I need help with Reconfiguring the Old South by Lacy Ford?
I need a short summary that i can write about a half page on. i need this essay by 12:00 anything would help! thanks
Reconfiguring the Old South: “Solving” the Problem of Slavery, 1787–1838 http://www.historycooperative.org/cgi-bi… The Civil War, emancipation, and Confederate defeat stand among the pivotal moments in American history, moments that gave the nation, “conceived in liberty” yet marred by slavery, an elusive “new birth of freedom.” For many years, the importance of those events fostered an understandable historiographical preoccupation with the configuration and posture of southern society on the eve of the American Civil War. The scholarly fascination with the Old South at its antebellum maturity often slighted the earlier formation of that society, the making of the Old South. In recent years, however, the creation of the Old South through a unique set of choices, accommodations, and compromises made in the face of unpredictable historical contingencies has received increasing attention from historians. They are intrigued as much by the twists and turns of the Old South’s evolution as by the undeniable drama of the late antebellum journey to secession and war. Building on his own work and that of other scholars, Ira Berlin has produced an impressive reinterpretation of American slavery that emphasizes its creation and evolution, not just its flourishing as a regional institution in the era of well-established cotton plantations and sectional conflict. Berlin and others have begun to restore a strong sense of chronology and variety to the study of the enslaved in the Old South. They have looked at generational change and regional variation in the slave population and in slavery as an institution, highlighting patterns of slave demography, work, and culture. Berlin’s synthesis, with the earlier seminal scholarship on which it was built, has allowed historians to recapture dynamism and diversity in the experience of the enslaved in the United States.1 2
Similarly, a recent flurry of important and pioneering work has restored balance to our study of white society in the Old South, helping shift the region’s historiography from its traditional tilt toward the mature, late antebellum Old South to the formation of the Old South. Those studies have renewed scholars’ understanding of the complexity and nuance of the Old South’s historical evolution and internal diversity. Yet scholars still lack a unifying interpretation of the creation of white society in the Old South and the relationship of that society with slavery, an interpretation sensitive to the change over time and internal diversity highlighted in recent literature and to the creative tensions generated by internal differences and disagreements, an integrated interpretation comparable to the one Berlin offered for the history of slavery in the region.2 3
This essay attempts to sketch a broad outline for such an interpretative synthesis by focusing on one issue: the evolving efforts of the South’s white politicians, intellectuals, and opinion makers to grapple with the problem of slavery in ways acceptable to white southerners. It traces those inadequate and tortured efforts and the conflicts they spawned from the drafting of the Constitution to the emergence of the full-scale abolitionist attack on slavery in the mid-1830s. This examination suggests ways to round out what Berlin called the story of “making slavery, making race” in the pre–Civil War American South.3 http://www.historycooperative.org/cgi-bi…
Time to retire “people of color”?
Posted on June 16, 2008.
I was reading Lacy Ford’s fantastic article “Reconfiguring the Old South: ‘Solving’ the Problem of Slavery, 1787-1838″ and had reached page 116 where Ford discusses how slaveholding American southerners began to sour on the idea of sending black Americans “back” to Africa because the slaveholders felt that it was really a plan to end slavery rather than a plan to get freed black people out of the country and “whiten” it. I found this statement:
“As the Georgia legislature later explained, whatever support the [colonizers] initially enjoyed in the lower South resulted ‘from the general impression in the Southern states’ that its object ‘was limited to removal’ of the ‘free people of color and their descendants and [not slaves].”
What phrase leaps out at you? “People of color.” This phrase was being used in 1827 by slaveholders as a euphemism for formerly enslaved black people.
I was under the impression that “people of color” was a 21st-century phrase (hey, my specialty is the 1600s; I’m not up on everything). But now we see it has a long and ugly history, just like every other word used for black Americans, from ***** to the other n-word to darky and even colored.
In fact, “black” seems to be the least-baggaged term used to describe black Americans.
The real problem with “peo