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Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867Series 3, Volume 2: Land and Labor, 1866-1867$
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Rene Hayden, Anthony E. Kaye, and Kate Masur

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781469607429

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9781469611099_Hayden

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Commerce, Credit, and Debt

Commerce, Credit, and Debt

(p.642) 6 Commerce, Credit, and Debt
Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861–1867

René Hayden

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter examines the area of finance and how emancipation influenced this side of the new life of freedom for former slaves. Credit was fundamental to the new free-labor economy of the South after the Civil War. Relations of borrowing and lending were crucial to all inhabitants. Credit relations linked Southerners of all types to the world economy. However, most borrowing and lending was enmeshed in local relationships. With emancipation, former slaves emerged as economic actors in their own right, assuming new, more prominent places in networks of credit and debt. Questions of credit and debt assumed signal importance in relationships between employers and laborers.

Keywords:   finance, emancipation, borrowing, lending, laborers, employers, free-labor economy, former slaves, credit

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