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The South and The Slavery Controversy 1793-1860 Chapter 16.

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Presentation on theme: "The South and The Slavery Controversy 1793-1860 Chapter 16."— Presentation transcript:

1 The South and The Slavery Controversy 1793-1860 Chapter 16

2 Eli Whitney 1793 – invents the cotton gin Made the wide-scale cultivation of short- staple cotton possible Cotton becomes staple crop of the South and creates demand for labor

3 The Cotton Kingdom Cotton is King Southern bottomlands of the Gulf States Planters bought more slaves and more land to grow cotton. Cotton – ½ value of all American exports after 1840 & more than ½ world’s cotton Britain dependent on Southern cotton

4 Planter Aristocracy South had an oligarchy – rule by the few 1,733 families owned 100 or more slaves by 1850 They were the political and social leadership of the South Widened the gap between rich and poor

5 Plantation Women Plantation mistress – commanded sizable number of female slaves Cooks, maids, seamstresses, laundresses, and body servants Virtually ALL southern women were against abolition

6 Slavery Plantations became monopolies Slaves – heavy investment of capital Up to $1,200 for good field hand Southerners had a great deal of $ tied up in slaves Slaves would deliberately hurt themselves or run away

7 Slavery South – dangerous dependence on one crop economy Price level of cotton @ mercy of world condition

8 Foreigners In South 1860 4.4% of South was foreign born 18.7% of North was foreign born Compete with slave labor, land was expensive, no knowledge of cotton

9 Slave Owners By 1860, ¾ of whites owned NO slaves at all Scratched a simple living with corn and hogs, not cotton Poorest whites – “poor white trash,” “hillbillies,” “crackers,” “clay eaters” Sick, malnutrition, hookworm, very poor

10 Irony No matter the social status of whites, almost all defended slavery “American Dream” – buy a few slaves and get in on the riches Presumed racial superiority Logic of economics clashed with logic of racism

11 Mountain Whites Hillbillies Cut off from most of society in West Virginia, Northern Georgia and Alabama Society passed them by – frontier conditions Civil War was “rich man’s war, poor man’s fight.” Staunchly Republican and Unionist

12 250,000 Free Blacks in South by 1860 Many freed mulattos Children of white master Some purchased freedom South’s “third race” Sizable # in New Orleans

13 250,000 Free Blacks in North Several northern states forbade blacks Barred from schools, jobs Irish hated blacks because they competed for jobs

14 Plantation Slavery 1860 – South had 4 million slaves Legal importation of slaves ended 1808 1000s imported illegally “black ivory” very valuable Planters regarded slaves as investments $2 Billion in slave capital by 1860 Primary form of wealth in South

15 Value of Slaves Blacks often sparred from dangerous work Roofing, tunnel blasting reserved for wage earning Irish Breeding sometimes encouraged… Some females given freedom if they gave birth to 10 kids Open sale of human flesh with cattle, horses was a revolting sight

16 Life of Slaves No political or civil rights Floggings – the whip served as motivator instead of wage-incentive Worked dawn to dusk in the eye of white overseer or black “driver” “breakers” would beat slaves into submission



19 Slaves Savage beatings would result in sullen workers Marks = declined resale value Masters had too much riding on slaves to beat them too badly

20 The Lower South Lower Mississippi River Valley in Deep South Blacks accounted for up to 75% of pop. Family life – stable 2 parent families Separation more common on small farms Family ID with names and customs No 1 st cousin marriages like whites in plantation life

21 African American Religion

22 African Americans were heavily Christianized by the Second Great Awakening Black slavery molded religion Christian elements from the captivity of Israelites in Egypt “Pharaoh, let my people go!”

23 Bondage Bottom line – slavery was degrading Deprived dignity, sense of responsibility, individuality Slaves denied education and literacy Reading brought ideas which brought discontent 9/10 of adult slaves illiterate in 1860

24 Slave Reaction to Bondage Slowed pace of labor to just above the lash Myth of black “laziness” by whites Stole food from “big house” and other goods Sabotaged machinery – no machines = no work Even poisoned masters’ food

25 White Life White’s lived uneasy in a state of imagined siege Potentially rebellious blacks outnumbered them Northern propaganda flooded South Booker T. Washington – former slave said, “Whites can’t hold a black down in a ditch without getting down in the ditch.”

26 Early Abolition Antislavery societies focused on moving slaves back to Africa The American Colonization Society (1817) Set up the Republic of Liberia in 1822 on the fever stricken W. African coast Capital – Monrovia named after James Monroe

27 Abolition Strange civilization to African Americans Almost all slaves born in US, no longer African, but distinctly African American with own history and culture

28 Abolition 1830s – new abolition movement fueled by the Second Great Awakening 1833 – Great Britain freed its slaves in the West Indies Beecher family – authors, preachers, abolitionists

29 Radical Abolition 1831 – William Lloyd Garrison Published The Liberator 30 year war of words

30 Frederick Douglass Escaped from slavery in 1838 @ 21 Gave speech in 1841 and impressed abolitionists Taught himself to read and write 1845 –wrote Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglass

31 White Defense Whites said slavery was supported by the Bible & Aristotle Good for Africans b/c it lifted them from barbarism of the jungle, and clothed them in a Christian civilization Master-slave relationship like family Jail type form of Social Security 1836 Gag Resolution – all anti-slavery legislation tabled from House and Senate

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