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1793-1860. Slavery in Antebellum America Key Concept 4.2.II Regional economic specialization, especially the demands of cultivating southern cotton,

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Presentation on theme: "1793-1860. Slavery in Antebellum America Key Concept 4.2.II Regional economic specialization, especially the demands of cultivating southern cotton,"— Presentation transcript:

1 1793-1860

2 Slavery in Antebellum America

3 Key Concept 4.2.II Regional economic specialization, especially the demands of cultivating southern cotton, shaped settlement patterns and the national and international economy Source: College Board, AP United States History Course and Exam Description (Including the Curriculum Framework)

4 Key Concept 4.2.IIA Southern cotton furnished the raw material for manufacturing in the Northeast, while the growth in cotton production and trade promoted the development of national economic ties, shaped the international economy, and fueled the internal slave trade. Source: College Board, AP United States History Course and Exam Description (Including the Curriculum Framework)

5 Before 1793, Slavery was on the decline until invention of the cotton gin= short staple cotton becomes profitable Cotton Gin increased efficiency 50x over! 1780’s- northern states were gradually abolishing slavery. Importing slaves was made illegal in 1808 Thus a huge domestic slave market emerged 1860- 4 million slaves in the US (quadrupled since 1800)= worth $2 Billion = 90% illiterate Prime field hand= $1200- $1800 (1860 dollars)(Today this may have been around $30,000-50,000) Northern bankers loaned $300 million for slaves Textile manufacturers in US depended 100% on Southern cotton 75% of whites in the south owned 0 slaves “Lords of the Loom tied to the Lords of the Lash”


7 Resulted in an explosion of slavery

8 Changes in Cotton Production 1820 1860

9 Southern Agriculture

10 Slaves Picking Cotton on a Mississippi Plantation

11 “Cotton is King” As cotton became more profitable- planters drifted down to the Gulf states= planters bought more slaves & land to buy more slaves & land. Northern shippers made much profit from the cotton trade Cotton accounted for 57% the value of all US exports after 1840 Britain’s textile mills depended on southern cotton (75% of their cotton came from the South). If Civil War between North & South occurred- Southerners believed that Britain would break any Northern blockade & force recognition of the South= “FALSE SENSE OF SUPERIORITY”.

12 Value of Cotton Exports As % of All US Exports

13 The Planter Aristocracy a planter aristocracy dominated Southern government & society (oligarchy) 1850- 1,733 Southern families owned 100 or more slaves= “cottonocracy” educated their children in private schools –many located in the north had leisure time for study & statecraft= John C. Calhoun (Yale), Jefferson Davis (West Point grad)= South produces higher proportion of high rank statesmen before 1860

14 The South, dominated by cotton rich planter class= undemocratic, widened the gap between rich & poor favorite writer of this class- Sir Walter Scott (Ivanhoe)= southern chivalry= idealized feudal systems Southern mistress– commanded large staff (mostly slave women) almost none advocated for abolition



17 Effects of the Slave System on the South 1.Plantation agriculture was wasteful= led to populations moving West & Northwest 2. Increasingly monopolistic- as “land butchery” increased, small famers sold their land to prosperous plantation neighbors = “the big got bigger & the small got smaller” 3. Plantation system was financially unstable- over speculation in land & slaves was common = planters went into more debt 4. Dependence on a one crop economy- discouraged agricultural diversification (price was dependent on world conditions) 5. By the 1850’s Southerners increasingly resented the North- the North was prospering at their expense 6. Plantation Economy repelled immigration- by 1860- only 4.4% of the Southern population was foreign-born= white south is most Anglo-Saxon section of the nation.

18 The White Majority In 1850- 345,000 Southern white families (1,725,000) Over 2/3 of these families (255,268) owned fewer than 10 slaves In all- only ¼ of white southerners owned slaves= made up a majority of slave owners typically small famers who worked hard in the fields households owned a slave or two-most likely a slave family lived in modest farm houses Non-slave holding whites By 1860- 6,120,825 southern whites (3/4) of all whites owned no slaves made a living cultivating poor soil of backcountry or mountain valleys Resented the rich planter class (“snobocracy”) raised corn, hogs, -- not cotton lived isolated lives least prosperous non-slave holding whites = “poor white trash”



21 called “hillbillies or crackers” probably suffered from malnutrition, parasites, hookworm Among the strongest defenders of slavery WHY?? 1.Prospect of upward social mobility 2.Belief in their racial superiority The Mountain Whites Isolated in the valleys of Appalachia Range from western Virginia to northern Georgia & Alabama lived under meager frontier conditions Retained Elizabethan speech hated planters & slaves proved loyal to the Union during the war & the Republican Party after the war

22 Free Blacks “the Third Race” 1860- numbered about 250,000 in the South Upper South- free blacks were part of manumission after Revolutionary War Deep South- many free blacks were malattoes- emancipated children of white planter & his black mistress Some free blacks in the South earned freedom with their earnings Life of Free Blacks many owned property- William T. Johnson (New Orleans) even owned black slaves prohibited from working certain occupations prevented from testifying against whites in court could be kidnapped back into slavery Free Blacks In the North 225,000- northern states forbade them entrance; forbade them the right to vote, forbade them the right to attend public schools

23 Free blacks in the North –hated by the Irish anti-black feelings in the north stronger than in the south “ it was often observed …white southerners, who were often suckled and reared by black nurses, liked the black as an individual but despised the race. The white northerner, on the other hand, often professed to like the race but dislike the individual blacks”

24 Plantation Slavery 4 million black slaves dwelt at the bottom of Southern social society. 1808- legal importation of slaves to America ended= slaves were smuggled into the US AFTERWARDS Most increases in the US slave population = natural increase – distinguishes American slavery from all others!! 1.Slaves were an investment- 1860 Southern investment in slaves= $2 billion (1860 price $1800 for prime field hand) Masters cared for slaves like most expensive property 2. Slavery hobbled the economic development of the region as a whole (slaves from upper South drained to deep south)= slave women in the Old South could earn freedom by bearing up to 13 children.

25 White masters often forced themselves on slave women= malatto children Slave Auctions Slave Auctions slaves sold alongside horses, cows & pigs families were separated- for bankruptcy or inheritance

26 There is no clear or simple answer to describe the life of slaves. Treatment varied from master to master, mansion to house, and region to region. hard grueling work, ignorance, oppression worked from dusk until dawn work & lives of slaves managed by a white “overseer” or black “driver”. no political rights-only min. protection from arbitrary murder the whip served as a reminder of white mastery & substitute for wages (strong- willed slaves sent to a “breaker”)

27 Life in the “Black Belt” area from SC and Georgia to Alabama, Mississippi, & Louisiana life was harder here than in the Old South majority of blacks lived on plantations in slave communities of 20 or more (75% of the population) maintained a fairly stable family life & African-American culture

28 Punishment was often brutal to intimidate slaves not to defy the master’s authority. New western areas were harshest for slaves: (LA, TX, MS, AL)

29 lived in stable two parent families named children after grandparents or forebear’s master Religious practices: influenced by preachers of the Second Great Awakening (mix of African & Christian traditions) emphasized stories in the Bible- like captivity of Israelites call & response style of preaching- adapted from African “ringshout”


31 African Methodist Episcopal Church Richard Allen Free black communities were often centered around churches such as the African Methodist Episcopal Church founded by Richard Allen in 1794. Allen became one of the most influential black leaders in the antebellum period He founded Sabbath schools to teach literacy and supported political organizations that sought to help blacks (e.g. abolitionism)

32 Burden of Bondage most states passed laws which prohibited the education of slaves. education leads to ideas=9/10 of adult slaves illiterate at start of Civil War) Slave Resistance Slave Resistance slaves conduced work slow downs (led to myth of black “laziness”) slaves stole goods produced by or purchased by their labor conducted sabotage 1.Denmark Vesey Revolt 1.Denmark Vesey Revolt (1822): Charleston SC; led by a free black- foiled by informers= Vesey & 30 others hanged. 2.Nat Turner Rebellion 2.Nat Turner Rebellion (1831): a black preacher (Nat Turner) led an uprising & killed 60 whites (mainly women & children)- Vesey & others hanged



35 Abolitionists, although a minority in the North, mounted a highly visible campaign against slavery, adopting strategies of resistance ranging from fierce arguments against the institution and assistance in helping slaves escape to willingness to use violence to achieve their goals. Source: College Board, AP United States History Course and Exam Description (Including the Curriculum Framework)

36 Black Slavery’s Toll on Whites Southern whites developed a “siege” mentality (surrounded by potentially rebellious blacks angered by northern abolitionist propaganda).Abolitionism 1 st emerged at the time of the Am. Revolution (Quakers) American Colonization Society Early abolitionists wanted to colonize blacks= The American Colonization Society (1817)= 1822 free African-American founded Liberia (capital- Monrovia) Over 40 years- 15,000 freed blacks colonized back to Africa * Most blacks did not wish to be sent back to Africa Colonization remained a popular but non-practical solution- espoused by men like Abraham Lincoln.

37 Early Emancipation in the North

38 Legal Status of Slavery, 1861

39 Abolitionism Gains Steam Abolitionism Gains Steam Before the 1830’s- abolition was not seen as much of a threat to the South (example: Benjamin Lundy (Quaker) & James Birney (slave holder) gave speeches in south pushing gradual emancipation. By the 1830’s- abolitionism gained new energy Influenced greatly by the Second Great Awakening admonition to rid America of the sin of slavery 1833 Britain freed slaves in the West Indies Theodore Weld: evangelized by Charles Grandison Finney in NY’s “Burned Over District”; spoke to the mass of rural uneducated farmers. Arthur & Lewis Tappan (NY merchants): 1832 paid Weld’s way to Lane Theological Seminary (Ohio)= Weld & “ Lane Rebels” expelled in 1834. Weld went across the Old Northwest preaching anti- slavery published American Slavery as It Is (1839)= influenced Harriet Beecher Stowe

40 Radical Abolitionists 1. William Lloyd Garrison: 1831- published the Liberator (abolitionist newspaper). Waged a 30 year war on slavery in the US (MOST MILITANT)= demanded the north secede from the South. Helped found the American Antislavery Society (1833) Wendell Phillips co-collaborator: Wendell Phillips (the “golden trumpet” of abolitionism)- wore no cotton cloth/ate no cane sugar. Black Abolitionists 1. Frederick Douglas: greatest black abolitionist; escaped slavery; lectured to anti-slavery groups. Wrote his own autobiography- Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas. Douglas turned to politics to end slavery 2. Sojourner Truth: freed black woman; fought for abolition & women’s rights.


42 3. David Walker: Appeal to Colored Citizens of the World (1829)advocated a bloody revolt. 4. Martin Delaney- advocate of black colonization 1820’s Antislavery Societies more popular in the South (below Mason-Dixon Line) than in the North 1831-1832 Virginia legislature debated emancipation Southern states passed laws forbidding emancipation & tightened slave codes Post –slave revolts- Abolitionist Garrison party blamed by Southerners 1832 Nullification Crisis: heightened southerners fears & suspicions


44 Southerners Defend Slavery Positive Good 1. “Positive Good”- Southerners argued that slavery was supported by the Bible & Aristotle Slavery rescued Africans from barbaric conditions of Africa master-slave relationship was like family black slavery vs. wage slavery of the north 2.1836 The Gag Rule : 2.1836 The Gag Rule : Southern politicians pushed a resolution that all anti-slavery appeals submitted to the House of Representative would be shelved. a clear limit on right to petition the government John Quincy Adams- John Quincy Adams- ex-president fought this for 8 years=finally repealed. 3. 1835- US Government Postal Service- ordered postmasters to destroy abolitionist newspapers being delivered South & allowed the South to arrest postmasters who refused.

45 This 1839 cartoon provides a satire on the "gag rule" in the House of Representatives. Representative John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts is featured pinned to the ground protecting petitions against slavery. Image courtesy of Library of Congress

46 Abolitionist Impact in the North Extreme abolitionists (Garrisonians) were resented for a long time in many parts of the North. Northerners respected the Constitution’s proclamations on property rights Northerners were owed $300 million by 1850’s by Southerners (“Doughface” Northern textile mills would shut down= unemployment for many. (“Doughface” –any northern politician who sided with the south) 1835- William Lloyd Garrison- attacked & almost hanged by a mob (Boston) “Broadcloth Mob” Elijah P. Lovejoy 1837- *Rev. Elijah P. Lovejoy killed by a mob (Ill.) Most respectable politicians like Lincoln tended to avoid strict abolitionists By 1850’s- abolitionism started to touch many northerners; Many saw the South’s position differently= want to limit the spread of slavery any further.

47 Elijah P. Lovejoy Wood engraving of the pro-slavery mob burning down Winthrop Sargent Gilman's warehouse

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