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By Robert Higgs

Festival and Coercion: Blacks within the American financial system, 1865-1914 is a reinterpretation of black financial historical past within the half-century after Emancipation. Its crucial subject is that monetary festival and racial coercion together made up our minds the fabric of the blacks. The e-book identifies a couple of aggressive methods that performed very important roles in holding blacks from the racial coercion to which they have been notably weak. It additionally files the significant financial profits learned by means of the black inhabitants among 1865 and 1914. Professor Higgs's account is iconoclastic. It seeks to reorganize the current conceptualization of the interval and to redirect destiny research of black monetary background within the post-Emancipation interval. It increases new questions and indicates new solutions to previous questions, announcing that a number of the outdated questions are misleadingly framed or now not worthy pursuing in any respect.

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Extra resources for Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American economy 1865-1914

Sample text

W. Howard observed: [E]very railroad train during this winter has been loaded with negroes going to the west under promise of increased wages, and the unfortunate people have in many cases been made the subject of infamous speculation. It is estimated that twenty-five thousand negroes have left South Carolina this winter for Florida and the west, and the number which have left Georgia is much greater, as for some time the average number passing through Atlanta has been 1,000 daily. This depletion of labor still actively continues, and it is a matter of increasing importance to the planters.

Although the inferences made about mortality differ according to the assumptions employed in manipulating the data, one thing seems quite clear: at least from 1 900 forward, the trend of black mortality was downward. Knowledge of the trend before 1 900 is more speculative, but i,t appears likely that some improvement in life expectancy did occur in the late nineteenth century. Indirect evidence of a reduction in black mortality appears in the age composition of total deaths in the death registration area early in the twentieth century: Of the total deaths at all ages, the proportion occurring in the ages under 25 years has tended to decline during the period [1900-1915].

Similar increases are shown for females. n Unfortunately, this evidence applies only to the black population in the North and in large Southern cities. The bulk of the black popula­ tion, inhabiting the rural South, is almost wholly unrepresented in the pre-1915 area of death registration. 12 Unfortunately, despite the demo- The people 21 graphic sophistication that appears t o underlie them, these estimates are difficult to believe. Eblen's figures show that over the entire period of 90 years the black expectation of life at birth ranged between 33 and 34 years, and that the crude death rate changed between 30 and 3 1 deaths per 1,000 population.

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