What does historian Frank Tannenbaum mean when he states that "nothing escaped, nothing and no one," from southern slavery? 

When Frank Tannenbaum states that nothing escaped from southern slavery, he means that the institution of slavery was so established in society that it would be impossible to find a person or culture that escaped its influence. People who were privileged enough to not be directly affected by slavery were still influenced through federal laws and taxes. Even escaped slaves didn't truly escape the effects of slavery.

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This quote is from one of the earliest, and most important comparative studies of slavery, Slave and Citizen by Frank Tannenbaum. In this book, published in the late 1940s, Tannenbaum noted the similarities between "slave societies," or societies where slavery is the dominant mode of labor. In these societies, which...

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This quote is from one of the earliest, and most important comparative studies of slavery, Slave and Citizen by Frank Tannenbaum. In this book, published in the late 1940s, Tannenbaum noted the similarities between "slave societies," or societies where slavery is the dominant mode of labor. In these societies, which included Brazil, Cuba, and the Deep South, Tannenbaum argued that slavery shaped all societal institutions, not just those that were immediately and obviously tied to slavery.

Legal systems, culture, and even the family were shaped by slavery. In the Deep South, for example, even whites who did not own slaves could be required by law to serve on militias and on slave patrols that policed the enslaved population, or, at the very least, they would have to pay a tax to support these institutions. So in writing an essay addressing this question, one would have to illustrate the various ways that slavery's influence could be seen throughout a slave society. How did it affect religion in a society, for example? How was the legal system set up to maintain slavery, and how did this affect all people within a society? What were the economic consequences of slavery for poor whites? What was the relationship between the political leaders of slave societies and the people they governed? These are the questions that are raised by the quote, which underscores the pervasive influence of slavery in these societies.

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