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Slavery In America. A Ride for Liberty: The Fugitive Slaves by Eastman Johnson.

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Presentation on theme: "Slavery In America. A Ride for Liberty: The Fugitive Slaves by Eastman Johnson."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slavery In America

2 A Ride for Liberty: The Fugitive Slaves by Eastman Johnson

3 Southern Societal Structure GroupSizeNotes Large planters (1000 or more acres)Less than 1% of the total number of white families The wealthiest class in all of America, the large planters exercised social and political power far beyond their percentage of the population. Most owned 50 slaves or more. Planters ( acres)Perhaps 3% of white familiesUsually owned slaves. Provided many political leaders and controlled much of the wealth of the South Small slaveholdersAbout 20% of white familiesOwning fewer than 20 slaves, the small slaveholders were primarily farmers, though some were merchants in Southern tow Nonslaveholding whitesAbout 75% of white familiesYeoman farmers. They owned their small pieces of land and produced enough food for the family. 20% did not own either slaves or land and squatted on poor lands where they often grazed livestock or raised corn. Some were day laborers in towns. Free blacks3% of all free familiesUsually in upper South, such as Virginia, Maryland, and Kentucky. Many were either tenant-farmers or day laborers. Legally and socially restricted in terms of mobility and economic advancement. Slaves4 million in In some Southern states, slaves outnumbered whites Almost all native born, 75% worked on plantations and medium-sized farms. Another 10% were laborers at hard physical labor considered below whites.

4 Slaves’ Daily Life and Labor 90% of slaves lived on plantations or farms 90% of slaves lived on plantations or farms Most slaves on cotton plantations worked sunup to sundown, 6 days/week Most slaves on cotton plantations worked sunup to sundown, 6 days/week About 75% of slaves were field workers, about 5% worked in industry About 75% of slaves were field workers, about 5% worked in industry Urban slaves had more autonomy than rural slaves Urban slaves had more autonomy than rural slaves

5 A Closed Mind and a Closed Society Planters fear growth of abolitionism Planters fear growth of abolitionism Planters encourage closing of ranks Planters encourage closing of ranks Slavery defended as a positive good Slavery defended as a positive good Africans depicted as inferior Africans depicted as inferior slavery defended with Bible slavery defended with Bible slavery a humane asylum to improve Africans slavery a humane asylum to improve Africans Slavery superior to Northern wage labor Slavery superior to Northern wage labor Contrary points of view suppressed Contrary points of view suppressed

6 Slave Concentration, 1820

7 The Rise of the Cotton Kingdom "Short-staple" cotton drives cotton boom "Short-staple" cotton drives cotton boom Cotton gin makes seed extraction easy Cotton gin makes seed extraction easy Year-round requirements suited to slave labor Year-round requirements suited to slave labor Cotton in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas Cotton in Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas Large planters dominate cotton production Large planters dominate cotton production South produces 75% of world's cotton, cotton the most important U.S. business South produces 75% of world's cotton, cotton the most important U.S. business

8 Slave Concentration, 1860

9 The "Profitability" Issue Slavery not profitable for South as a whole Slavery not profitable for South as a whole White small farmers have lower living standards than most Northern farmers White small farmers have lower living standards than most Northern farmers Profits from cotton not well-distributed Profits from cotton not well-distributed Slave system results in waste of human resources, Southern underdevelopment Slave system results in waste of human resources, Southern underdevelopment

10 Toward Abolition

11 Nat Turner’s Rebellion-1831 The rebellion, though defeated, was the most remarkable instance of black resistance to enslavement. 57 whites were killed He was hanged and skinned on November 11 in Jerusalem, Virginia. His corpse was mutilated and various body parts were kept by whites as souvenirs. In total, 55 blacks suspected of having been involved in the uprising were killed.

12 William Lloyd Garrison William L. Garrison starts "Liberator” Garrison starts New England Anti- Slavery Society

13 Harriet Beecher Stowe

14 HBS -- Uncle Tom’s Cabin The best-selling novel of the 19th century (and the second best-selling book of the century after the Bible) and is credited with both helping to start the American Civil War and helping to fuel the abolitionist cause in the United States.

15 John Brown

16 John Brown's Raid Brown and his followers planned a slave insurrection to begin in western Virginia. Seized federal arsenal at Harper's Ferry, but was quickly captured, tried, and hanged. Impact of Brown Northern abolitionists (Emerson and Thoreau) viewed him as a martyr, taking action against the evil of slavery Southerners generally viewed Brown as a madman, symbolizing the fanatical hatred of the North Moderates (Lincoln) condemned Brown's action, while admiring his commitment to countering slavery


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