PropertyProf Blog

Editor: Stephen Clowney
Univ. of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Civil War Was Not a Tragedy

Ta-Nehisi Coates has a great string of posts on why the Civil War isn't tragic.  Here's your property angle:

Slaves were the principal form of wealth in the South--indeed in the nation as a whole. The market value of the four million slaves in 1860 was close to $3 billion--more than the value of land, of cotton, or of anything else in the slave states, and more than the amount of capital invested in manufacturing and railroads combined for the whole United States. Slave labor made it possible for the American South to grow three-quarters of the world's marketed cotton, which in turn constituted more than half of all American exports in the antebellum era.

Steve Clowney

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