Totally landless or own small plots and grow substance farms growing nothing for
export
Own no slaves they may have one or two domestic servants
Back bone of white society
Usually spoken as white trash
What makes them different from northern farmers?
Interested in planting a little cotton
They want to own slaves
Have the attitude that they can become part of the nexus
From their point of view the one thing they have going for them is that they are not
black
They have something in common with the elites
Slavery is ancient but only in the new world is it based on race.
The racial divide is important to why poor whites fight in the civil war for the elites.
Race always wins over class and over gender.