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The Old South and Slavery

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1 The Old South and Slavery 1830- 1860
Chapter 12 The Old South and Slavery

2 Essential Questions How did northerners’ image of the Old South differ from the way in which southerners saw themselves? What major social divisions segmented the white South? How did slavery affect social relations in the white South? What conditions in the Old South made it possible for a distinctive culture to develop among the slaves, and what were the predominant features of that culture?

3 King Cotton 1790 South’s economy stagnant- tobacco not prosperous
By 1850 South was the “Cotton Kingdom” from South Carolina to Texas “No power on earth dares to make war upon it. Cotton is king.” - Senator James Henry Hammond South Carolina

4 A History of Slavery 1619 1790s 1640s-1650s 1800s Age of Jackson 1660s
First blacks arrive at Jamestown, NOT slaves 1640s-1650s View of using black “free” workers instead of indentured servants seen as an advantage tobacco 1660s Word “Slave” appears 1676 VA, MD, NC, SC legalize slavery New “black codes” 1739 Stono Rebellion in SC = harsh new slave laws Blacks participate in revolution Not included in Declaration or Constitution 3/5th compromise 1790s Haitian Revolt Toussaint L’Ouverture 60,000 dead, republic of free slaves 1800s Nature of slavery changes Age of Jackson Rise of Abolitionism William Lloyd Garrison Quakers Sarah and Angelica Grimke Sojourner Truth Frederick Douglas 1900

5 Lure of Cotton South had Advantages Slavery
Warm climate, wet springs/summers, dry autumns Advantages Didn’t require expensive irrigation or costly machinery (unlike sugar) Profitable on any scale Compatible with production of corn Slavery Gave an advantage Doubled


7 Diverges North South Upper South Lower South United urbanizing Rural
Banks existed only to finance plantations Lack of industries Southern factories small Slavery Limited investment in Industry South profitable, no reason to change Rejection of compulsory education High illiteracy Middle class had “no need” Upper South Tobacco, vegetable, hemp, wheat Lower South Sugar, Cotton cash crops United Many settlers of lower south from upper south All white southerners benefitted from 3/5ths clause All stung by abolitionist criticism of slavery Economic ties


9 Social Groups 4 main groups Planters Yeoman Pine barrens
+ 20 slaves Plantation society “little nation itself” Plantation mistresses High degree of division of labor Most wealth in slaves Psychological strains Slave mistresses Mulatto children Slaveholders (small) -5 slaves Not all farmers Conflicting loyalties + ambitions Younger than planters Yeoman Family farmers, livestock Non-slaveholders Largest group of white southern males Subsistence farmers Reason for lack of industry in south Piedmont region “poor white trash” Pine barrens Squatted on land Self-reliant, independent choice



12 North Carolina Yeomen

13 Conflict Slavery Planters Yeomen Pro-Slavery Unity
Decreasing slave-holding population “Impending Crisis of the South” 1857 Civil War: Wanted to own slaves Racism No one knew where slaves would go Pro-Slavery Compared to Athenian slavery “wage slavery” in North Bible- St. Paul Natural submission Church supported slavery racism Planters Whigs Needed credit Urban commercial allies Yeomen Democrats Economically self-sufficient Economically dependent Unity Whites didn’t work for whites Lived in different geographic areas


15 Violence in Old South Dirty fighting Code of Honor/dueling
Eye gouging Ear biting Murder rate 10X that in North Code of Honor/dueling Conception of “good society” diverged more from northern egalitarian and individualistic idea Southern pride Especially in front of slaves Sensitivity to reputation How gentlemen dealt without results Law was cowardly, shameful Only “gentlemen” dueled Southern Evangelicals and White values Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians Against dueling Reached out to women, slaves, poor Soon absorbed gentry values and vice versa Ex. Stonewall Jackson

16 The “Peculiar Institution”
An institution unique to southern society North depended on it too Cotton helped finance industrial development, internal improvements Cotton carried to New York, Europe Northern bankers financed plantations, insured slave property Northern factories manufactured cotton into cloth Slavery concentrated in areas with most fertile soil and easiest access to national and international markets 2nd middle passage 1808 international slave trade abolished Internal trade developed “White Gold” Manufactured in Mass, Great Britain, France, Russia Most important US export by 1803 Eve of civil war represented over HALF of total value of US exports 1860: economic investment in slaves exceeded value of nation’s factories, railroads, and banks COMBINED

17 Life under Slavery Oppressive institution
Appropriated the life and labor of one race for the material benefit of another Plantation System Significant changes between 1780 and 1830 Paternalist ethos Average Slave: 1700: male, 20s, African, no real family life 1830: male or female, spoke English, born in US, family life Work and Discipline of Plantation Slaves Typical to work on large farm, plantation Routine Slave drivers, overseers Social hierarchy of slaves House vs field slaves Slave Family Planters encouraged weddings for procreation Buying/selling disrupted family Tight-family bonds, kinship



20 Life under Slavery Longevity, Diet, Health Slaves off Plantations
Lived longer and reproduced faster in US Why? Gender ratio equalized Plenty of food Great immunities Slaves off Plantations Greatest opportunities Laborers, extractive industries Shortage of labor in nonagricultural sectors Lumbering, stevedores, black engineers, iron workers Tolerable working conditions Free Blacks More likely to live in cities 1/3 in Upper South ½ in Lower South Why? Specialized economies Carpenters, coopers, barbers, traders Fraternal orders churches Rate of free blacks slowed after 1810 Nat Turner Rebellion 1831 Exceptions New Orleans, Natchez Contradictions Mixed blacks


22 Life under Slavery Slave Resistance Amistad
Lots of talk, little action Nat Turner 1831 Only main significant rebellion Why lack of rebellion? Formidable white presence in south Feared risking family ties Escape to North Fugitive slaves Underground railroad Reality Escape not reality “Non-violent resistance” Poisoning Leaving tools out Not working hard Amistad 1839 53 slaves that took control of a slave ship Forced navigator to steer it to Africa Opposition President Van Buren wants to return it to Africa Abolitionists want Supreme Court Decision John Quincy Adams defense Captives released to Africa Consequences Creole 1841 British gave refuge




26 Emergence of African-American Culture
Language Pidgin No native speakers Learned on slave ships Contained African words No genders, no instead of not Gullah Religion Early slaves mainly practiced Native African religions or Islam Very naturalistic/spiritual Accepted Christianity Water- baptism sacrament Like revivalists Cane Ridge, KY Highlighted contradictions Protestant missionaries conversion = obedience Music and Dance Culture extremely expressive Religious services Singing Dancing spirituals Rhythm clapping Patting juba Instruments banjo




30 Questions Given that by 1860 the economic investment represented by the slave population exceeded the value of the nation’s factories, railroads, and banks combined, explain how important slavery was to the national economy and the emergence of the United States as a great power. Why did many white southerners support slavery even when they did not actually own any slaves? What forms of slave resistance were practiced in the American South?

31 Slavery Jigsaw Activity
1st questions: What was the most interesting thing you discovered about this subject's life? What was their overall experience like? Did they discuss daily life or family life? Does their narrative reinforce or challenge your conceptions of slavery?

32 Jigsaw Activity 2nd Questions
What aspects of slavery were shared in common by these men and women? What was working life like for them? What major differences do you see? Is there an overall commonality to these narratives in the description of their experiences?

33 Planters Small Slaveholders Yeomen Pine Barrens Industrialization Political Parties slavery Education Honor Code Slave Family

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