Catalogue


Masters of small worlds : yeoman households, gender relations, and the political culture of the Antebellum South Carolina Low Country /
Stephanie McCurry.
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
description
xx, 320 p. : ill., facsims., maps ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0195072367
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
New York : Oxford University Press, 1995.
isbn
0195072367
catalogue key
1104894
 
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1995-12:
McCurry's study of ten low-country antebellum South Carolina political districts, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the fall line, examines the yeoman and planter classes of that geographic area and explains the complex nature of their relationship while recognizing the influence of an enslaved African-American majority on both white groups. McCurry analyzes the role of evangelical Protestantism as early 19th century revivals created a closer relation between white yeoman and planters while simultaneously influencing the slaves. She also explains the impact of gender, however subtle. Chapter 5, "Household of Faith," introduces the familial concept that set forth teachings and practices that reinforced subservient roles for white females, and increased legitimacy for the power of male yeomen and planters. When the Nullification Crisis occurred, the ideas promulgated in South Carolina by evangelicalism and popular politics simply served to manipulate yeoman political power to gain a movement for "southern Christian conservatism," which culminated in South Carolina's secession by 1860. Tables; appendix; photograph. Upper-division undergraduates and above. J. D. Born Jr.; Wichita State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...a well-researched and detailed study....Masters of Small Worlds is an extremely valuable work....a bold and convincing history...that will clearly be required reading for Southern historians, women's historians, and American social historians."--Southern Historian
"...a well-researched and detailed study....Masters of Small Worlds is anextremely valuable work....a bold and convincing history...that will clearly berequired reading for Southern historians, women's historians, and Americansocial historians."--Southern History
"Masters of Small Worlds is a strikingly original work, one which manages to say important new things about subjects that have attracted the attention of generations of scholars--the foundations of proslavery thought and the road to the Civil War. It is difficult to think of a work of Americanhistory that more successfully integrates the "public" and "private" realms of life, or that demonstrates more persuasively the centrality of gender as a category for understanding American political thought."--Eric Foner, Professor of History, Columbia University
"Masters of Small Worlds is a strikingly original work, one which managesto say important new things about subjects that have attracted the attention ofgenerations of scholars--the foundations of proslavery thought and the road tothe Civil War. It is difficult to think of a work of American history that moresuccessfully integrates the "public" and "private" realms of life, or thatdemonstrates more persuasively the centrality of gender as a category forunderstanding American political thought."--Eric Foner, Professor of History,Columbia University
"Masters of Small Worlds is a strikingly original work, one which manages to say important new things about subjects that have attracted the attention of generations of scholars--the foundations of proslavery thought and the road to the Civil War. It is difficult to think of a work of Americanhistory that more successfully integrates the 'public' and 'private' realms of life, or that demonstrates more persuasively the centrality of gender as a category for understanding American political thought."--Eric Foner, Professor of History, Columbia University
"Masters of Small Worlds...is of interest not only for the local matter of South Carolina, but as one test of whether 'race, class, and gender' can...make a history and not just a battlecry....McCurry offers an abundance of insight, information and anecdote. She is a gifted historian, engaginglarge questions."--The Times Literary Supplement
"Masters of Small Worlds...is of interest not only for the local matter ofSouth Carolina, but as one test of whether 'race, class, and gender' can...makea history and not just a battlecry....McCurry offers an abundance of insight,information and anecdote. She is a gifted historian, engaging largequestions."--The Times Literary Supplement
" Masters of Small Worlds ...is of interest not only for the local matter of South Carolina, but as one test of whether 'race, class, and gender' can...make a history and not just a battlecry....McCurry offers an abundance of insight, information and anecdote. She is a gifted historian, engaging large questions."-- The Times Literary Supplement "...a well-researched and detailed study.... Masters of Small Worlds is an extremely valuable work....a bold and convincing history...that will clearly be required reading for Southern historians, women's historians, and American social historians."-- Southern Historian "The subtlety and texture of her interpretations offer a model for future studies of this class elsewhere in the antebellem South."-- American Historical Review
"Masters of Small Worlds...is of interest not only for the local matter of South Carolina, but as one test of whether 'race, class, and gender' can...make a history and not just a battlecry....McCurry offers an abundance of insight, information and anecdote. She is a gifted historian, engaging large questions."--The Times Literary Supplement "...a well-researched and detailed study....Masters of Small Worlds is an extremely valuable work....a bold and convincing history...that will clearly be required reading for Southern historians, women's historians, and American social historians."--Southern Historian "The subtlety and texture of her interpretations offer a model for future studies of this class elsewhere in the antebellum South."--American Historical Review "Stephanie McCurry's superb study of antebellum South Carolina deserves a place on the shelves and reading lists of all historians of the South and the Civil War....This is one of the best books on Southern social history I have ever read. Sophisticated in technique and subtle in analysis, Masters of Small Worlds carries that analysis into politics to produce strikingly original insights that will have an impact on Southern historiography for years to come."--H-Net Book Review Project "Masters of Small Worlds is a strikingly original work, one which manages to say important new things about subjects that have attracted the attention of generations of scholars--the foundations of proslavery thought and the road to the Civil War. It is difficult to think of a work of American history that more successfully integrates the "public" and "private" realms of life, or that demonstrates more persuasively the centrality of gender as a category for understanding American political thought."--Eric Foner, Professor of History, Columbia University
"Masters of Small Worlds...is of interest not only for the local matter of South Carolina, but as one test of whether 'race, class, and gender' can...make a history and not just a battlecry....McCurry offers an abundance of insight, information and anecdote. She is a gifted historian, engaging large questions."--The Times Literary Supplement "...a well-researched and detailed study....Masters of Small Worldsis an extremely valuable work....a bold and convincing history...that will clearly be required reading for Southern historians, women's historians, and American social historians."--Southern Historian "The subtlety and texture of her interpretations offer a model for future studies of this class elsewhere in the antebellum South."--American Historical Review "Stephanie McCurry's superb study of antebellum South Carolina deserves a place on the shelves and reading lists of all historians of the South and the Civil War....This is one of the best books on Southern social history I have ever read. Sophisticated in technique and subtle in analysis,Mastersof Small Worldscarries that analysis into politics to produce strikingly original insights that will have an impact on Southern historiography for years to come."--H-Net Book Review Project "Masters of Small Worldsis a strikingly original work, one which manages to say important new things about subjects that have attracted the attention of generations of scholars--the foundations of proslavery thought and the road to the Civil War. It is difficult to think of a work of American history that more successfully integrates the "public" and "private" realms of life, or that demonstrates more persuasively the centrality of gender as a category for understanding American political thought."--Eric Foner, Professor of History, Columbia University
"Stephanie McCurry's superb study of antebellum South Carolina deserves a place on the shelves and reading lists of all historians of the South and the Civil War....This is one of the best books on Southern social history I have ever read. Sophisticated in technique and subtle in analysis,Masters of Small Worlds carries that analysis into politics to produce strikingly original insights that will have an impact on Southern historiography for years to come."--H-Net Book Review Project
"Stephanie McCurry's superb study of antebellum South Carolina deserves aplace on the shelves and reading lists of all historians of the South and theCivil War....This is one of the best books on Southern social history I haveever read. Sophisticated in technique and subtle in analysis, Masters of SmallWorlds carries that analysis into politics to produce strikingly originalinsights that will have an impact on Southern historiography for years tocome."--H-Net Review Project
"The subtlety and texture of her interpretations offer a model for future studies of this class elsewhere in the antebellum South."--American Historical Review
"The subtlety and texture of her interpretations offer a model for futurestudies of this class elsewhere in the antebellum South."--American HistoricalReview
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, December 1995
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Long Description
In this innovative study of the South Carolina Low Country, McCurry explores the place of the yeomanry in plantation society, the complex web of domestic and public relations within which they were enmeshed, and the contradictory politics of slave society by which that class of small farmers extracted the privileges of masterhood from the region's powerful planters. Insisting on the centrality of women as historical actors and gender as a category of analysis, the book shows how the fateful political choices made by the lowcountry yeomanry were rooted in the politics of the household: in the customary relations of power male heads of independent households assumed over their dependents, whether slaves or free women and children. Such masterly prerogatives, practiced in the domestic sphere and redeemed in the public, explain the yeomanry's deep commitment to slavery and ultimately, their ardent embrace of secession. By placing the yeomanry in the center of the drama, McCurry offers a significant reinterpretation of this volatile society on the road to Civil War. Through careful and creative use of a wide variety of archival sources, she brings vividly to life the small worlds of yeoman households, and the larger world of the South Carolina Low Country, the plantation South, and nineteenth-century America.
Main Description
In this innovative study of the South Carolina Low Country, author Stephanie McCurry explores the place of the yeomanry in plantation society--the complex web of domestic and public relations within which they were enmeshed, and the contradictory politics of slave society by which that class of small farmers extracted the privileges of masterhood from the region's powerful planters. Insisting on the centrality of women as historical actors and gender as a category of analysis, this work shows how the fateful political choices made by the low-country yeomanry were rooted in the politics of the household, particularly in the customary relations of power male heads of independent households assumed over their dependents, whether slaves or free women and children. Such masterly prerogatives, practiced in the domestic sphere and redeemed in the public, explain the yeomanry's deep commitment to slavery and, ultimately, their ardent embrace of secession. By placing the yeomanry in the center of the drama, McCurry offers a significant reinterpretation of this volatile society on the road to Civil War. Through careful and creative use of a wide variety of archival sources, she brings vividly to life the small worlds of yeoman households, and the larger world of the South Carolina Low Country, the plantation South, and nineteenth-century America.
Main Description
In this innovative study of the South Carolina Low Country, McCurry explores the place of the yeomanry in plantation society, the complex web of domestic and public relations within which they were enmeshed, and the contradictory politics of slave society by which that class of small farmersextracted the privileges of masterhood from the region's powerful planters. Insisting on the centrality of women as historical actors and gender as a category of analysis, the book shows how the fateful political choices made by the lowcountry yeomanry were rooted in the politics of the household:in the customary relations of power male heads of independent households assumed over their dependents, whether slaves or free women and children. Such masterly prerogatives, practiced in the domestic sphere and redeemed in the public, explain the yeomanry's deep commitment to slavery andultimately, their ardent embrace of secession. By placing the yeomanry in the center of the drama, McCurry offers a significant reinterpretation of this volatile society on the road to Civil War. Through careful and creative use of a wide variety of archival sources, she brings vividly to life thesmall worlds of yeoman households, and the larger world of the South Carolina Low Country, the plantation South, and nineteenth-century America.
Table of Contents
Tablesp. xix
Boundaries of Powerp. 5
Producing Independencep. 37
Unequal Mastersp. 92
"Like a Great Family": Nullification Revivals and the Making of Popular Religion in the Low Countryp. 130
"Households of Faith": Gender, Power, and Proslavery Christianityp. 171
Slavery, Gender, and the "Social Fabrick"p. 208
Manly Resistance, Slavish Submission, and the Political Culture of the Low Countryp. 239
"To Repel the Invaders at the Threshold"p. 277
Appendixp. 305
Indexp. 313
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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