A Symposium on the American Civil War and Slavery

in Historical Materialism
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On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War, Historical Materialism has brought together some of the most significant Marxist scholars working in this area to debate the issues. This text introduces some of the questions raised by the Civil War and Southern slavery for Marxists and introduces the essays that follow.

A Symposium on the American Civil War and Slavery

in Historical Materialism



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AndersonKevin B., Marx at the Margins: On Nationalism Ethnicity and Non-Western Societies, (University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2010).

AshworthJohn, Slavery Capitalism and Politics in the Antebellum Republic Volume 1: Commerce and Compromise 1820–1850, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1995).

AshworthJohn, Slavery Capitalism and Politics in the Antebellum Republic Volume 2: The Coming of the Civil War 1850–1861, (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2007).

BanajiJairus, Theory as History: Essays on Modes of Production and Exploitation Historical Materialism, (Brill, Book Series, Leiden 2010).

BeardCharles A.BeardMary R., The Rise of American Civilization, (The Macmillan Company, Inc, New York 1927).

BlackburnRobin, The Overthrow of Colonial Slavery: 1776–1848, (Verso, London 1998 [1988]).

BlackburnRobin, The Making of New World Slavery: From the Baroque to the Modern 1492–1800, (Verso, London 1999 [1997]).

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FinleyMoses, Ancient Slavery and Modern Ideology, (Penguin, Harmondsworth 1983).

FogelRobert WilliamEngermanStanley L., Time on the Cross: The Economics of Negro Slavery, (W.W. Norton, New York 1995).

FonerEric, Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution 1863–1877, (Harper and Row, New York 1988).

Fox-GenoveseElizabethGenoveseEugene D., The Fruits of Merchant Capital: Slavery and Bourgeois Property in the Rise and Expansion of Capitalism, (Oxford University Press, Oxford 1983).

GenoveseEugene D., Roll Jordan Roll: The World the Slaves Made, (Vintage Books, New York 1976).

GenoveseEugene D., The World the Slaveholders Made: Two Essays in Interpretation, (Wesleyan University Press, Hanover, NH. 1988).

GutmanHerbert G., The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750–1925, (Vintage, New York 1977).

'‘Symposium on Chris Wickham’s Framing the Early Middle Ages' (2011) 19(1) Historical Materialism: 37-231.

LevineBruce, The Spirit of 1848: German Immigrants Labor Conflict and the Coming of the Civil War, (University of Illinois Press, Urbana 1992).

LosurdoDomenicoElliottGregory, Liberalism: a Counter-History, (Verso, London 2011).

MarxKarl, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy Volume I, (Lawrence and Wishart, London 1954 [1867]).

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MarxKarl, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy Volume III, (Lawrence and Wishart, London 1959 [1894]).

MarxKarl, Theories of Surplus-Value Part II, (Progress Publishers, Moscow 1968 [1863]).

MarxKarlNicolausMartin, Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy (Rough Draft), (Penguin, Harmondsworth 1973a [1939/41]).

MarxKarl, '‘The Civil War in the United States’', in Surveys From Exile, (Penguin, Harmondsworth 1973b [1861]).

MarxKarlFowkesBen, Capital: A Critique of Political Economy Volume 1, (Penguin, Harmondsworth 1979 [1867]).

MintzSidney Wilfred, '‘Slavery in Emergent Capitalism’', in Laura Foner and Eugene D. Genovese (eds), Slavery in the New World, (Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs 1969).

PattersonH. Orlando, '‘Slavery in Human History’' (1979) I(117) New Left Review: 31-67.

PostCharles, '‘The American Road to Capitalism’' (1982) I(133) New Left Review: 30-51.

RoedigerDavid R., The Wages of Whiteness: Race and the Making of the American Working Class, (Verso Books, London 2007).

WallersteinImmanuel, Historical Capitalism, (Verso, London 1983).

WilliamsEric, Capitalism and Slavery, (Ian Randle, Kingston 2005).

WoodEllen Meiksins, Empire of Capital, (Verso, London 2003).


Ashworth 1995; Ashworth 2007.


Losurdo 2011.


See also Post 1982.


See for example Wood 2003.


Banaji 2010p. 11 although we should note that Banaji himself rejects ‘articulation’-models.


Beard and Beard 1927.

9 .

Finley 1983; Blackburn 1998; Blackburn 1999.


Roediger 2007; Allen 1997.


Levine 1992.


See also Anderson 2010pp. 79–114.


Roediger 2007; Allen 1997.


Marx 1973ap. 98.


Marx 1959p. 791.


Marx 1973bp. 351.


Marx 1973ap. 513.


Marx 1968pp. 302–3 cited in Banaji 2010 p. 67.


Marx 1954pp. 226–7.


Marx 1955pp. 49–50.


Williams 2005.


Marx 1979p. 915.


Wallerstein 1983.


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