A comparison of american slaves and english agricultural workers, 1750-1875




НазваниеA comparison of american slaves and english agricultural workers, 1750-1875
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Time on the Cross

Controversy 233

The Deterrence Value of Occasional Killings 235

The Danger of Corporal Punishment Backfiring, Requiring

"Massive Retaliation" 236

How Even Good Masters Could Suddenly Kill a Slave in the

Heat of Passion 237

Miscellaneous Punishments that Masters Inflicted on Slaves 238

Examples of Corporal Punishment Backfiring 239

Did Slaveowners Successfully Implant a Protestant Work Ethic

in the Slaves? 240

The Slaves' Sense of Work Discipline Like that of Other

Pre-Industrial People 242

Genovese's Paternalism: How Successful Were Planters in

Imposing Hegemony? 244

Scott Versus Hegemony 244

Were the Slaveholders Really Believers in Paternalism?: The

Implications of Jacksonian Democracy and Commercial

Capitalism in the American South 247

Counter-Attacks Against Portraying Slaveholders as Bourgeois

Individualists 249

Ignorance as a Control Device Revisited 252

How Masters Would Manipulate the Slaves' Family Ties in Order

to Control Them 253

Positive Incentives Only a Supplementary Method for

Controlling the Bondsmen 255

The Brutal Overseer as a Historical Reality 258

The Task Versus Gang Systems: Different Approaches to Work

Discipline 260

The Infrapolitics of Task (Quota) Setting 261

The Gang System's Advantages 262

The Patrol/Pass System 264

The Slaveowners Who Liberally Granted Passes or Dispensed with

Them Altogether 266

How the Divisions Among White Slaveholders Benefited the

Enslaved 267

How Mistresses and other Family Members Often Restrained Ill-

Treatment 268

The Central Reality of Violence as the Main Tool to Control

the Slaves 269

The High Levels of Violence Between the Slaves and Masters

Compared to England 271

Both Sides committed Far Less Violence During the Swing Riots

in England 272

The Lower Goals and Greater Divisions among Local Elites in

the English Case 273

The Routine Police State Measures in the South 275

Coercion, Not Incentives or Ideology, as the Basic Means of

Enforcing Slavery 276

Basic Differences Between the American and English Elites'

Methods of Control 276

The Freedom of Action Local Government Officials Had in

England 277

The Basic Strategy to Better Control the Farmworkers 278

Enclosure as a Method of Social Control and "Class Robbery" 279

Enclosure: Direct Access to the Means of Production and

Some Food Both Lost 280

Open and Close Parishes: One Dumps Laborers onto the Other 282

The Decline of Service 284

Why Service Declined 285

How Poor Relief Itself Promoted Population Growth 287

Assorted Methods that Deterred Applicants for Relief 288

Why "Make-Work" Jobs Failed to Deter Applicants and

Undermined Work Discipline 289

The New Poor Law: Deterring Applicants for Relief by

Using the Workhouse Test 290

Falling Productivity: One More Consequence of the Old Poor

Law 292

The Workhouse Test as a Tool for Increasing Labor

Productivity 293

The Workhouse Test Was a Tool for Lowering Wages Also 294

Allotments Help Reduce Increases in Rates Caused by Enclosure 296

Why the Rural Elite Still Sometimes Opposed Allotments 297

Miscellaneous Ways Allotments Were Used to Benefit the Rural

Elite 298

Another Positive Mode of Creating Work Discipline: Piecework 300

The Legal System and Its Influence on the Laborers 303

The Justice of the Peace/County Court System Necessarily

Expressed Class Bias 303

The Biases of the Courts Against the Laborers Should Not Be

Exaggerated 304

Ignorance of the Law as a Control Device 305

Examples of How the Contents of the Law Could be Against the

Laborers 306

The Important Differences Between Controlling the Laborers

and Slaves at Work 307

Ideological Hegemony, Paternalism, Class Consciousness, and

Farmworkers 309

Did Some in the Elite Begin to Repudiate Paternalistic,

Communal Values? 309

How the Rural Elite Tried to Have Paternalism and Capitalism

Simultaneously 310

Paternalism Vs. Capitalism: The Trade-Offs between Freedom

and Security 311

How the Waning of Paternalism Made the Laborers' Class

Consciousness Possible 313

The Power of Gifts to Control, and When They Do Not 313

The Failure of Paternalism as an Ideological Control Device

from C. 1795 314

The Laborers' Growing Class Consciousness, C. 1834 to 1850 315

When the Laborers as a Class in Itself Began to Act for

Itself 317

A Comparison of Respective Elite Control Strategies: Slave-

owners and Squires 318

How Much Success Did These Two Elites Have at Hegemony? 322



6. ON RESISTANCE BY A SUBORDINATE CLASS 325


The Infrapolitics of Daily Life 325

Analytical Problems with "Day-to-Day Resistance"

(Infrapolitics) 325

The Continuum of Resistance from Infrapolitics to Organized

Insurrection 326

The Need for a Subordinate Class to Wear a Mask to Conceal

Their Knowledge 328

Early Training in Mask Wearing 329

The Costs of Being Open and the Mask Falling Off 330

The Subordinate Class's Compulsions to Lie 330

Why the Rituals of Deference Still Had Meaning 332

Elkins's "Sambo" Hypothesis and Its Problems 333

An Act of Routine Resistance: Stealing 338

Various Motives for Theft 338

The Intrinsic Costs of Double-Standards in Morality 339

Evading Work by Claiming Sickness 341

Work: Slowdowns and Carelessness 342

The Strategy of Playing the White Folks Off Against Each

Other 343

Manipulating White Authority for the Slaves' Own Purposes 343

How Pleadings and Petitions Could Restrain Masters and

Mistresses 343

The General Problem of Slaves Running Away 344

Temporary and Local Flight 346

"Negotiating" a Return 347

How Runaways Could Resist Capture 348

Maroons: Settlements of Escaped Slaves 349

The Most Successful Runaways 350

"Strikes" Conducted by Groups of Slaves Running Away 352

Small Scale Open Confrontations and Violence 353

"Nats" or "Sambos"?--Selective Perception by the Master Class 355

The Rarity of Slave Revolts in the United States Compared

to Elsewhere 356

The Factors Militating Against Slave Revolts in the United

States 357

Many Slaves Knew How Much the Deck Was Stacked Against

Successful Revolt 359

Why then, If Revolts Were So Rare, Were the Whites So

Paranoid? 360

Resistance to Slavery in the United States Is Dominated by

Infrapolitics 362

Resident Slaveholders Supervising Small Units of Production

Smother Resistance 363

Resisting Enslavement Is Not the Same as Resisting Slavery

as a Social System 364

Hodge: The Predominance of Daily Infrapolitics Over Outright

Riots 366

Social Crime--The Infrapolitics of Poaching 367

The Laborers' Counter-Ideology Against the Elite's Game Laws 368

The Role of Theft, More Generally Defined, in English

Rural Infrapolitics 369

The Correlation between Poverty and Theft 370

Hodge's Thinner Mask 370

How Farmworkers Could "Run Away"--Resistance Through Migra-

tion 372

The Reluctance of Laborers to Move and Other Obstacles to

Migration 373

The Tamer Confrontations between Hodge and His Masters 375

Food Riots as a Method of Resistance 376

The Swing Riots Generally Considered 378

How the Laborers Did Benefit Some from the Swing Riots 379

The Relative Weakness of the Farmworkers' Unions Compared

to Others in England 380

The Organization of the Agricultural Labours' Union in 1872 381

Comparing Two Subordinate Classes' Methods of Resistance 383


7. CONCLUSIONS: THE BALANCE BETWEEN "RESISTANCE" AND "DAMAGE"? 386



Resistance and the Subordinate Class's Quality of Life 386

Slavery Is on a Continuum of Social Systems of Subordination 388

Selected Bibliography 390


1. WHY COMPARE ENGLISH LABORERS AND AMERICAN SLAVES TO BEGIN WITH?


The Standard Yet Problematic Comparison of Factory Workers with Slaves


Mississippi slaveowner and politician John A. Quitman "professed little respect for the northern free-labor system, where 'factory wretches' worked eleven-hour days in 'fetid' conditions while their intellects were destroyed 'watching the interminable whirling of the spinning-jenny.' . . . The Quitman plantations functioned satisfactorily, and his bondsmen were appreciative of their condition. He described his slaves as 'faithful, obedient, and affectionate.'" Quitman's comparison is still made today when debates break out over the standard of living about who was better off: slaves versus [Northern] factory workers, not farm servants. Similarly, while examining general European conditions for workers, Jurgen Kuczynski states: "It is precisely these bad conditions which justify the arguments of the slaveowners of the South, that the slaves are materially better off than the workers in the north. This would in many cases have been true." Despite its frequency, this comparison is actually problematic: It discounts the additional effects of urbanization, crowding, and doing industrial/shop work inside. In the countryside, with its low population density and work in the fields outside, people experience a different way and quality of life. The conditions of urban factory life simply are not tied to the legal status of being free or slave. This common comparison actually contrasts two very different ways of life, urban versus rural, factory versus farm, to which widely varying value judgments can be attached. As E. P. Thompson observes: "In comparing a Suffolk [farm] labourer with his grand-daughter in a cotton-mill we are comparing--not two standards [of living]--but two ways of life."1 By likening some other agricultural labor force to the slaves of the American South before the Civil War, many of the apples/oranges comparison problems are eliminated. This work shows the largely landless English agricultural workers during the general period of the industrial revolution (c. 1750-1875) had a superior quality of life of compared to the black slaves in the American South (c. 1750-1865), but that the latter at times had a material standard of living equal to or greater than the former's, at least in southern England.


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