The American Pageant
Chapter 16 The South and the Slavery Controversy 1793-1860
A. Cotton is King
1. Eli Whitney’s 1793 cotton gin made possible wide-scale cultivation of short-staple cotton a. Cotton quickly became more profitable than tobacco, rice, and sugar 2. The increased demand for cotton led to an increase demand for labor a. Quick profits drew planters to the Gulf states

b. More land led to more need for slaves which led to an increase in cotton production which repeated the cycle 3. Northern shippers sold cotton to Great Britain
a. 1840- cotton was 50% of all exports
b. Much of the British textile industry was dependant on the cotton produced by slave labor in the U.S. c. 75% of British cotton came from the U.S.
d. Southerners believed that the British dependence on cotton would force GB to defend the South if necessary 4. Southerners believed that “Cotton was King”
B. Planter Aristocracy
1. The south was more of an oligarchy (rule by the few) than a democracy 2. Planter elite were very wealthy, highly educated, political and social leaders a. By 1850 there were 1,733 families who owed 100 or more slaves each these families comprised the “cottonocracy” b. Planter elite liked to view themselves as the noble class of the 19th century c. Planter elite took pride in their feudalistic society 3. Author Sir Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe (1819)

a. Jousting tournaments were held in the South
4. Only ¼ of southern whites owned slaves or were a member of a slave holding family a. Most southern whites were subsistence farmers
b. Slaves were too expensive for most southern whites 5. Women were in charge of the household slaves (mostly female slaves) but remained very much subservient to the man of the house a. Southern women very rarely participated in the women’s rights movement going on in the North C. Slaves of the Slave...
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