Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Cotton CapitalistsAmerican Jewish Entrepreneurship in the Reconstruction Era$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael R. Cohen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479879700

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479879700.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 18 September 2021

The Antebellum Cotton Economy

The Antebellum Cotton Economy

(p.24) 1 The Antebellum Cotton Economy
Cotton Capitalists

Michael R. Cohen

NYU Press

The first chapter begins in the decade prior to the Civil War and argues that, while Jews did not play a major role in the antebellum cotton industry, three particular developments in these years set the stage for postbellum mercantile success. First, Jewish merchants, who often began by peddling throughout the countryside, began to open general and dry goods stores in the interior towns of the Gulf South. When general stores became the primary creditors of the region, Jewish merchants were in the right place at the right time and found themselves at the center of global capitalism. Second, many of these antebellum firms accumulated capital, and their proprietors invested wisely to grow their businesses and were poised to become major players in the postbellum economy. But a third antebellum factor that set the stage for postbellum success was the development of family and ethnic networks that linked partners within firms, brought global capital and credit to Southern Jewish firms, and then allowed those firms to offer credit to other Jewish firms throughout the Gulf South. While these networks did not lead to widespread success for Jewish cotton merchants in the antebellum years, they facilitated a postbellum niche economy.

Keywords:   antebellum, cotton, general stores, credit, peddling, networks

NYU Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.