Essays on Race and the Persistence of Economic Inequality
Although over 140 years have passed since slaves were emancipated in the United States, African-Americans continue to lag behind the general population in terms of earnings and wealth. Both Reconstruction era policy makers and modern scholars have argued that the large gap between black and white income and wealth could have been reduced or eliminated if plans to allocate each freed slave family "forty acres and a mule" had been successfully implemented following the Civil War. My dissertation addresses this issue by considering the impact of free land on former slaves in the Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee Nation, which joined the Confederacy in 1861, was forced by the United States to extend full citizenship to its former slaves. In contrast to U.S. freedmen, the Cherokee's former slaves could claim any unused land within the Cherokee Nation as their own. This variation in the treatment of former slaves provides a compelling way to assess both the shorter-and longer-term effects of land distribution as a policy to ameliorate economic inequality.
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Factors Influencing the Magnitude of
The Blight and Shadow of Slavery
A Sample of Former Slaves and their Descendents Linked
1880 Cherokee Census access to free acreage Additionally adults agricultural analysis Arkansas attend school census data Cherokee and southern Cherokee citizens Cherokee freedmen Cherokee Nation Cherokee slave coefficient columns crops Dawes Card Dawes Commission Dawes Rolls dependent variable difference dummy variable economic status effect of free emancipation farmers free land access Freedmen's Bureau fruit trees Head Owns Home heads of household higher levels homesteads human capital included income and wealth income gaps Indian Territory indicator variable interaction term investment IPUMS sample laborers levels of human levels of wealth linked sample literacy rates located measures non-black non-farmers occupational persistence Oklahoma Territories OO'O orchards parents percent population R-squared racial gap racial inequality racial wealth regressions relative reported schedules sharecroppers similar slavery South and Cherokee southern blacks southern freedmen southern United Table Total United States Census upward mobility value of livestock wealth and income