Dbq 6 American Pageant

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Jackie Olemberg
AP US History DBQ 6

Slavery is an institution that has existed since ancient times. To argue over its immorality is irrelevant, as its ethical and moral implications are blatantly evident. However, to say that the main cause of disdain of the institution from the North stems from its immorality is inherently incorrect, due to the fact, that as previously stated, slavery has existed since ancient times, perforce its immorality could not simply be the main cause of hatred toward this withstanding system from the North. Nevertheless, it goes without saying that their disgust toward the peculiar institution (a common name used to refer to slavery) is related to its ethical implications. However, the question still remains: what was the root of the difference of opinion between the North and South, prior to the Civil War, regarding slavery, and how were these views attained? Many factors come into play when assessing the answer, such as their differing economies and political views. The following documents prove how both their economic and political differences culminated in their drastically different viewpoints on slavery preceding the Civil War.

The main staple of the Southern economy was cotton, which was known as King Cotton or referred to as “our great Southern staple” (doc. B) among those living in the South at the time. Cotton was harvested on plantations that required the use of slave labor (doc. E), which led to a large population of slave owners. In the South, the economy was dependent on selling these raw materials to manufactures. In contrast, the North was comprised of the manufactures that hired factory workers instead. When juxtaposing the northern factory workers with the southern slaves many similarities surface. Both the southern slaves and northern factory workers were comprised of immigrants, the southern slaves were from Africa and the northern factory workers were from Ireland and Germany. Their treatment...
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