“PECULIAR INSTITUTION” Slavery and Abolition Chapter 17
When is evil so enormous, that it must be denounced, even at the risk of participating bloodshed and butchery?
Characteristics of the Antebellum South 1.Primarily agrarian. 2.Economic power shifted from the “upper South” to the “lower South.” 3.“Cotton Is King!” * 1860 5 mil. bales a yr. (57% of total US exports). 4.Very slow development of industrialization. 5.Rudimentary financial system. 6.Inadequate transportation system.
KING COTTON 1793: Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin Economic Impact: Cotton ½ of all exports after 1840 ½ World’s supply of cotton 1/5 of British population tied to cotton industry 75% of all British cotton came from American South
PLANTATION AGRICULTURE “Land Butchery” Monopolistic – big got bigger, small got smaller Financial Instability Slaves were a heavy investment One-Crop Economy Resented North for getting rich at the South’s expense
Southern Society (1850) “Slavocracy” [planter aristocracy] The “Plain Folk” [white yeoman farmers] 6,000,000 Black Freemen Black Slaves 3,200,000 250,000 Total US Population 23,000,000 [9,250,000 in the South = 40%]
SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF THE SOUTH Who owned slaves? ¼ of white southerners Planter “Aristocracy” 1/3 of Slave owners Sir Walter Scott – glorified feudal society Southern Women Smaller Slave owners 2/3 of slave owners Less than 10 slaves Small formers, similar to small farmers of the north
SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF THE SOUTH 3/4 of whites owned no slaves Lived isolated lives “white trash”, “hillbillies, “crackers”, “clay eaters” Shiftless, listless, lazy – Actually sick – malnourished Biggest defenders of slave system – WHY? Mountain Whites Lived far from cotton kingdom Hated planters and slaves Civil War “Rich man’s war but a poor man’s fight” Unionists
SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF THE SOUTH Free Blacks South: 250,000 in 1860 Mulattoes – emancipated children of white planters Purchased freedom New Orleans – many owned property “Third Race” North: 250,000 States forbade their entrance Especially hated by the Irish Race Prejudice
SLAVE LIFE Singing, Dancing, Banjos Whippings Family Life Auctions Separation of Families Uncle Tom’s Cabin By Harriet Beecher Stowe
What specific information about slaves and slavery can you see in (or infer from) these photographs?