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Presentation on theme: "KALEIDOSCOPE – DIVIDED AGRARIAN COTTON BOOM The Old South."— Presentation transcript:



3 Essential Questions: Was slavery profitable? How do cotton and slave holding shape southern culture? What is the nature of white social structure? What is the interaction between white and slave culture like? What are the characteristics of slave culture? What factors made the South a “Closed” society? How does southern society contrast with that developing in the North?

4 Two Souths Upper South Agriculturally diverse Slave trade Second Middle Passage Lower South Cotton Dependant Opportunity “white gold”




8 King Cotton Great profit but skewed opportunity One way to gain wealth S. remains rural & agrarian – fewer immigrants – little for free white labor No manufacturing opportunities Single crop dependant Dependant on N. for capital & market

9 Critics: dependence on N. “ The South Grew, But Did Not develop.” DeBow Need for diversification 1845 – First textile mill - Richmond Gregg Need for industrialization

10 Slavery System to control & manage labor Essential to the profitability of the large plantation 25% - slave holding 75% non-slave-holding 1-3% = gentry---controls political, economic and social system


12 Southern Agriculture

13 1820 1860


15 Southern Society (1850) The “Plain Folk” [white yeoman farmers] “Slavocracy” [plantation owners] Black Freemen Black Slaves 3,200,000 Total US Population --> 23,000,000 [9,250,000 in the South = 40%] 6,000,000 250,000



18 Value of Cotton Exports As % of All US Exports

19 White Social Structure Planter Elite – planter = 20 slaves; 800- 1000 acres  Self made businessmen  Chivalry & paternalism  Limited contact w/ slaves (overseers) Plantation Mistress  Isolated  Many responsibilities  Miscegenation  Benefit from slave - holding


21 White Social Structure – the plain folk Yeomen Farmers – 80-160 acres; no slaves Lack capital & credit  Lack access to transportation and marketing  Isolated – geographically & socially  Livestock, subsistence farming  Limited class conflict –RACISM  Ideas of liberty  White supremacy

22 White Social Structure: Mountaineers- isolated; autonomous; resented any government and planters Non-land holding tenant farmers – want land – no capital Poor whites – no economic opportunity; resent planters; hate slaves/free blacks


24 Why support for slave-holding system? Planter/cotton control of the economic, social & political system Status anxiety - white supremacy Hopes and opportunity Challenge – Helper; Yeomen hurt by slavery, can’t compete; limits opportunity

25 Interaction of the communities Peculiar Institution = defining of the culture – OURS; superior & unifying Separate spheres – but bonded Slaves better treatment in US Characteristics: white to black  Paternalism –white supremacy  Principle of fear – must control labor  The whip; sale & family division  slave codes



28 A Real Georgia Plantation


30 “Hauling the Whole Week’s Pickings” Brown, 1842

31 Slaves Working in a Sugar-Boiling House


33 Slave Auction Notice, 1823

34 The Ledger of John White Matilda Selby, 9, $400.00 sold to Mr. Covington, St. Louis, $425.00 Brooks Selby, 19, $750.00 Left at Home – Crazy Fred McAfee, 22, $800.00 Sold to Pepidal, Donaldsonville, $1200.00 Howard Barnett, 25, $750.00 Ranaway. Sold out of jail, $540.00 Harriett Barnett, 17, $550.00 Sold to Davenport and Jones, Lafourche, $900.00

35 Slave Accoutrements Slave muzzle Slave Master Brands

36 Belled Slave Collar

37 Slave leg irons Slave tag, SC Slave shoes

38 Caricatures 1.“SAMBO” pattern of behavior used as a charade in front of whites [the innocent, laughing black man caricature – bulging eyes, thick lips, big smile, etc.].

39 A Real Mammy & Her Charge

40 Fears of the Planter Elite Slave Revolts – Prosser, Vesey, Turner Loss of the support of the Yeoman farmers - Helper Ideas of the abolitionists (1831 – Garrison and The Liberator)  Gag rule

41 Anti-Slave Pamphlet

42 Nat Turner’s Rebellion


44 Gabriel Prosser 1800 1822

45 Slave Rebellions Throughout the Americas

46 Changes after 1830 Nat Turner’s Rebellion – increase fears and codes Slave rebellions – Haiti BR abolished slavery in all parts of it empire General world view of Europe shifts to oppose slavery Virginia Debate Slavery as positive good – the best society

47 Virginia Debate 1831-1832 Issue = gradual emancipation Last open discussion of slave holding Closed Mind/Closed Society – stifle dissent Shows division of Upper and Lower South Planter elite ----solidarity (Calhoun) – creates unity and identity (nullification crisis over the tariff )

48 Pro-Slavery Arguments “slavery as a positive good” (change in emphasis) creates stronger control & unity – a perfect hierarchal, orderly society – everyone knows one’s place Biblical, political, scientific, economic and social arguments (Fitzhugh) Contrast w/ “wage slavery” of the North Stifle dissent – “closed mind, closed society”

49 Southern Pro-Slavery Propaganda


51 Interaction of communities Characteristics: black to white Dual socialization Impenetrable mask Free blacks  More urban areas  More in South  More females  More mulattoes  More restricted – fragile freedoms – caste  Discrimination (true N & S)  Negro Convention

52 Slave Culture Permits community, growth and psychological support for survival Unique – created from African tradition and American experience Dual socialization – folk tales Impenetrable mask




56 Grounding Institutions Religion Invisible institution AME Ring shout Affirmation and Joy OWN institution spirituals Family Nuclear, but within community Traditional gender roles - slave qtrs Equality of powerlessness Norms w/in culture Kinship/sisterhood  “othermothers” Threats – break up

57 Plantation Burial - Antrobus

58 Slave Resistance Revolts – Prosser, Vesey, Turner Escape – URR Daily resistance/negotiations Culture and institutions Literacy Support from free blacks  Negro Convention


60 Takaki – A Different Mirror slave resistance “The reality for many slaves may have been even more complex than a duality of roles. Some Sambo-like behavior may have been not so much a veil to hide inner emotions as a means of expressing them. Lying, stealing, laziness, immaturity and ignorance all contained within them an aggressive quality; they constituted, in effect, resistance to efficiency, discipline, work and productivity.”

61 Runaway Slave Ads

62 Quilt Patterns as Secret Messages The Monkey Wrench pattern, on the left, alerted escapees to gather up tools and prepare to flee; the Drunkard Path design, on the right, warned escapees not to follow a straight route.


64 Ideas of FREEDOM White Hegemonic – owning and controlling Structured society Freedom – tied to slave holding system Freedom = a privilege Obedience The Priestly tradition Black The ideals of the declaration The injustice of slavery Freedom = a right Constant goal – jubilee The Exodus The Prophetic tradition

65 Political Impact Cultures quite similar – but defined by diverging cultures  yeomen  Belief in (and seeking) opportunity – for white men  Belief in democracy  Socially egalitarian  Evangelical Protestants Whigs & Democrats – both can be destabilized


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