THE SOUTH AND THE SLAVERY CONTROVERSY, 1793- 1860 Chapter 16
Cotton is King In 1787 many in both south and the north thought that slavery was on its way out. Reasons? Impact of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin. Short-staple cotton Seeds no longer removed by hand
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. Britain’s most important product in the 1850s was cotton cloth. About 75% of its cotton came from US. About 75% of its cotton came from US. 1/5th of Britain’s workers directly or indirectly got livelihood from cotton processing. 1/5th of Britain’s workers directly or indirectly got livelihood from cotton processing.
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. 1850, only 1733 families owned more than 100 slaves. Cream of the political and social leadership. Cream of the political and social leadership. Owned the lion’s share of the wealth. System retarded economic development. Why? Why?
Slaves Of The Slave System Problems with plantation system: Raped the land Raped the land Economy was monopolistic Economy was monopolistic System was economically unstable System was economically unstable Led to a dangerous dependence on one crop Led to a dangerous dependence on one crop South lacked diversity South lacked diversity
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
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 Why? Why? Mountain whites: very poor, resented slavery, “Hillbillies”
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 Northern v. Southern view of blacks
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.
Slave Life Not much fun Hard work, ignorance and oppression No political or legal rights. Floggings common Floggings common Many places illegal to teach them to read. Many places illegal to teach them to read. Slave-breakers. Slave-breakers. By 1860 most slaves concentrated in the Deep South.
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 Significance
Early Abolition Early abolitionism. Quakers. American Colonization Society (1817) Liberia. 15000 freed blacks transported to Africa Why don’t more American Blacks go back to Africa?.
Growth of Abolition In the 1830s abolitionist turned into a crusade. Why? 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 Catharine Beecher
Radical Abolition 1831 William Lloyd Garrison burst onto the scene. young His view on slavery. Published militant abolitionist magazine: The Liberator. Founded the American Anti- Slavery Society in 1833.
Black Abolitionists Sojourner Truth David Walker—Militant. Frederick Douglas Greatest of the Black abolitionists Greatest of the Black abolitionists escaped from bondage in 1838 at 21. escaped from bondage in 1838 at 21. Protégé of Garrison Protégé of Garrison Frederick Douglas
The South Lashes Back Before 1830: More anti-slavery societies in south than north More anti-slavery societies in south than north Southerners openly debated merits of slavery. 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 Nat Turners rebellion in 1831 Nullification Crisis Nullification Crisis Reaction to Northern criticism Reaction to Northern criticism Southern preachers arguing that slavery supported by Bible Southern preachers arguing that slavery supported by Bible
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. North had heavy stake in the cotton of the south. Textile mills relied on southern cotton. Textile mills relied on southern cotton. Many northerners feared political controversy. 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.