SLAVERY: THE SOUTH’S “PECULIAR INSTITUTION”, 1793-1860, 350-57 I. Growth of slavery: start w/quotation on p. 342 and cartoon on p. 343 A. Appeared to be dying out beginning 19th century
B. Cotton gin > more demand for field hands > slavery grew 1st half 19th cent. C. Profits > pushing west for more lands > more slaves (maps p. 347 and 348) D. Importance of cotton
1. 50% of value of US exports by 1840
2. South produced >50% of world’s cotton
3. Br. got 75% of its cotton from South > potential ally if civil war broke out > “King Cotton:” extensive influence of cotton II. Planter aristocracy
A. South an oligarchy – rule by few – “cottonocracy” B. Less than 1% of whites owned >100 slaves, but this minority dominated Southern society: Freed from demands of manual labor, they could develop intellectually and politically > provided much pol. leadership during early yrs. of republic (e.g., Virginia Dynasty) C. Undemocratic nature of cottonocracy:
1. Huge gap between rich and poor
2. Lack of support for public education (rich sent children to private schools or hired tutors) III. Dangers of King Cotton: weakened South for upcoming Civil War A. Wore out soil. “Land butchery”
B. As soil wore out, small farmers sold lands and moved north or west > loss of population C. Financial instability: heavy borrowing for lands and slaves > financial shakiness D. Excessive dependence on one crop. A “slave” to world cotton markets. Lack of economic diversity E. Southern resentment at Northern “middlemen” (bankers, shippers, wholesalers) earning money from Southern cotton F. Discouraged foreign immigration (slave labor competition) > less population growth IV. Average Southerners
A. Slaves expensive (~$1800 by 1860. Equivalent to $39,000 in inflation-adjusted dollars) > only ~1/4 of white Southerners owned slaves B. Of those who DID own slaves:
1. 1% owned > 1002. > 50% owned four or less C. Resentment among poor whites of “snobocracy.”
D. Feelings of superiority of “snobocracy” against “hillbillies, white trash, crackers” E. Why would poor whites defend slavery?
1. Aspirations of one day owning slaves
3. States’ rights: resentment against “damned Yankee” intrusion into southern affairs F. “Mountain whites” of Appalachian region: extremely poor > extreme resentment against snobocracy > Union supporters during Civil War V. Free blacks
A. In South, a small minority
1. Ways of gaining freedom
a. Emancipation by owners, esp. after death
b. Purchased freedom w/wages from “after hours” work 2. A “third race:” not slaves, but heavily discriminated against B. In North
1. Heavy discrimination
2. Resentment from poor whites, esp. Irish immigrants: job competition C. Dichotomy: Southern whites professed to like blacks as individuals, but hated blacks as a race. Northern whites professed to like blacks as a race, but hated blacks as individuals.
SLAVERY: THE SOUTH’S “PECULIAR INSTITUTION”, 1793-1860, 357-62 VI. Slaves
1. 4 million in 1860 (out of total Southern pop. of 9 million). Huge increase since 1800 (a quadrupling). Why the increase? a. Slave trade (i.e., importation) legally ended in 1808, but smuggling continued b. More importantly: natural reproduction. Sustained reproduction of slaves in US, unlike Caribbean region. Why the difference? B. Slaveowners’ view of slaves: property > need to protect investment > foolish to sadistically punish slaves. Need to get return on investment C. Slavery was profitable for owners, but damaged South as whole. Held back its development D. Breeding of slaves not openly encouraged, but probably did occur to some extent (sidebar p. 357) E. Sexual...
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