Family-Based Internal Economies

Damian Alan Pargas

in The Quarters and the Fields

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780813035147
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038773 | DOI:
Family-Based Internal Economies

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Engaging in what scholars have often termed “independent production,” slaves often developed limited, and in some cases even extensive, family-based economies during their free time. The term “internal production” is perhaps more accurate than “independent production” in describing enslaved people's private economic activities, since these economies clearly did not develop outside of the institution of slavery, but rather within its internal structure. This chapter shows that family-based internal economies were inextricably interwoven with the broader demands of slave-based agriculture and especially with such factors as work patterns and master-sponsored labor incentives, giving slaveholders the ultimate say—both directly and indirectly—in slave families' opportunities to acquire small luxuries.

Keywords: economic activities; family-based economy; private income; slave-based agriculture; work pattern; master–slave relations

Chapter.  11415 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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