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Known as enemies of all nations, pirates emerged out of a contest for New World resources and land amidst an increasingly lawless early modern Atlantic World. While Spanish treasure fleets faced attacks from brazen British privateers, such as Henry Morgan, piracy became commonplace by the start of the eighteenth century. Although some engaged in slaving and certainly embraced violence, many pirates established outlaw communities based on democratic ideals that would come to characterize the Enlightenment. By the Age of Revolution, instability and intermittent warfare allowed sea bandits such as the Laffite brothers to flourish once again during the War of American Independence and the Napoleonic Wars, especially in coastal enclaves like Louisiana and Texas and on smaller Caribbean islands such as Guadeloupe. The wars of independence in Spanish America likewise saw an upsurge in smuggling and privateering. As new nations began to curtail the licensing of these privateers, their numbers and significance waned by the 1830s.
African American women writers of the 1980s were arguably the beneficiaries of cultural and political phenomena that held sway during the 1970s and 1980s. One of the major tenets and accomplishments of the Black Arts Movement and the Black Aesthetic of the 1960s was the validation of Black voices that came from within Black communities, drew upon the culture of Black communities -- especially the use of music and the vernacular -- and posited the validity, reality, and truth of that culture. Black women writers of the 1980s provide a logical progression from those communal assertions of value and freedom to extending the possibilities for such expression. This chapter considers the contributions of writers such as Nikki Giovanni, Alice Walker, Audre Lorde, Rita Dove, Octavia Butler, Gloria Nayor, Sherley Anne Williams, and Toni Morrison as writers who extend and liberate creative and cultural possibilities initiated in earlier decades.
The Phaedo portrays Socrates in a long discussion with members of his inner circle, which leads the dialogue to portray a very different sort of conversation from those found in most of Plato’s other dialogues. The chapter begins by considering why Plato makes Phaedo the narrator of such a significant event: the death of Socrates. The chapter also discusses Socrates’ main interlocutors, Simmias and Cebes. I argue that both are skilled, both make mistakes, and both need to be cautious lest they fall into misology. They are sympathetic to a variety of Pythagorean and Orphic ideas, but are by no means committed followers of Philolaus, a Pythagorean. The end of the chapter turns to the portrayal of Socrates, arguing that Socrates seeks not to be treated as an authority and that the Phaedo presents Socrates’ questions and views as naturally emerging from those in the Socratic dialogues.
This review article seeks to build bridges between mainstream African history and the more historically oriented branch of the ‘new’ economic history of Africa. We survey four central topics of the new economic history of Africa — growth, trade, labor, and inequality — and argue that the increased use of quantitative methods and comparative perspectives have sharpened views on long-term trajectories of economic development within Africa and placed the region more firmly into debates of global economic development. The revival of African economic history opens new opportunities for Africanist historians to enrich the interdisciplinary approaches they have taken to study questions of demography, poverty, slavery, labor, inequality, migration, state formation, and colonialism. These fruits, however, can only be reaped if the institutional boundaries between the fields of history and economic history are softened and both sides engage in greater mutual engagement. Our paper aims to move closer to a shared vision on the benefits and limitations of varying quantitative methods, and how these approaches underpin both more and less convincing narratives of long-term African development.
Chapter 5 describes a phenomenon only found in the Sahara known as sell, or bloodsucking and the extraction of essential life forces, arguing that accusations of sell and their related events thus offer an opportunity to view local conceptions of social identity and related fears about shifts in hierarchy, old hostilities between lineages, as well as understandings of the nature of health and illness. While Arabic sources document the existence of bloodsucking at least as early as the fifteenth-century, the colonial archive provides the most concentrated number of records that demonstrate how bloodsucking was a lived and feared reality for desert communities during the colonial period. From these Saharan sources, a fuller understanding emerges of how desert communities envisioned the political and spiritual forces of their social worlds during periods of famine, economic stagnation, and domestic tension. Both the accusation of sell and the l’ḥjāb used to counter it signal the contestation of a society’s status quo.
The Civil War in the lower Mississippi valley demonstrates the complexities of abolishing slavery. Focusing mostly on the Emancipation Proclamation, historians fail to explain how military emancipation was translated into abolition, viewing the Thirteenth Amendment as a stand-alone measure that gave constitutional sanction to the proclamation and that followed inevitably from it. However, abolition must be understood in conjunction with restoring the seceded states to the Union, since Americans generally believed that only states could abolish slavery. After the proclamation, Unionists in Louisiana and Tennessee split into free-state and proslavery – or “conservative” – factions, with both attempting to organize loyal governments. Taking proslavery Unionism seriously, Republicans insisted that the rebellious states abolish slavery in their state constitutions as a condition for readmission. The Thirteenth Amendment was thus originally envisioned to complement state action. Federal military success in the lower Mississippi valley first elucidated the problem of conjoining abolition and state restoration, and the region served as the crucible for transforming military emancipation into constitutional abolition.
The organization of a loyal government on a free-state basis in Louisiana in early 1864 under Lincoln’s ten-percent plan. Contrary to the free-state Unionists’ plan, General Nathaniel Banks orders an election for state executive officers before holding a constitutional convention to abolish slavery. In the campaign that follows, free-state Unionists split into “radical” and “moderate” factions, primarily over black political and legal rights but also over Banks’s interference. Conservative Unionists in Louisiana continue their campaign to restore Louisiana as a slave state, but Congress refuses to seat claimants elected in November 1863. Free-state moderate Michael Hahn is elected Unionist governor in March and takes office. In the planning for a state constitutional convention to abolish slavery, New Orleans free people of color advocate for voting rights, and Lincoln, after meeting with two black leaders, “privately” suggests to Hahn that Louisiana adopt limited black suffrage.
The new Constitution had existed for a short time before Madison and others became concerned about constitutional interpretations that were expanding the power of the national government. This early dialogue about federalism centered on what each state viewed as undesirable equilibrium: either forces that would weaken the relative authority of states or forces that would diminish national authority. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton’s financial and economic policies were broad expansions of national powers including assuming Revolutionary War debts and establishing a national bank. Anti-Federalists and others viewed these policies as part of a dangerous trend towards national consolidation that would eventually annihilate the states. Southern states, in particular, thought that without constitutional amendments to constrain the powers of a Northern majority, the South would be unable to protect slavery. When Virginia’s legislature passed the nation’s first interposition resolutions and a memorial in 1790 to sound the alarm to other states and Congress, it faced Federalist criticism that it was illegitimately intruding into the federal government’s sphere.
As Americans have monitored federalism, they struggled with how a government based on sovereignty divided between nation and states might function. The Constitution’s shared sovereignty created an inherently dynamic federalism with almost continuous debates over the balance of power, making this testing of the balance of federalism and monitoring government central to the American constitutional order. Many constitutional debates involved the protection of slavery, yet other interests including debt, taxation, and police powers also played vital roles in shaping American federalism. State resistance to the national government utilizing the constitutional tool of interposition arose when the disequilibrium of federalism was most keenly felt and states needed to resist perceived constitutional overreaching by the national government. This state legislative resistance shaped the broader American political conversation about constitutional rights and jurisdiction and this debate over federalism is arguably a strength and not a weakness of the framers’ constitutional design,inviting each generation to determine what the appropriate constitutional balance should be.
Evolution of labor and reconstitution of plantation system on sugar and cotton plantations of lower Mississippi valley during 1863. Sugar and cotton reflect different regimens but also share characteristics in common: conflict between former slaveholders and former slaves over new modes of work; Federal officials fear dependency of freed people on government support; plantation-leasing system to northern transplants intended to bring free-labor notions to South. Planters determined to reestablish labor control; freed people determined to achieve meaningful economic independence. Wartime military free labor in sugar and cotton regions encounters many difficulties, and all parties express dissatisfaction with system. By end of year, calls for reformed system for 1864. Military free labor essential step in moving from emancipating slaves to abolishing slavery, but also reveals shortcomings of military emancipation.
The lower Mississippi valley, as a distinct geopolitical region, is representative of the antebellum South. Arkansas and Tennessee represents the upper South and Louisiana and Mississippi the lower South. The region demonstrates much geographical diversity, but the main division is between the alluvial areas, where plantation agriculture and large slaveholdings predominate, and the uplands, which feature farming and small-scale slaveholding. The 1.16 million slaves of the region constitute more than a third of the Confederacy’s slave population. The slaveholders of the antebellum South are a distinct elite, especially in the lower Mississippi valley. The slave populations of the region also engender complex communities and a vibrant cultural life. Other than the South Carolina lowcountry and the Chesapeake, the lower Mississippi valley achieves the highest stage of historical development as a slave society within the antebellum South.
The massacres in Memphis in early May, 1866, and in New Orleans in late July highlight the failure of Andrew Johnson’s Reconstruction policy to provide for black civil rights. The massacres are prompted by black soldiers in Memphis, black suffrage in New Orleans, and black claims to equality on both. Racial violence in the two major cities at either end of the lower Mississippi valley symbolize the failure of Johnson’s policy and help bring about Radical Reconstruction. Having been integral to the military outcome of the war and the ending of slavery, the lower Mississippi valley will continue to play an essential role in national affairs – especially with regard to race – throughout Reconstruction and for the remainder of the nineteenth century.
This chapter addresses the history of the Ahl Guennar, a confederation of families known for their mastery of l’ḥjāb, whose members are dispersed among several villages just north of the Senegal River. The Ahl Guennar’s ambiguous racial identity, their shifting religious and occupational affiliations, their secrecy and enigmatic reputation, and their long history in the region make them a compelling case study for the role of Islamic esoteric knowledge in Mauritania’s mercurial political and cultural environment. Claiming descent from a well-known religious figure and a miraculous origin story for their principal village, the Ahl Guennar established themselves by the seventeenth-century learning and teaching the Qur’ān and its sciences and carving out an exclusive space for themselves in the political dynamics of the Gebla, or southwestern region of Mauritania. This chapter deals with the long-term history of the family to better understand how they deploy these stories to claim religious and social roles in the region and to illustrate how Islamic knowledge is transmitted and the ways these Muslim mediators of the spiritual and material worlds depended upon this knowledge to thrive.
Military success in early 1862 leads to substantive Federal presence in the lower Mississippi valley. By mid-1862, Federal forces hold Helena, Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans. The Federal presence sparks large numbers of fugitive slaves to seek freedom, forcing Federal military officials to deal with the slavery issue. The lower Mississippi valley witnesses the first instance of extensive Federal territorial control and large numbers of fugitive slaves. It also experiences the first substantive efforts toward “Reconstruction,” though the failure of southern Unionists – in Louisiana especially – to seize the initiative influences Lincoln in issuing the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The emancipatory provisions of the 1862 Confiscation Act partly in response to developments in the lower Mississippi valley, but contrasting responses of slaves and slaveholders to the Federal presence in the region, also reveal the difficulties of implementing the act.
During the initial phase of the first session of the Thirty-Eighth Congress in early 1864, Congress deals with Reconstruction legislation. Congress also drafts the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution. Congressional Republicans initially expect to work in conjunction with Lincoln’s plan for Reconstruction, but Republicans also express misgivings over Lincoln’s policy. Some Republicans also express reservations over inadequacy of the Thirteenth Amendment to address the issues of Reconstruction, and over the amendment securing ratification by the necessary number of states. By April 1864, the US Senate passes the amendment.
The evolution of wartime free labor and the reorganizing of the plantation regimen in the sugar and cotton regions of the lower Mississippi valley during the first half of 1864. Federal military labor policy expands upon the rights of the freedpeople, in response to earlier criticism, but it still includes elements of involuntary labor. Sugar planters maintain their insistence that slavery still exists, but they accommodate themselves to new labor arrangements in order to operate their plantations. The cotton plantations also experience conflict between former slaveholders and freedpeople over labor, as well as jurisdictional disputes between Federal military and Treasury Department officials over administering the plantation-leasing system. Confederate raids, along with other difficulties, continue to disrupt development of the new labor system, and reenslavement remains a danger.
The Lower Mississippi Valley is more than just a distinct geographical region of the United States; it was central to the outcome of the Civil War and the destruction of slavery in the American South. Beginning with Lincoln's 1860 presidential election and concluding with the final ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, Freedom's Crescent explores the four states of this region that seceded and joined the Confederacy: Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. By weaving into a coherent narrative the major military campaigns that enveloped the region, the daily disintegration of slavery in the countryside, and political developments across the four states and in Washington DC, John C. Rodrigue identifies the Lower Mississippi Valley as the epicenter of emancipation in the South. A sweeping examination of one of the war's most important theaters, this book highlights the integral role this region played in transforming United States history.
In the seventeenth century, Veracruz was the busiest port in the wealthiest colony in the Americas. People and goods from five continents converged in the city, inserting it firmly into the early modern world's largest global networks. Nevertheless, Veracruz never attained the fame or status of other Atlantic ports. Veracruz and the Caribbean in the Seventeenth Century is the first English-language, book-length study of early modern Veracruz. Weaving elements of environmental, social, and cultural history, it examines both Veracruz's internal dynamics and its external relationships. Chief among Veracruz's relationships were its close ties within the Caribbean. Emphasizing relationships of small-scale trade and migration between Veracruz and Caribbean cities like Havana, Santo Domingo, and Cartagena, Veracruz and the Caribbean shows how the city's residents – especially its large African and Afro-descended communities – were able to form communities and define identities separate from those available in the Mexican mainland.
To date, studies of imprisonment and incarceration have focused on the growth of male-gendered penal institutions. This essay offers a provocative addition to the global study of the prison by tracing the emergence of a carceral system in West Africa in the nineteenth century that was organized around the female body. By examining archival testimonies of female prisoners held in what were called “native prisons” in colonial Gold Coast (southern Ghana), this essay shows how birthing, impregnation, and menstruation shaped West Africa penal practices, including the selection of the captives, the duration of their time in prison, and how the prison factored into the legal infrastructure around tort settlements for debts and crimes. The term “prison of the womb” is used here to describe how the West African prison held bloodlines captive, threatening the impregnation of a female kin member as a ticking clock for tort settlement. Furthermore, it will be shown that this institution was imperative to the spread of mercantile capitalism in nineteenth-century Gold Coast.
This review article discusses MacLean’s study of the ideas of a group of economists and their embracing by an oligarchy of business groups to implement a Neoliberal agenda and its implications for American democracy. It mainly focuses on the Nobel Prize winning economist James McGill Buchanan and the industrialist Charles Koch. Business groups provided funds to Buchanan and others to train right-minded people in the precepts of Neoliberalism, established think tanks and institutes to disseminate their views, and ‘directed’ and/or provided advice and draft legislation for Republican politicians at both the state and federal level. Inspiration for how to achieve this Neoliberal ‘revolution’ can be found in Lenin’s 1902 What is to be Done?. The Neoliberal attack on government and statism is consistent with Orwell’s notion of doublethink. It constitutes a weakening of those parts of the state which are inimical to the interests of a wealthy oligarchy, the federal government and agencies/government departments who are viewed as imposing costs (taxes) on and interfering with (regulating) the actions of the oligarchy, and strengthening other parts such as state governments, the judiciary, at both the state (especially) and federal level and police forces to protect and advance their interests.