Economics of Slavery During Civil War

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Southern United States, American Civil War Pages: 2 (479 words) Published: March 23, 2009
Economics of Slavery during Civil War

During the years before the Civil war, many northerners charged the slavery was incompatible with a rapid economic growth. There was clear evidence that slavery was profitable for individual planters. A number of people felt that slavery was wasteful and inefficient, that it devalued labor, inhibited urbanization and mechanization, thwarted industrialization, and stifled progress. Northerners associated slavery with economic backwardness, soil exhaustion, low labor productivity, indebtedness, and ineffectively growth of economic and social.

Does that mean slavery was a declining institution, was it doomed extinction, or even absence in Civil War? Definitely the answer would be “no”. Slave labor was efficient, productive, and adaptable to a variety of occupations, ranging from agriculture and mining to factory work. Slavery was the basis of the American nation’s most profitable industry. During the decades before the Civil War, the increased importance of cotton in the South strengthened the hold of slavery on the region. Slave grown accounted for over half the value of United States exports and provided most of the cotton used in the northern textile industry and 70 percent of the cotton used in British mills. Slave-produced commercial crops required a host of middlemen to sell and transport them to markets and to finance and supply the slave-owning planters. Southern cities such as New Orleans, Mobile, Savannah, Charleston, and Memphis and northern ports such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia depended heavily on the southern trade. Northern farmers and manufacturers found ready markets for their products in southern towns and cities, but especially on the southern plantations. If the products of slave labor stimulated the nations’ economic development, the slave South itself remained primarily agricultural and did not experienced the urban and industrial growth that took place in the North. The...
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