If railroads represented an outstanding accomplishment of the South, Phillips argued, the railroads also demonstrated the limits of the antebellum economy. Although railroads were essential to the South's livelihood, the technological revolution did not transform the region or liberate it from the the cotton- and slave-based economy that Phillips believed stunted its growth. Phillips asserted that slavery ""locked up"" capital, which could not then be released for other types of development. Therefore he saw southern railroads chiefly as an improvement in carrying staple goods to the coast-- a traditional economic system--rather than dynamically contributing to the region's evolution and diversification.
This Southern Classics edition includes a new introduction by Aaron W. Marrs that chronicles the circumstances surrounding Phillips's writing of this book and illustrates how contemporary historians continue to debate the social and economic issues Phillips raised.
Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 599 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
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