The Political and Economic Geography of Southern Secession

39 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2016 Last revised: 17 Jul 2019

See all articles by Mario Chacon

Mario Chacon

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Jeffrey L. Jensen

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

We study the economic and political determinants of the Southern secession movement of 1860-1861. While economic historians emphasize the importance of slavery to the South's economy as the primary factor behind the movement, we demonstrate the important role that political inequality among whites played in facilitating secession. In particular, secession was decided in state conventions, which allowed secessionists to exploit biases to representation and may have been pivotal in the key states of Alabama and Georgia. Our results suggest that the region's investment in slavery alone may not be sufficient to explain the electoral success of the movement in the biggest Lower South states.

Keywords: Secession, US Political Development, Representation and Voting Behavior

JEL Classification: D72, P16, P26, H77

Suggested Citation

Chacon, Mario L and Jensen, Jeffrey, The Political and Economic Geography of Southern Secession (July 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2827503 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2827503

Mario L Chacon (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

HOME PAGE: http://mariochacon.com

Jeffrey Jensen

New York University (NYU) - New York University Abu Dhabi ( email )

PO Box 129188
Abu Dhabi
United Arab Emirates

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