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Slavery and the Old South a brief history of slavery in the South. Vacherie, Louisiana's Oak Valley Plantation.

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Presentation on theme: "Slavery and the Old South a brief history of slavery in the South. Vacherie, Louisiana's Oak Valley Plantation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slavery and the Old South a brief history of slavery in the South. Vacherie, Louisiana's Oak Valley Plantation

2 1619 First 20 Negroes brought to Jamestown Virginia from West Africa by the Dutch Originally as indentured servants By 1775 there were 400,000 slaves in America 300,000 of them in the South

3 1776 Declaration of Independence Said nothing about slavery New England ship owners engaged in slave trade Southern plantation system needed cheep labor

4 1787 Northwest Ordinance New territories of Ohio, Western Pennsylvania, Michigan and Illinois are closed to slavery

5 Northwest Territory contd. July 13, 1787 “There shall be formed in said territory, not less than three nor more than five states Congress later decided to divide the Territory into the 6 states of Ohio (1803), Indiana (1816), Illinois (1818), Michigan (1837), Wisconsin (1848), Minnesota (1858).

6 1789 Ratification of a New Constitution 3/5 compromise is necessary to secure ratification of the Constitution Sets the stage for debate over the nature of the negro – person or property What is “the Negro”? Can “it” be both property AND a Person? Is other property represented in Congress?

7 Review 3/5 Compromise 5 slaves = 3 whites for purpose of representation in the house of representatives and for purpose of taxation By extension each slave is = 3/5 of a white man (60%) The Negro is “worth less” = worthless Seeds of racism that will linger into the present time

8 Building a Diverse Cotton Kingdom

9 1793 /1800 Invention and Improvement Eli Whitney & The Cotton Gin

10 Cotton Gin changes everything! Cotton production is now more profitable than growing tobacco, rice, hemp or indigo Plantations grow rapidly increasing the need for cheep / free labor in other words “SLAVERY”


12 Slavery in Latin America Europeans depended on African slavery in their New World colonies. – Popularity of Coco, Chocolate and Sugar (in tea) made fortunes for European investors African slaves were imported to replace the local populations that were eradicated by disease. Sugar production was the cash crop for the Latin American holdings of the European powers.

13 The Expansion of Slavery in a Global Economy In 1860 the American South, if independent, would have been one of the wealthiest countries in the world based on the revenue of the cotton trade. Cotton cultivation and its expansion depended on technological development, land, labor, demand, and a global system of trade.

14 White and Black Migrations in the South Between 1830 and 1860, southerners began to migrate in a southwest direction to fill up the fertile land and increase cotton production for the mills of England. The center of cotton production gradually shifted from South Carolina to Mississippi. (need for more land as soil was worn out) An estimated 1 million slaves were transported westward by this white migration.


16 Paternalism and Honor in the Planter Class Most Southern males clung to a long-standing tradition of medieval chivalry and looked down upon industrialization. The Southern planters developed a paternalistic attitude towards his slaves; a kindly father-and-child relationship. An extremely masculine code of honor placed the virtue of women on a pedestal. ( milk white skin was a sign of virtue) sun tan or dark skin meant you had to work for a living. The smallest insult could lead to pistol duels.

17 Yeoman Farmers Most slaveholders (70 percent) belonged to the mid-level yeoman farmer class. A Yeoman farmer might have owned as many as ten slaves, but usually worked alongside them. 75 percent of all southerners held no slaves at all.



20 Justifying Slavery Biblical Justification: ancient curse upon Ham, a child of Noah and other references Historical Justification: all great civilizations participated in slavery Legal Justification: the U.S. Constitution refused to address slavery directly Scientific Justification: multiple theories regarding inferiority of the black race Sociological Justification: the black race as societal “children” that needed paternalistic guidance NOTE: These ideas were preached from the pulpit of Christian churches in the South pose 1820’s

21 Daily Toil Slaves were expected to work an average of 14 hours per day during warm weather and 10 hours in the winter. Work gangs of 20 to 25 slaves labored under the whip of a “slave driver.” The overseer had status on the plantation other whites may not have had. The task system allowed slaves to finish a designated task each day at their own pace. A normal slave was expected to pick 130 to 150 pounds of cotton a day.


23 Slave Law and the Family The legal status of slaves in the South was never fully resolved, leading to a wide range of laws governing the treatment of African Americans. Marriages between slaves were often arranged for optimal genetic reproduction. (breeding like cattle) Slave families were often separated.

24 Slave Quarters

25 Black Christianity Christian worship was an integral part of life in the slave quarters. Black Christianity often included aspects of Islamic and African religions. Black religious gatherings were usually forbidden unless a white overseer was present. – might talk about rebellion For the white planters, religion became a type of social control. Accept present condition because of your sin BUT “milk and honey” waiting on the other side!

26 Family Family relationships were central to the lives of most slaves. Slaves could draw love, protection, support, knowledge, and cultural identity from these extended families. Slaves often performed extra work to provide extra food and clothing for their families. Some worked off the plantation and saved enough money to purchase their freedom.

27 Forms of Black Protest Daily acts of resistance might include breaking of tools, burning houses or crops, stealing food, self mutilation or simple work slowdowns. Creates the “dumb nigger” stereotype or “step & fetch it” image. Females might fake sickness or menstrual cramps. The ultimate forms of protest were murder or running away.

28 Slave Revolts 1800 – Gabriel Prosser – 1 ST Recorded uprising in U.S. history 1804 – Most Northern States committed to eliminating slavery. Slaves are little use to Northern Farmers 1808 – Importation of Slaves is Prohibited (home grown breeders?) 1822 – Denmark Vesey & African born, Gullah Jack – Charleston take over planned 80 participants arranged by tribe in groups of 6 1831 – Nat Turner – well educated, 31 year old African American preacher – led 70 slaves in Southeastern Virginia in an uprising. Killed 35 whites. RESULTS were more repressive slave ordinances.

29 1817 American Colonization Society Formed  Back to Africa (LIBERIA) = liberty  Negro will never be equal in a White Society  Races should not be mixed

30 1820 Missouri Compromise Fears of a Southern Majority in the Senate are overcome by admitting Missouri to US as Slave State Main is admitted as a Free State Prohibited slavery in most of what had been the Louisiana Territory – No slaves north of the 36* 30” latitude.

31 1821 First Anti – Slave journal published Benjamin Lundy – white Quaker “The Genius of Universal Emancipation”

32 1829 “Slavery is a monster and he must be treated as such- hunted down bravely, and dispatched (destroyed) at a blow” Benjamin Lundy

33 1829 1829 Mexico Outlaws Slavery in Texas –Mexico is a Catholic Country –Catholics opposed slavery –General Santa Anna moved against Texas to enforce the Mexican Constitution

34 1831 Nat Turner Slave Revolt Slave Revolt causes fear in Southern Whites Some southern states Negros outnumber whites 3 to 1 William Lloyd Garrison begins publishing anti-slave newspaper “The Liberator”

35 1850 – Compromise of 1850 Millard Fillmore of East Aurora was President California admitted as a free state Territory of New Mexico and Utah can decide the issue themselves Selling of slaves is banned in Washington D.C. Fugitive Slave Act is passed

36 Compromise of 1850

37 1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin published Sold 300,000 in the first year. Sold 2 million copies in the first decade.

38 Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811 – 1896) So this is the lady who started the Civil War… –A. Lincoln

39 1852 Uncle Tom’s Cabin stage production

40 1854 Kansas Nebraska Act

41 Both territories were opened up for settlement People living in those areas would decide for themselves to allow slavery or to prohibit it. (popular sovereignty) Effect was to repeal / negate the Missouri Compromise of 1820

42 Feb. 1856 – March 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford Was Scott a person or property? Can you take property into and area where prohibited? COURT SAID Scott is not a citizen therefore can not sue in a court of law. Property rights triumph over Civil Rights

43 Feb. 1856 – March 1857 Dred Scott v. Sandford 5 th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court He was himself a slave holder blacks "had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it." [ [

44 1859 John Brown’s Raid on Harper’s Ferry



47 1860 Lincoln is NOT MY PRESIDENT I did not vote for him HE will take away my property “the Negro” This is not MY country any longer Time to leave the “Union” –Let us seize union forts and weapons in our state (s)



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