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The Republic's New Clothes: Making Silk in the Antebellum United States

Marsh, Ben (2012) The Republic's New Clothes: Making Silk in the Antebellum United States. Agricultural History, 86 (4). pp. 206-234. ISSN 0002-1482. (doi:10.3098/ah.2012.86.4.206) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://www.dx.doi.org/10.3098/ah.2012.86.4.206

Abstract

Between the American Revolution and the 1840s, silk cultivation was pursued enthusiastically across the United States. Although scorned at first, silk's republican virtues were rediscovered and rearticulated in the antebellum era by a range of proponents. Owing to an evolving infrastructure that integrated the press, the post, and agricultural societies, the appeal of silk drew in farmers and manufacturers of all classes and across many regions. Their disparate circumstances and motivations made a peculiar interest group, but one that secured considerable political and promotional support. More than just an exercise on paper, American silk was widely produced, thanks especially to the labor of women. Eventually, the far-flung community of sericulturists fell prey to environmental and labor-related limitations. But the speed of their downfall, linked to a speculative bubble in mulberry trees, was also due to the distinctive features of their agricultural reformism and its creative relationship with credibility.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.3098/ah.2012.86.4.206
Subjects: E History America
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of History
Depositing User: Ben Marsh
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2015 09:57 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 14:53 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/49647 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Marsh, Ben: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7056-1813
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