Twice the Work of Free Labor: The Political Economy of Convict Labor in the New South
For the first time in a generation chain gangs have reappeared on the roads of the American South. Associated in the past with racial terrorism, this cruel and unusual punishment should invoke strong memories. But, in the rush to embrace ever-harsher sanctions, the American public has ignored the troubling history of Southern punishment.
Twice the Work of Free Labor is the first book-length study of the history of the Southern convict-lease system and its successor, the chain gang. For nearly a century after the abolition of slavery, convicts labored in the South's mines, railroad camps, brickyards, turpentine farms and then road gangs, under abject conditions. The vast majority of these prisoners were African Americans. In this timely book, Alex Lichtenstein reveals the origins of this vicious penal slavery, explains its persistent and widespread popularity among whites, and charts its unhappy contribution to the rebirth of the South in the decades following the Civil War.
The book also offers an original analysis of the post-Civil War South's political economy. Lichtenstein suggests that, after emancipation, forced black labor was exploited not by those who yearned for the social order of the slave South, but by the region's most ardent advocates of progress. The convict-lease and chain gang allowed a New South to rise while preserving white supremacy.
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African-Americans agricultural Alabama American Annual Report antebellum Assembly Atlanta Biennial Report Birmingham District black convicts black labor brick Brown Papers capital capitalist cent chain gang coal and iron coal mines Coalburg committee company's contractors convict camps convict labor convict lease Convict Lease System convict mines crime criminal File Folder forced labor free labor free miners GDAH Geological Survey Georgia General Assembly Governor Governor's Correspondence History Inspectors of Convicts Investigation James Milton Smith January Joseph Joseph Mackey Brown Journal Julius Julius L labor force lessees manufacturing Mineral Resources negro North Carolina number of convicts Old South operators penal labor penal system pig iron plantation planters political Pratt Principal Keeper Printer Prison Commission prison labor Proceedings production Public Roads punishment race racial railroad Reconstruction Republicans Rising Fawn slave slavery social Southern Good Roads state's Steel strike task Tennessee Division Tracy City UMWJ University Press USGS
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Towards a Comparative Political Economy of Unfree Labour: Case Studies and ...
No preview available - 1999