Essay about Analysis Of The Movie ' Django Unchained '

1852 Words Apr 11th, 2015 8 Pages
Threatening a person to complete some undesirable task yields poor results. A mother threatening to reduce her children’s allowance, for instance, can certainly convince her offspring to clean their rooms. Her threat, however, comes at the cost of dirty socks shoved under the bed. Similarly, conventional wisdom suggests that slaves, resentful of their shackles, deliberately worked at a slow pace. Some slaves may have even sabotaged their masters’ equipment. History textbooks and even Hollywood make little attempt to change modern imagination’s perception of slavery. If anything, Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 movie Django Unchained only reinforced the perceived battle between slaves and their masters.
Of course, common economic sense would suggest that slave agriculture’s efficiency was larger than free agriculture’s efficiency because of slave resistance. Yet in their controversial 1974 book Time on the Cross, Fogel and Engerman counterintuitively argue that scale economies, “effective management, and [the] intensive utilization of labor and capital made southern slave agriculture 35 percent more efficient than the northern system of family farming.” Although critics have suggested otherwise, I will argue that Fogel and Engerman make a convincing case regarding slavery’s relative efficiency – even if their numerical figures are somewhat inflated. To do so, I will go beyond the cliometrics used in their book and illustrate the theoretical issues involved with some modern…

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