1st Edition

American Planters and Irish Landlords in Comparative and Transnational Perspective
Lords of Land and Labor

ISBN 9780367698515
Published March 15, 2021 by Routledge
260 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

This is the first study to systematically explore similarities, differences, and connections between the histories of American planters and Irish landlords. The book focuses primarily on the comparative and transnational investigation of an antebellum Mississippi planter named John A. Quitman (1799–1858) and a nineteenth-century Irish landlord named Robert Dillon, Lord Clonbrock (1807–93), examining their economic behaviors, ideologies, labor relations, and political histories. Locating Quitman and Clonbrock firmly within their wider local, national, and international contexts, American Planters and Irish Landlords in Comparative and Transnational Perspective argues that the two men were representative of specific but comparable manifestations of agrarian modernity, paternalism, and conservatism that became common among the landed elites who dominated economy, society, and politics in the antebellum American South and in nineteenth-century Ireland. It also demonstrates that American planters and Irish landlords were connected by myriad direct and indirect transnational links between their societies, including transatlantic intellectual cultures, mutual participation in global capitalism, and the mass migration of people from Ireland to the United States that occurred during the nineteenth century.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Comparing and Connecting Lords of Land and Labor

1. Ireland, the American South, and Rural Subjection, c. 1550–1800

2. The South’s Second Slavery and Ireland’s Second Landlordism: John A. Quitman’s and Lord Clonbrock’s Economic Attitudes and Behaviors

3. Planter and Landlord Ideologies: Quitman, Clonbrock, and Paternalism

4. Varieties of Paternalism in Practice: Labor Relations on the Quitman Plantations and the Clonbrock Estates

5. "We Have Become a Second Ireland": Landed Elites, Unionism, and Nationalism in the Antebellum South and Nineteenth-Century Ireland


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Cathal Smith is a lecturer in English-speaking History and Cultures at Zhejiang International Studies University, Hangzhou, China.