HST 141††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Dr. Kerns


The Unfinished Nation: Chapter 11 Cotton, Slavery, and The Old South


Chapter 11 Main Themes:

  1. The effect of short-staple cotton's rise on the economic development of the South, and the impact this enthroning of "King Cotton" had on subsequent Southern social and political development.

  2. The class and gender dynamics of Southern white society, in both myth and reality.

  3. The character of the different varieties of the South's "peculiar institution," and African-American's various forms of resistance to it.

  4. The separate culture of African-American slavery, and how it manifested itself in religion, music, language, and family life.


A thorough study of Chapter 11 should enable the student to understand:









Factors: Brokers in the economic system of the Old South who marketed plantersí crops.

Manumission: The act of freeing a slave.

Paternalism:†† A surrogate father-child relationship between master and slave that became a vital instrument of white control in the Old South.


Planter:†† A term used to identify one of those southerners whose combination of land and slaves was such that they stood out as the prominent staple producers in their area. A social as well as an economic designation, it was used to identify the agricultural elite in the South.