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Empire of Cotton Book Summary : "The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality in the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Sven Beckert's rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world's most significant manufacturing industry combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in 1780, these men created a potent innovation (Beckert calls it war capitalism, capitalism based on unrestrained actions of private individuals; the domination of masters over slaves, of colonial capitalists over indigenous inhabitants), and crucially affected the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia. We see how this thing called war capitalism shaped the rise of cotton, and then was used as a lever to transform the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, farmers and merchants, workers and factory owners. In this as in so many other ways, Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the modern world. The result is a book as unsettling and disturbing as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist"--Résumé de l'éditeur.
Empire of Cotton Book Summary : The epic story of the rise and fall of the empire of cotton, its centrality to the world economy, and its making and remaking of global capitalism. Cotton is so ubiquitous as to be almost invisible, yet understanding its history is key to understanding the origins of modern capitalism. Sven Beckert’s rich, fascinating book tells the story of how, in a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful statesmen recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to change the world. Here is the story of how, beginning well before the advent of machine production in the 1780s, these men captured ancient trades and skills in Asia, and combined them with the expropriation of lands in the Americas and the enslavement of African workers to crucially reshape the disparate realms of cotton that had existed for millennia, and how industrial capitalism gave birth to an empire, and how this force transformed the world. The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.
American Colonies Book Summary : An acclaimed historian challenges the traditional Anglocentric focus of colonial history by examining the various cultural influences from which "America" emerged and documenting the intricate ecological, ethnic, and economic history of the New World, from the Canadian north to the Pacific rim. Reprint.
The Renaissance Bazaar Book Summary : More than ever before, the Renaissance stands as one of the defining moments in world history. Between 1400 and 1600, European perceptions of society, culture, politics and even humanity itself emerged in ways that continue to affect not only Europe but the entire world. This wide-rangingexploration of the Renaissance sees the period as a time of unprecedented intellectual excitement and cultural experimentation and interaction on a global scale, alongside a darker side of religion, intolerance, slavery, and massive inequality of wealth and status.It guides the reader through the key issues that defined the period, from its art, architecture, and literature, to advancements in the fields of science, trade, and travel. In its incisive account of the complexities of the political and religious upheavals of the period, the book argues thatEurope's reciprocal relationship with its eastern neighbours offers us a timely perspective on the Renaissance as a moment of global inclusiveness that still has much to teach us today.
River of Dark Dreams Book Summary : River of Dark Dreams places the Cotton Kingdom at the center of worldwide webs of exchange and exploitation that extended across oceans and drove an insatiable hunger for new lands. This bold reaccounting dramatically alters our understanding of American slavery and its role in U.S. expansionism, global capitalism, and the upcoming Civil War.
Seeds of Empire Book Summary : By the late 1810s, a global revolution in cotton had remade the U.S.-Mexico border, bringing wealth and waves of Americans to the Gulf Coast while also devastating the lives and villages of Mexicans in Texas. In response, Mexico threw open its northern territories to American farmers in hopes that cotton could bring prosperity to the region. Thousands of Anglo-Americans poured into Texas, but their insistence that slavery accompany them sparked pitched battles across Mexico. An extraordinary alliance of Anglos and Mexicans in Texas came together to defend slavery against abolitionists in the Mexican government, beginning a series of fights that culminated in the Texas Revolution. In the aftermath, Anglo-Americans rebuilt the Texas borderlands into the most unlikely creation: the first fully committed slaveholders' republic in North America. Seeds of Empire tells the remarkable story of how the cotton revolution of the early nineteenth century transformed northeastern Mexico into the western edge of the United States, and how the rise and spectacular collapse of the Republic of Texas as a nation built on cotton and slavery proved to be a blueprint for the Confederacy of the 1860s.
Cotton Book Summary : Today's world textile and garment trade is valued at a staggering $425 billion. We are told that under the pressure of increasing globalisation, it is India and China that are the new world manufacturing powerhouses. However, this is not a new phenomenon: until the industrial revolution, Asia manufactured great quantities of colourful printed cottons that were sold to places as far afield as Japan, West Africa and Europe. Cotton explores this earlier globalised economy and its transformation after 1750 as cotton led the way in the industrialisation of Europe. By the early nineteenth century, India, China and the Ottoman Empire switched from world producers to buyers of European cotton textiles, a position that they retained for over two hundred years. This is a fascinating and insightful story which ranges from Asian and European technologies and African slavery to cotton plantations in the Americas and consumer desires across the globe.
From Cotton Mill to Business Empire Book Summary : "The demise of state-owned enterprises, the transformation of collectives into shareholding cooperatives, and the creation of investment opportunities through stock markets indicate China’s movement from a socialist, state-controlled economy toward a socialist market economy. Yet, contrary to high expectations that China’s new enterprises will become like corporations in capitalist countries, management often remains under the control of the onetime bureaucrats who ran the socialist enterprises.The concepts, definitions, and interpretations of property rights, corporate structures, and business practices in contemporary China have historical, institutional, and cultural roots. In tracing the development under founder Zhang Jian (1853–1926) and his successors of the Dasheng Cotton Mill in Nantong into a business group encompassing, among other concerns, cotton, flour, and oil mills, land development companies, and shipping firms, the author documents the growth of regional enterprises as local business empires from the 1890s until the foundation of the People’s Republic in 1949. She focuses on the legal and managerial evolution of limited-liability firms in China, particularly issues of control and accountability; the introduction and management of industrial work in the countryside; and the integration and interdependency of local, national, and international markets in Republican China."
Cotton and Race Across the Atlantic Book Summary : The story of how African farmers, African-American scientists, and British businessmen struggled to turn colonial Africa into a major cotton exporter.
Study Guide Book Summary : SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides for challenging works of literature. This 88-page guide for "Empire of Cotton" by Sven Beckert includes detailed chapter summaries and analysis covering 14 chapters, as well as several more in-depth sections of expert-written literary analysis. Featured content includes commentary on major characters, 25 important quotes, essay topics, and key themes like War Capitalism Versus Industrial Capitalism and The State's Power in Promoting Capitalism.
Slavery s Capitalism Book Summary : During the nineteenth century, the United States entered the ranks of the world's most advanced and dynamic economies. At the same time, the nation sustained an expansive and brutal system of human bondage. This was no mere coincidence. Slavery's Capitalism argues for slavery's centrality to the emergence of American capitalism in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. According to editors Sven Beckert and Seth Rockman, the issue is not whether slavery itself was or was not capitalist but, rather, the impossibility of understanding the nation's spectacular pattern of economic development without situating slavery front and center. American capitalism—renowned for its celebration of market competition, private property, and the self-made man—has its origins in an American slavery predicated on the abhorrent notion that human beings could be legally owned and compelled to work under force of violence. Drawing on the expertise of sixteen scholars who are at the forefront of rewriting the history of American economic development, Slavery's Capitalism identifies slavery as the primary force driving key innovations in entrepreneurship, finance, accounting, management, and political economy that are too often attributed to the so-called free market. Approaching the study of slavery as the originating catalyst for the Industrial Revolution and modern capitalism casts new light on American credit markets, practices of offshore investment, and understandings of human capital. Rather than seeing slavery as outside the institutional structures of capitalism, the essayists recover slavery's importance to the American economic past and prompt enduring questions about the relationship of market freedom to human freedom. Contributors: Edward E. Baptist, Sven Beckert, Daina Ramey Berry, Kathryn Boodry, Alfred L. Brophy, Stephen Chambers, Eric Kimball, John Majewski, Bonnie Martin, Seth Rockman, Daniel B. Rood, Caitlin Rosenthal, Joshua D. Rothman, Calvin Schermerhorn, Andrew Shankman, Craig Steven Wilder.
American Capitalism Book Summary : The United States has long epitomized capitalism. From its enterprising shopkeepers, wildcat banks, violent slave plantations, huge industrial working class, and raucous commodities trade to its world-spanning multinationals, its massive factories, and the centripetal power of New York in the world of finance, America has come to symbolize capitalism for two centuries and more. But an understanding of the history of American capitalism is as elusive as it is urgent. What does it mean to make capitalism a subject of historical inquiry? What is its potential across multiple disciplines, alongside different methodologies, and in a range of geographic and chronological settings? And how does a focus on capitalism change our understanding of American history? American Capitalism presents a sampling of cutting-edge research from prominent scholars. These broad-minded and rigorous essays venture new angles on finance, debt, and credit; women’s rights; slavery and political economy; the racialization of capitalism; labor beyond industrial wage workers; and the production of knowledge, including the idea of the economy, among other topics. Together, the essays suggest emerging themes in the field: a fascination with capitalism as it is made by political authority, how it is claimed and contested by participants, how it spreads across the globe, and how it can be reconceptualized without being universalized. A major statement for a wide-open field, this book demonstrates the breadth and scope of the work that the history of capitalism can provoke.
The Spinning World Book Summary : This collection of essays examines the history of cotton textiles at a global level over the period 1200-1850. It provides new answers to two questions: what is it about cotton that made it the paradigmatic first global commodity? And second, why did cotton industries in different parts of the world follow different paths of development?
A Frayed History Book Summary : Once the envy of the world for its quality and variety, Indian cotton today is mired in uncertainty and despair. Though India is the largest producer of cotton, its farmers are trapped in debt, and thousands choose to kill themselves than face an ignominious fate. Handloom weavers, once proud standard-bearers of the country's artisanal heritage, are barely able to scrape together a living. To make matters worse, there is the back-breaking competition with artificial fibres. Meena Menon and Uzramma take us through the fascinating history of cotton in India, examining its illustrious origins, its blood-stained colonial heritage, and the events that led to its current crisis. Amid the bleakness, the authors suggest a silver lining: reviving indigenous cotton—and the handloom industry that spun its fame. Through painstaking research, Menon and Uzramma show that with the right combination of friendly policies and championing the Indian cotton brand, it is possible to restore the fabric's past glory. This is an important book not just for lovers of cotton but anyone concerned with the struggles of Indian agriculture in a brutal, fast-changing market.
The American Bourgeoisie Book Summary : This volume engages a fundamental disciplinary question about this period in American history: how did the bourgeoisie consolidate their power and fashion themselves not simply as economic leaders but as cultural innovators and arbiters? It also explains how culture helped Americans form both a sense of shared identity and a sense of difference.
A Nation Among Nations Book Summary : A provocative new book that shows us why we must put American history firmly in a global context--from 1492 to today Americans like to tell their country's story as if the United States were naturally autonomous and self-sufficient, with characters, ideas, and situations unique to itself. Thomas Bender asks us to rethink this "exceptionalism" and to reconsider the conventional narrative. He proposes that America has grappled with circumstances, doctrines, new developments, and events that other nations, too, have faced, and that we can only benefit from recognizing this. Bender's exciting argument begins with the discovery of the Americas at a time when peoples everywhere first felt the transforming effects of oceanic travel and trade. He then reconsiders our founding Revolution, occurring in an age of rebellion on many continents; the Civil War, happening when many countries were redefining their core beliefs about the nature of freedom and the meaning of nationhood; and the later imperialism that pitted the United States against Germany, Spain, France, and England. Industrialism and urbanization, laissez-faire economics, capitalism and socialism, and new technologies are other factors that Bender views in the light of global developments. A Nation Among Nations is a passionate, persuasive book that makes clear what damage is done when we let the old view of America alone in the world falsify our history. Bender boldly challenges us to think beyond our borders.
Empire of Guns Book Summary : NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF 2018 BY THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE AND SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE By a prize-winning young historian, an authoritative work that reframes the Industrial Revolution, the expansion of British empire, and emergence of industrial capitalism by presenting them as inextricable from the gun trade "A fascinating and important glimpse into how violence fueled the industrial revolution, Priya Satia's book stuns with deep scholarship and sparkling prose."--Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies We have long understood the Industrial Revolution as a triumphant story of innovation and technology. Empire of Guns, a rich and ambitious new book by award-winning historian Priya Satia, upends this conventional wisdom by placing war and Britain's prosperous gun trade at the heart of the Industrial Revolution and the state's imperial expansion. Satia brings to life this bustling industrial society with the story of a scandal: Samuel Galton of Birmingham, one of Britain's most prominent gunmakers, has been condemned by his fellow Quakers, who argue that his profession violates the society's pacifist principles. In his fervent self-defense, Galton argues that the state's heavy reliance on industry for all of its war needs means that every member of the British industrial economy is implicated in Britain's near-constant state of war. Empire of Guns uses the story of Galton and the gun trade, from Birmingham to the outermost edges of the British empire, to illuminate the nation's emergence as a global superpower, the roots of the state's role in economic development, and the origins of our era's debates about gun control and the "military-industrial complex" -- that thorny partnership of government, the economy, and the military. Through Satia's eyes, we acquire a radically new understanding of this critical historical moment and all that followed from it. Sweeping in its scope and entirely original in its approach, Empire of Guns is a masterful new work of history -- a rigorous historical argument with a human story at its heart.
This Vast Southern Empire Book Summary : Most leaders of the U.S. expansion in the years before the Civil War were southern slaveholders. As Matthew Karp shows, they were nationalists, not separatists. When Lincoln’s election broke their grip on foreign policy, these elites formed their own Confederacy not merely to preserve their property but to shape the future of the Atlantic world.