Transforming the Cotton Frontier: Madison County, Alabama, 1800–1840 (Cambridge Companions to Literature)

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9780807121931: Transforming the Cotton Frontier: Madison County, Alabama, 1800–1840 (Cambridge Companions to Literature)

In this innovative study, Daniel S. Dupre offers a history of the first generation of one community on the cotton frontier of the Old Southwest, from the speculative schemes of the late eighteenth century to the Panic of 1837 that ended the "flush times." Rural Madison County, in north Alabama's fertile Tennessee Valley, attracted a diverse population of planters, slaves, and yeoman farmers that differed from that of Huntsville, the commercial heart of the county, which developed into an ambitious mercantile and professional center. Dupre's examinations of settlement, banking, land relief, internal improvements, crime, benevolence and reform, religion, factional and party conflict, and slave disorder clearly reveal the tensions and bonds existing among these opposing groups as the region struggled to transcend its frontier origins. In the process of building societies on the cotton frontier, citizens struggled to reconcile the aims of subsistence and commerce, debated the proper balance of liberty and order, and argued about representation and democracy. Thus, more than a local history, Transforming the Cotton Frontier explores the intersection of community and ideology and provides a glimpse of the broad forces of change sweeping through the early American republic.

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About the Author:

Daniel S. Dupre is associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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