Masters and Lords is an ambitious study that presents a comparative view of large planters in the antebellum American South (1820 - 60) and the Junkers of roughly contemporaneous Prussian East Elbia. The author claims that planters and Junkers were comparable because of structural and function analogies between plantations and Ritterguter (knights' estates) both being autocratic political communities and commercial agricultural enterprises. Starting from thestructural similarity of political autocracy and economic acquisitiveness on which both the plantations and Ritterguter were based, Bowman shows just how and why his two landed elites of agrarian capitalists are comparable. He then uses the converging lines of comparison to screen out and set in reliefthe crucial political and cultural differences that are the keys to explaining the contrasting behaviour of these two elites during the major nineteenth century crises that confronted them - the revolutionay crisis of 1848 - 49 in Germany and the secession crisis of 1860 - 61 in the U.S.
Oxford University Press Inc
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