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Presentation on theme: "THE SOUTH, SLAVERY & ABOLITION,"— Presentation transcript:


2 Cotton is King In 1787 many in both south and the north thought that slavery was on its way out. Impact of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin. Short-staple cotton Seeds no longer removed by hand

3 King Cotton Cotton becomes dominant cash crop in south, especially in the gulf bottom lands. Southern planters buy new land and slaves aggressively Northern shippers make big profits shipping. Britain highly dependent on American cotton. Britain’s most important product in the 1850s was cotton cloth. About 75% of its cotton came from US. 1/5th of Britain’s workers directly or indirectly got livelihood from cotton processing.


5 Changes in Cotton Production
1820 1860

6 Southern Cotton Production, 1860

7 The Planter “Aristocracy”
Before the Civil War planter aristocracy controls government in the South. Planter Aristocracy at the top. 1850, only 1733 families owned more than 100 slaves. Cream of the political and social leadership. Owned the lion’s share of the wealth. System retarded economic development. Why?

8 Slaves Of The Slave System
Problems with plantation system: Raped the land Economy was monopolistic System was economically unstable Led to a dangerous dependence on one crop South lacked diversity

9 Whites Without Slaves Majority
Mostly subsistence farmers on poorer land Bottom of group: “Poor white trash”, “rednecks”, “crackers” Had no stake in the slave economy, but were some of the strongest supporters of the system Aspire to move “up” in society by owning slaves Economic: feared competition with free blacks Mountain whites: very poor, resented slavery, “Hillbillies”

10 Free Blacks: Slaves Without Masters
By 1860 there were about 250,000 free blacks Societies’ attitude toward them. Risk of being high-jacked back into slavery. Attitude in the North

11 Plantation Slavery 4 Mill. black slaves Basement of southern society.
Numbers had quadrupled since 1800. Important source of wealth Stagnated the southern economy. Slave population moved south as prime cotton land shifted to the Deep South. Slave population in states.

12 Southern Population (1860)

13 Slave Life Not much fun Hard work, ignorance and oppression
No political or legal rights. Floggings common Many places illegal to teach them to read. Slave-breakers. By 1860 most slaves concentrated in the Deep South.

14 Slave-Owning Population (1850)
Below the 1733 leading families were the less wealthy slave owners. 345,000 families representing 1.7 Mill people in 1850. Over 2/3 owned fewer than 10 slaves. Maj. of whites didn’t own slaves (but supported the “peculiar institution”) Aspire to move up by owning slaves Feared economic competition with free blacks

15 Slaves in the North

1820s: Abolitionist movement to free African Americans from slavery arose Leader was a white radical named William Lloyd Garrison Abolitionists called for immediate emancipation of all slaves

17 Antislavery Movement Wide range of opponents of slavery
Moderates who proposed the gradual abolition Radicals who urged immediate abolition and freeing slaves without compensating owners The Second Great Awakening encouraged many northerners to view slavery as a sin. This view limited the possibilities for compromise Promoted the radical view

18 A. Expectations of Slavery’s Demise: The Declaration of Independence, Gradual Emancipation, No More Slave Imports (1807) 1780 Pennsylvania Law: “That all Persons, as well Negroes, and Mulattos, as others, who shall be born within this State, from and after the Passing of this Act, shall not be deemed and considered as Servants for Life or Slaves;” “Every Negroe and Mulatto Child born within this State who have been born a Servant for Years or life or a Slave, shall be deemed to be and shall be the Servant of such person until such Child shall attain unto the Age of twenty eight Years.”

19 Early Abolition Early abolitionism. Quakers.
American Colonization Society (1817) Liberia freed blacks transported to Africa Appealed to moderates & politicians Large numbers of whites with racist attitudes hoped to remove blacks from society altogether (more on this later)

20 The Growth of the Anti-Slavery Movement (1830s)
A. The 2nd Great Awakening & Slavery as Sin

21 Growth of Abolition In the 1830s abolitionist turned into a crusade.
Theodore Dwight Weld—early Abolitionist preacher. Lyman Beecher, head of Lane Theological Seminary, hotbed of early abolitionism. Very influential and father of Harriet Beecher Stowe Henry Ward Beecher Catherine Beecher

22 B. Organizing Against Slavery:
1. With Words: William Lloyd Garrison, Frederick Douglass, and the American Anti-Slavery Society (AASS)

23 Radical Abolition 1831 William Lloyd Garrison burst onto the scene.
Antislavery = moral crusade. Published militant abolitionist magazine: The Liberator. Founded the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1833.

24 Black Abolitionists Sojourner Truth David Walker—Militant.
Frederick Douglas Greatest of the Black abolitionists Protégé of Garrison Frederick Douglas

Freed slave, Frederick Douglass escaped from bondage and became an eloquent abolitionist (critic of slavery) leader He began an anti-slavery newspaper called, Northstar – named after the star that guided runaway slaves to freedom

26 Antislavery Movement Black Abolitionists Violent Abolitionists
Escaped slaves and free blacks Frederick Douglas Others organized the “underground railway” (safe houses) to guide fugitive slaves to free territory in the North or to Canada, where slavery was prohibited. Violent Abolitionists Urged slaves to revolt against their “masters” Nat Turner’s Rebellion Ended any antislavery discussion in the South

27 2. With Violence: Nat Turner’s Revolt

28 Slave Rebellions Were slave rebellions, but never successful. Often informed upon by other slaves. 1800 Gabriel in Richmond Denmark Vesey, Charleston in 1822. Most famous was rebellion by Nat Turner in Va. in 1831. Significance

29 Turner plans his rebellion
TURNER’S REBELLION The vast majority of African-Americans were enslaved in the South and were subjected to constant degradation Some rebelled against their condition Most famous revolt was led by Virginia slave Nat Turner Turner led 50 followers in a revolt killing 60 whites – he was caught and executed Turner plans his rebellion

30 Antislavery Movement Liberty Party Moderates
Attempt to use political action to end slavery

31 1840 Presidential candidate Party Popular vote Electoral vote Count
Pct William H. Harrison Whig 1,275,390 52.9% 234 Martin Van Buren Democrat 1,128,854 46.8% 60 James Birney Liberty 6,797 0.3%

32 The South Lashes Back Before 1830:
More anti-slavery societies in south than north Southerners openly debated merits of slavery. After 1830 debate in South ends and many southerners defend as positive good. What changed? Nat Turners rebellion in 1831 Nullification Crisis Reaction to Northern criticism Southern preachers arguing that slavery supported by Bible

33 IV. Slaveowners Defend Slavery
With Words: -- The bible --Ancient tradition -- Race/racism -- “Wage Slavery” in the north

34 A Defense of Slavery

35 B. With Laws The Post Office Prohibits Anti-Slavery Propaganda
Congress “Tables” Anti-Slavery Petitions (Gag Rule)

36 Not all northerners were against slavery

37 With Violence: The Case of Elijah Lovejoy

38 The Abolitionist Impact In The North
Abolitionists were not particularly popular in the North for some time. Why? North had heavy stake in the cotton of the south. Textile mills relied on southern cotton. Many northerners feared political controversy. Many northern politicians carefully distanced themselves from the abolitionists. Abolitionists harrassed Yet, by 1850 abolitionism had gained strength and taken root as a popular cause.

39 Attitudes Towards Blacks
In The North

40 Charles Mackay, late 1850s “We shall not make the black man a slave … buy him or sell him; but we shall not associate with him. He shall be free to live and to thrive, if he can … pay taxes … but … not … to dine and drink at our board – to share with us … the jury box … to plead in our courts – to represent us in the legislature – to attend us at the bed of sickness and pain – to mingle with us in the concert-room, the lecture-room, the theatre, or the church, or to marry with our daughters. We are of another race, and he is inferior. Let him know his place – and keep it.”

41 Lincoln Vs. Douglas US SENATE, 1858




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