The arrival of the first steamboat, the New Orleans, in early 1812 touched off an economic revolution in the South. In states west of the Appalachian Mountains, running steamboats quickly grew into a booming business that would lead to new cultural practices and a stronger sectional identity.
In Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom, Robert Gudmestad examines the wide-ranging influence of steamboats on the southern economy. From carrying cash crops to market, to contributing to slave productivity, increasing the flexibility of labor, and connecting southerners to overlapping orbits of regional, national, and international markets, steamboats not only benefitted slaveholders and northern industries, but also affected cotton production.
This technology literally put people into motion, and travelers developed an array of unique cultural practices, from gambling to boat races. Gudmestad also asserts that the intersection of these riverboats and the environment reveals much about sectional identity in antebellum America. As federal funds backed railroad construction instead of clearing waterways for steamboats, southerners looked to coordinate their own economic development, free of national interests.
Steamboats and the Rise of the Cotton Kingdom offers new insights into the remarkable and significant history of transportation and commerce in the prewar South.
©2011 Louisiana State University Press (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks
"This thoroughly researched, well-written book expertly explains steamboats' role in the economic, social, political, and enviromental changes that created and transformed the cotton kingdom." (Michael Allen, author of The Confederation Congress and the Creation of the American Trans-Appalachian Settlement Policy)
"Packed with fresh insights into the Old South, this important book sheds light on the integral role that the steamboat played in making the cottom kingdom and connecting the interior South to the rest of the world." (Frank Towers, author of The Urban South and the Coming of the Civil War)
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.