Lecture Description

W.E.B. Du Bois’s magisterial Black Reconstruction provides keys for understanding settler colonialism and US expansion west of the Mississippi River. In this lecture, I draw from Du Bois’s argument about the counter-revolution of property as the historical and political context for the completion of the southern transcontinental railroad route. Following the historically intersecting paths of the Colorado River and the Southern Pacific Railroad between 1850 and 1930, we can chart a historical development of a regional economy rooted in monopoly control of agriculture, transportation, and mining, core components of continental imperialism in the Colorado River basin.

CATEGORIES

African American Capitalism

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