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Ch. 16 Notes The South and the Slavery Controversy

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1 Ch. 16 Notes The South and the Slavery Controversy
After the invention of the cotton gin, slavery explodes in the south, and with the end of the slave trade, southern slave owners have to rely on the natural reproduction to increase their slave numbers. The south develops a one crop, plantation economy that revolves around growing cotton using slave labor – this will be economically beneficial for the south, the north and Great Britain. However, it will be very wasteful as well – excessive cotton growth spoiled the land – it will eventually hobble the economic development of the region as a whole. It also discourages immigration to the south – immigrants don’t want to compete with slaves for jobs. Immigrants (generally Irish) are brought in to do the most dangerous jobs – slaves are too valuable to risk losing.

2 The Planter “Aristocracy”
The wealthy plantation owners own most of the slaves and the best land of the south – the dominate the south both socially and politically. About one-fourth of the south owns slaves, the rest are poor, subsistence farmers who manage to scratch out a living – they can’t afford to buy slaves. In the mountainous areas of the south, they own no slaves at all.

3 The Treatment of Slaves
As a general rule, slaves are given adequate provisions because they are such a valuable commodity and are their health is necessary for the labor they do. Some owners use incentives to encourage their slaves to work hard, giving them extra food, clothing or days off in return for the amount of work they do. When it comes to punishment, slaves are whipped, and it is usually severe to serve as a detriment to the others.

4 A Slave Who Has Been Whipped

5 Treatment of Slaves Slaves of all ages worked in the fields.
The older slaves worked in the houses or took care of the children who were too young to work. Those who had specific skills were often hired out – some were actually able to keep the money they earned and used it to purchase their freedom.

6 The Sell of Slaves Slaves were usually sold at public auctions.
They would be put on display and potential buyers would be able to examine them before they bid. One of the biggest fears of slaves was that their families would be split up – it was a frequent occurrence. That being said, slaves still managed to establish stable, family relationships and most slave children grew up in homes with two parents – even though slave marriages were not legally recognized. Slaves had no legal rights what so ever.

7 The Treatment of Slaves
Slaves were not allowed to be educated – the south’s biggest fear was that they would read abolitionist materials and want their freedom – especially since in the deep south (Black Belt) slaves typically outnumbered whites. Slaves were encouraged to go to church, although they were not allowed to meet without a white person present - often they went to white churches and sat in the “slave gallery”.

8 Slave Resistance The most common form of resistance was to work slowly. Other methods included: burning cotton. breaking machinery (gins). poising their owners. outright rebellion.

9 Slave Rebellions No successful slave rebellions occurred in the south.
The most famous was led by Nat Turner in Virginia – around sixty whites, mostly women and children, were killed before Turner and his men were stopped. The rebellions that did occur led to even stricter regulation of slaves.

10 Free Blacks There were some free blacks living in the south.
Their lives were filled with prejudice and discrimination because white southerners feared they would encourage the slaves to rebel. Their legal rights were strictly limited and they were typically required to carry papers proving their freedom. One of the most successful free black men in the south was William Johnson, of Natchez.

11 Abolitionism The belief that slaver should be done away with, or abolished, was known as abolitionism. Most abolitionists were viewed as extremists whose views could lead to a civil war. Also, most northerners weren’t thrilled with the idea of freeing the slaves – they would just be competition for jobs. The earliest abolitionist movement was the American Colonization Society – their goal was to do away with slavery by getting rid of all African-Americans – it falls apart because the south uses it to try to get rid of free blacks while keeping their slaves. The entire attempt showed the overall racist attitude of the country in regard to African slaves.

12 Benjamin Lundy 1. Benjamin Lundy was one of the earliest abolitionists – he favored freeing the slaves gradually.

13 William Lloyd Garrison
William Lloyd Garrison was much more radical and called for the immediate emancipation of all slaves in the U.S. He also called for the north to secede from the U.S. if the south was unwilling to do this.

14 Frederick Douglas Frederick Douglas was the most well-known abolitionist. He published The North Star and used examples from his own life as a slave to show the evils of slavery.

15 The Amistad The Amistad was a Spanish slave ship that was taken over by the slaves in 1839. They tried to sail back to Africa but the navigator tricked them and ended up taking them to America (Long Island). John Quincy Adams represents the slaves on the ship in court and actually wins them their freedom in 1841.

16 Harriet Beecher Stowe Harriet Beecher Stowe will write the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (published in 1852) which gave an unrealistic view of slavery. However, it was widely read in the north and greatly changed the north’s view on slavery – Abraham Lincoln referred to her as “The little lady who started the war.”

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