Lecture 12. Savannah: The Triangle Trade and the Architectures of the Slave Economy

This site explores the impact of slavery through cotton and the railroad by examining and how the slave economy made through its control over cotton and rice. Savannah, with its famous plan and mythical utopian origins, uses slavery, cotton, rice, and architecture to grow from a small colonial outpost to a lynchpin in the global economy. Christianity, Classical architectures, the railroad and extractive violent capitalism were used justified inhumanity and cruelty over one hundred years before the present where 13 million tourists stroll through its curated idyllic squares largely ignorant of the town’s history. Savannah is also a crucial part of the history of the United States. Indeed, most of the famous and beautiful homes that make Savannah such a popular site was built on the profits of the slave trade. The most violent battle of the Revolution took place in Savannah, attended by none other than the future Emperor of Haiti, Henri Christophe. Soon after the war, Telfair tutor Eli Whitney revolutionized cotton production here. The largest industrial plantation in the world called Savannah home. Savannah hosted the largest single slave sale in United States history. Savannah is also where the Civil War arguably began with a highly public and controversial slave smuggling trial. Savannah is also where it ended, saved from destruction by its warehouses full of valuable cotton. Savannah is now a tourist centric town; however, its architecture reveals how it once played a vital role in the slave economy, a legacy that continues to haunt the city.

supporting documents:


Lecture Notes