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A Deplorable Scarcity: The Failure of Industrialization in the Slave Economy


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In this major reexamination of the southern industrial economy and its failure to progress during the antebellum period, the authors show that slavery and its consequences were not alone in inhibiting industrialization. They argue, rather, that the planters hesitated to invest in high-risk enterprises and worried that industrialization would undermine their authority. Data gathered from census reports permits an economic analysis that was previously not feasible.