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The long shadow of slavery: the persistence of slave owners in Southern law-making

Bellani, Luna, Hager, Anselm and Maurer, Stephan E. (2020) The long shadow of slavery: the persistence of slave owners in Southern law-making. CEP Discussion Papers (1714). Centre for Economic Performance, LSE, London, UK.

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This paper documents the persistence of the Southern slave owning elite in political power after the end of the American Civil War. We draw on a database of Texan state legislators between 1860 and 1900 and link them to their or their ancestors’ slaveholdings in 1860. We then show that former slave owners made up more than half of nearly each legislature’s members until the late 1890s. Legislators with slave owning backgrounds differ systematically from those without, being more likely to represent the Democratic party and more likely to work in an agricultural occupation. Regional characteristics matter for this persistence, as counties with higher soil suitability for growing cotton on average elect more former slave owners.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Authors
Divisions: LSE
Subjects: E History America > E151 United States (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D204 Modern History
K Law > K Law (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 14:51
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 23:52

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