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Studies of nineteenth-century southern political economy abound, but they usually focus historical analysis on either the antebellum or the postbellum periods. Scholars often interpret the war itself only as either the terminal moment for the southern slave system or the seed of later political and economic trends in southern life. One can only speculate that the paucity of historical interpretation of Confederate political economy may be a result of several factors. The Confederate experiment existed only for a relatively short duration and ultimately failed, thus a broad interpretation of Confederate political economy may seem fruitless to some historians. In addition to the problems of brevity and eventual failure of the Confederate experience, the focus of most Civil War studies in political economy continues to be the industrial mobilization of northern society and the consequent postbellum rise to industrial prominence of the victorious northern states.
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