Author: Sven Beckert
Release Date: 2015-11-10
Genre: Business & Economics
"The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality in the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Sven Beckert's rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world's most significant manufacturing industry combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in 1780, these men created a potent innovation (Beckert calls it war capitalism, capitalism based on unrestrained actions of private individuals; the domination of masters over slaves, of colonial capitalists over indigenous inhabitants), and crucially affected the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia. We see how this thing called war capitalism shaped the rise of cotton, and then was used as a lever to transform the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, farmers and merchants, workers and factory owners. In this as in so many other ways, Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the modern world. The result is a book as unsettling and disturbing as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist"--Résumé de l'éditeur.
Author: Sven Beckert
Release Date: 2014-12-02
The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckert’s rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.
Author: Walter Johnson
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2013-02-26
River of Dark Dreams places the Cotton Kingdom at the center of worldwide webs of exchange and exploitation that extended across oceans and drove an insatiable hunger for new lands. This bold reaccounting dramatically alters our understanding of American slavery and its role in U.S. expansionism, global capitalism, and the upcoming Civil War.
Author: Andrew J. Torget
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2015-08-06
By the late 1810s, a global revolution in cotton had remade the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing wealth and waves of Americans to the Gulf Coast while also devastating the lives and villages of Mexicans in Texas. In response, Mexico threw open its northern territories to American farmers in hopes that cotton could bring prosperity to the region. Thousands of Anglo-Americans poured into Texas, but their insistence that slavery accompany them sparked pitched battles across Mexico. An extraordinary alliance of Anglos and Mexicans in Texas came together to defend slavery against abolitionists in the Mexican government, beginning a series of fights that culminated in the Texas Revolution. In the aftermath, Anglo-Americans rebuilt the Texas borderlands into the most unlikely creation: the first fully committed slaveholders' republic in North America. Seeds of Empire tells the remarkable story of how the cotton revolution of the early nineteenth century transformed northeastern Mexico into the western edge of the United States, and how the rise and spectacular collapse of the Republic of Texas as a nation built on cotton and slavery proved to be a blueprint for the Confederacy of the 1860s.
Author: Sven Beckert
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Release Date: 2018-02-13
Genre: Business & Economics
The United States has long epitomized capitalism. From its enterprising shopkeepers, wildcat banks, violent slave plantations, and raucous commodities trade to its world-spanning multinationals, its massive factories, and the centripetal power of New York in the world of finance, America has shaped political economy for two centuries and more. But an understanding of “capitalism” is as elusive as it is urgent. What does it mean to make capitalism a subject of historical inquiry? What is its potential across multiple disciplines, alongside different methodologies, and in a range of geographic and chronological settings? And how does a focus on capitalism change our understanding of American history? American Capitalism collects cutting-edge research from prominent scholars, sampling the latest work in the field. Rather than a monolithic perspective, these broad-minded and rigorous essays venture new angles on finance and debt, women’s rights, slavery and political economy, labor, and regulation, among other topics. Together, the essays suggest emerging themes in the field: a fascination with capitalism as it is made by public authority, how it is experienced in the detail of daily life, how it spreads across the globe, and how it can be reconceptualized as a discrete and quantified object. A major statement for a wide-open field, this book demonstrates the breadth and scope of the work the history of capitalism can provoke.
Author: Sven Beckert
Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press
Release Date: 2016-07-28
During the nineteenth century, the United States entered the ranks of the world's most advanced and dynamic economies. At the same time, the nation sustained an expansive and brutal system of human bondage. This was no mere coincidence. Slavery's Capitalism argues for slavery's centrality to the emergence of American capitalism in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. According to editors Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, the issue is not whether slavery itself was or was not capitalist but, rather, the impossibility of understanding the nation's spectacular pattern of economic development without situating slavery front and center. American capitalism—renowned for its celebration of market competition, private property, and the self-made man—has its origins in an American slavery predicated on the abhorrent notion that human beings could be legally owned and compelled to work under force of violence. Drawing on the expertise of sixteen scholars who are at the forefront of rewriting the history of American economic development, Slavery's Capitalism identifies slavery as the primary force driving key innovations in entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, management, and political economy that are too often attributed to the so-called free market. Approaching the study of slavery as the originating catalyst for the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism casts new light on American credit markets, practices of offshore investment, and understandings of human capital. Rather than seeing slavery as outside the institutional structures of capitalism, the essayists recover slavery's importance to the American economic past and prompt enduring questions about the relationship of market freedom to human freedom. Contributors: Edward E. Baptist, Sven Beckert, Daina Ramey Berry, Kathryn Boodry, Alfred L. Brophy, Stephen Chambers, Eric Kimball, John Majewski, Bonnie Martin, Seth Rockman, Daniel B. Rood, Caitlin Rosenthal, Joshua D. Rothman, Calvin Schermerhorn, Andrew Shankman, Craig Steven Wilder.
Author: Sven Beckert
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Release Date: 2018-02-22
In recent years historians in many different parts of the world have sought to transnationalize and globalize their perspectives on the past. Despite all these efforts to gain new global historical visions, however, the debates surrounding this movement have remained rather provincial in scope. Global History, Globally addresses this lacuna by surveying the state of global history in different world regions. Divided into three distinct but tightly interweaved sections, the book's chapters provide regional surveys of the practice of global history on all continents, review some of the research in four core fields of global history and consider a number of problems that global historians have contended with in their work. The authors hail from various world regions and are themselves leading global historians. Collectively, they provide an unprecedented survey of what today is the most dynamic field in the discipline of history. As one of the first books to systematically discuss the international dimensions of global historical scholarship and address a wealth of questions emanating from them, Global History, Globally is a must-read book for all students and scholars of global history.
Author: Elizabeth Abbott
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Release Date: 2011-09-27
Sugar: A Bittersweet History is a compelling and surprising look at the sweet commodity, from how it Africanized the cane fields of the Caribbean to how it fuelled the Industrial Revolution and jumpstarted the fast-food revolution. The book explores the hidden stories behind this sweet product, revealing how powerful American interests deposed Queen Lili'uokalani of Hawaii, how Hitler tried to ensure a steady supply of beet sugar when enemies threatened to cut off Germany's supply of overseas cane sugar, and how South Africa established a domestic ethanol industry in the wake of anti-apartheid sugar embargos. The book follows the history of sugar to the present day, showing how sugar made eating on the run socially acceptable and played an integral role in today's fast food culture and obesity epidemic. Impressively researched and commandingly written, Sugar will forever change perceptions of this sweet treat.
In this imaginative book, Maya Jasanoff uncovers the extraordinary stories of collectors who lived on the frontiers of the British Empire in India and Egypt, tracing their exploits to tell an intimate history of imperialism. Jasanoff delves beneath the grand narratives of power, exploitation, and resistance to look at the British Empire through the eyes of the people caught up in it. Written and researched on four continents, Edge of Empire enters a world where people lived, loved, mingled, and identified with one another in ways richer and more complex than previous accounts have led us to believe were possible. And as this book demonstrates, traces of that world remain tangible—and topical—today. An innovative, persuasive, and provocative work of history. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Jane Burbank
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2011-07-05
This book "departs from conventional European and nation-centered perspectives to take a remarkable look at how empires relied on diversity to shape the global order. Beginning with ancient Rome and China and continuing across Asia, Europe, the Americas, and Africa," the authors "examine empires' conquests, rivalries, and strategies of domination, emphasizing how empires accommodated, created, and manipulated differences among populations."--Jacket.
Author: Giorgio Riello
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2011-09-22
Genre: Business & Economics
This collection of essays examines the history of cotton textiles at a global level over the period 1200-1850. It provides new answers to two questions: what is it about cotton that made it the paradigmatic first global commodity? And second, why did cotton industries in different parts of the world follow different paths of development?
Author: Edward E. Baptist
Publisher: Basic Books
Release Date: 2016-10-25
Americans tend to cast slavery as a pre-modern institution—the nation's original sin, perhaps, but isolated in time and divorced from America's later success. But to do so robs the millions who suffered in bondage of their full legacy. As historian Edward Baptist reveals in The Half Has Never Been Told, the expansion of slavery in the first eight decades after American independence drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew from a narrow coastal strip of worn-out tobacco plantations to a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy. Until the Civil War, Baptist explains, the most important American economic innovations were ways to make slavery ever more profitable. Through forced migration and torture, slave owners extracted continual increases in efficiency from enslaved African Americans. Thus the United States seized control of the world market for cotton, the key raw material of the Industrial Revolution, and became a wealthy nation with global influence. Told through intimate slave narratives, plantation records, newspapers, and the words of politicians, entrepreneurs, and escaped slaves, The Half Has Never Been Told offers a radical new interpretation of American history. It forces readers to reckon with the violence at the root of American supremacy, but also with the survival and resistance that brought about slavery's end—and created a culture that sustains America's deepest dreams of freedom.