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1820-1860 THE SLAVE SOUTH. COTTON KINGDOM The South’s climate and geography ideally suited to grow cotton The South’s cotton boom rested on slave labor.

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Presentation on theme: "1820-1860 THE SLAVE SOUTH. COTTON KINGDOM The South’s climate and geography ideally suited to grow cotton The South’s cotton boom rested on slave labor."— Presentation transcript:

1 1820-1860 THE SLAVE SOUTH

2 COTTON KINGDOM The South’s climate and geography ideally suited to grow cotton The South’s cotton boom rested on slave labor who grew 75% of the crop, under supervision of whites

3 Southerners pushed Westward, a million square miles, much of it planted in cotton



6 PLANTATION MASTERS “Christian guardianship” they saw themselves; historians call it paternalism Paternalism was not good will, it was a way to improve bottom line

7 VALUES OF THE BIG HOUSE Slavery, honor, male domination Economically shrewd to define slavery as a set of “reciprocal obligations” (part propaganda part delusion) Defending honor became a passion in the “Old South” Slavery buttressed the power of white men

8 SMALLER PLANTERS Most slave owners owned fewer than five Smaller planters supervised slave labor Larger planters hired overseers to manage labor and they concentrated on marketing, finance

9 MISTRESSES Chivalry, the South’s romantic idea; the glorified and subordinated southern woman Proslavery claimed that slavery freed white women from drudgery; in reality, plantation women often worked long hours managing households Miscegenation —sexual mixing of races, this was one of white women’s grounds for discontent






15 MARRIAGE Slave marriages not legally recognized, although they were often long-lasting At least 300,000 marriages were ended upon the sale of the husband or wife

16 RELIGION Slaves created an African American Christianity that served their needs, not those of the masters; traditional African beliefs sometimes incorporated


18 POPULATION RATIOS 4 million blacks to 8 million whites one in every three Southerners was black one in every 76 Northerners was black

19 SLAVE POPULATION By 1860 the South contained 4 million slaves, more than all other slave societies in the world combined



22 WHO OWNED SLAVES? Only one-fourth of white population lived in slaveholding families Most slaveholders owned fewer than five slaves Planters —those 12 percent of slave- owners who owned twenty or more slaves—dominated the southern economy

23 ODD ALLIES IN WHITE SUPREMACY Intellectuals joined legislators to strengthen slavery as a “positive good” rather than a ‘necessary evil’ Champions of slavery defended it by turning to law, history, and biblical interpretation Defense was the claim of black inferiority The system of black slavery encouraged whites to unify around race rather than to divide by class

24 NO DIVERSIFICATION IN ECONOMY OR SOCIETY Plantation slavery benefited northern merchants, but the north developed a mixed economy—agriculture, commerce, manufacturing—the South remained overwhelmingly agriculture Without economic diversification, the South developed fewer factories and fewer cities; therefore it attracted fewer immigrants from Europe



27 NORTH VS. SOUTH Northerners claimed that slavery was an outmoded and doomed labor system; Few Southerners perceived economic weakness in their region Excessive dependence on cotton and slaves, and the lack of factories

28 CULTURAL INFLUENCE  Large numbers of people of African descent had profound influence on Southern culture—language, food, music, religion




32 THE PLAIN FOLK Plantation Belt Yeomen Small Farmers—grew mainly food crops, but also devoted a portion of their land to cotton; farms ran only on family labor; tied to planters because they could not afford cotton gins or baling presses and had no link to urban merchants.

33 CLASS POLITICS A dense network of relationships laced small farmers and planters together in patterns of mutual obligation; planters hired out surplus slaves; yeomen helped police slaves on slave patrols; plantation belt yeomen may have envied, and at times even resented, wealthy slaveholders, but in general, small farmers learned to accommodate; they did not want to overthrow the planter regime; instead, they wanted entry into it.

34 UPCOUNTRY YEOMEN Geography—Hills and mountains of the South resisted the penetration of slavery and plantations; higher elevation, colder climate, rugged terrain, and poor transportation made it difficult for commercial agriculture; yeomen dominated these isolated areas, making planters and slaves scarce. 2. 3.

35 THE FAMILY FARM At the core of upcountry society was the independent farm family working its own patch of land; raised hogs, cattle, and sheep; sought self- sufficiency and independence; all members of the family worked, but the domestic sphere was subordinated to the will of the father; production for home consumption was more important than production for the market.

36 DEFENDING SLAVERY With so few slaves, slaveholders had much less social and economic power in the upcountry; but people in the upcountry did not oppose slavery; as long as upcountry yeomen were free to lead their own lives, they defended slavery and white supremacy just as staunchly as did other white Southerners.

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