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Westward Expansion and the American War

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Westward Expansion and the American War
Slavery was like an addiction that the south could not break. Although it provided economic benefits to both the north and the south, the addiction or “curse” bound the people to the downfalls of slavery as well. Slavery created an oligarchy of which a small aristocracy of slave-owners would dominate political, economic, and social affairs of both races. The institutions negative impact on the South, and even the entire nation would eventually lead to the civil war.
The institution of slavery oppressed enslaved individuals, the effects were felt beyond the large slave population. In the early 1800’s, the largest class in the south was yeoman farmers, small-scale, non-slaveholding farmers who, eighty percent of the time, owned their own land. Although numerically the yeoman farmers were superior, the balance of power was slanted utterly towards the small slave-holding class. Even in the matter of land distribution, most of the fertile and nutrient-rich land was used to support plantations built by the wealthy slaveowners.
Even in industry the institution of slavery also affected the status of factory workers. At the time, working conditions were extremely poor. Slavery may have helped produce abundant amounts of cotton cheaply, but it also cursed those who were tangled in the grip of this “peculiar institution”.
Wealthy slaveholding families also dominated politics on both a regional and national level in the ante-bellum era. Slavery, like land, was seen as a sign of wealth, and wealth would provide families with the means to educate their children at private institutions. These families would lose their “investments”. Although the institution of slavery may have unified the south, the effects were temporary, and southern political freedom was cursed with restrictions. The political ideals of the south established by the cursed institution of slavery would eventually clash with northern abolitionists to cause the Civil War. The South’s addiction to slavery in

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