Chapter 12
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Chapter 12. The Old South and Slavery 1830-1860. Introduction. Nat Turner’s Rebellion Aug. 1831 60 whites were killed Created a panic among whites about slave insurrections PBS Nat Turner. Introduction (cont.). Whites took indiscriminate revenge on blacks

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Chapter 12

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Chapter 12

Chapter 12

The Old South and Slavery

1830-1860


Introduction

Introduction

  • Nat Turner’s Rebellion

    • Aug. 1831

    • 60 whites were killed

    • Created a panic among whites about slave insurrections

    • PBS Nat Turner


Introduction cont

Introduction (cont.)

  • Whites took indiscriminate revenge on blacks

  • The VA legislature came close to passing an emancipation bill (winter of 1831-1832)

    • After the failure of the bill, white opposition to slavery in VA and throughout the South gradually disappeared


Introduction cont1

Introduction (cont.)

  • The Upper South relied less on slavery and cotton than the Lower South

  • Upper South seceded from the Union more hesitantly

  • From 1832 on,what united and created the region the “Old South” was its defense of slavery

    • Its “peculiar institution”


Introduction cont2

Introduction (cont.)

  • We will cover the economy and society of the Old South from 1800 to 1860

  • 1.) How did the rise of cotton cultivation affect the society and economy of the Old South?

  • 2.) What major social divisions segmented the white South?


Introduction cont3

Introduction (cont.)

  • 3.) Why did nonslaveholding whites feel their futures were tied to the survival of slavery?

  • 4.) What were the distinctive features of African-American society and culture in the South?


King cotton

King Cotton

  • Introduction

    • The main cash crop of the colonial South was tobacco

      • Tobacco declined in the late 1700’s

    • Cotton culture revived southern agriculture

      • Encouraged rapid expansion southward and westward

    • Cotton growing was stimulated by:

      • the growth of the British textile industry

      • Development of the cotton gin

      • Removal of Indians form southern and western lands


The lure of cotton

The Lure of Cotton

  • The climate of the Lower South was ideal for growing cotton

  • Intense demand in Britain kept prices high

    • Cotton could be grown profitably on any scale

      • With or without slave labor

  • Cotton cultivation and the institution of slavery did increase side by side

  • Cotton and corn were often grown together so that the South did not have to spend money on imported food


Ties between the lower and upper south

Ties Between the Lower and Upper South

  • The Upper South identified with the Lower South rather than the free states:

    • Many of the Lower South residents had migrated from the Upper South

    • All southern whites benefited form the 3/5’s clause in the Constitution

    • Almost all southerners resented the criticism form northern abolitionists

    • The residents of the Upper South enjoyed a large, profitable business in the sale of slaves to the Lower South


The north and south diverge

The North and South Diverge

  • While the North was rapidly industrializing and urbanizing, the South remained primarily rural and agricultural

  • Slaves could be and were employed in southern factories

  • Much of the South’s capital was tied up in slave ownership

    • Not available for investment in industrial development


The north and south diverge cont

The North and South Diverge (cont.)

  • Southerners believed that raising cash crops through slave labor would continue to be profitable

    • They lacked the incentive to switch their capital from land and slaves to financing industry


The north and south diverge cont1

The North and South Diverge (cont.)

  • The South’s slave economy did not require a high rate of literacy

  • The Old South made less provision for public schools than the North

    • School attendance was not compulsory for southern whites

    • The law forbade teaching slaves to read and write


The social groups of the white south

The Social Groups of the White South

  • Introduction

    • In 1860

      • 1/4 of southern whites owned slaves

      • 1% of southern whites owned 100 or more

    • The whites of the Old South fit into 4 classes:

      • 1.) planters

        • Owners of more than 20 slaves

      • 2.) small slaveholders

      • 3.) yeoman

        • Nonslaveholding small family farmers

      • 4.) people of the pine barrens


Planters and plantation mistresses

Planters and Plantation Mistresses

  • The plantation was almost a factory in the field

    • High degree of division of labor

  • The pursuit of profit led planters to:

    • look constantly for additional and more fertile land

    • Organize their slave crews as efficiently as possible

    • Seek favorable merchant-banker connections


Planter and plantation mistresses cont

Planter and Plantation Mistresses (cont.)

  • To supplement their income

    • Many opened their homes to visitors

      • Responsibility of hospitality falling to their wives

  • Psychological strains that plantation agriculture placed on planters and their wives included:

    • Isolation from other whites of their class

    • Frequent moves

    • Crude living conditions

      • Especially those who lived on the new frontier

    • Responsibilities of running a major economic enterprise


Planter and plantation mistresses cont1

Planter and Plantation Mistresses (cont.)

  • An additional stress on planters’ wives was the sexual double standard

    • Accepted illicit sexual relations between masters and their bondswomen

    • Demanded absolute sexual purity from white females


The small slaveholders

The Small Slaveholders

  • There were many more small slaveholders than planter

  • “In 1860, 88% of all slaveholders owned fewer than 20 slaves.”

  • In the upland regions

    • Small slaveholders tended to identify with the more numerous yeomen

  • In the low country and delta

    • They identified with the planters

    • Aspired to rise into that class

      • Sometimes they did


The yeoman

The Yeoman

  • Nonslaveholding family farmers

  • Largest group among southern whites

  • Most yeoman grew some crops for sale

  • A few were only subsistence farmers

  • Farms ranged in size from 50 to 200 acres

  • Congregated in the upland, hilly, and less fertile regions

  • Proud

  • Self-sufficient


The people of the pine barrens

The People of the Pine Barrens

  • Made up about 10% of white population

  • Did not own land or slaves

  • Squatted on unfenced land

  • Subsistence farming

    • Grazed hogs and cattle

    • Grew corn

  • Refused to work as hired help for others

  • Survived in this manner


Social relations in the white south

Social Relations in the White South

  • Introduction

    • Southern white society showed a mixture of aristocratic and democratic elements

    • There were great differences in wealth between classes

    • Most whites did own land

    • Planters were overrepresented in state legislatures

    • Did not always pass laws that only benefited themselves


Conflict and consensus in the white south

Conflict and Consensus in the White South

  • Planters leaned towards the Whigs

  • Yeomen towards the Democrats

  • Other characteristics of the Old South were minimized in conflict

    • The 4 main social groups were clustered in different regions and had little contact

    • Yeomen and planters were independent landowners

    • Whites rarely worked for other whites

    • Many worked side by side with their slaves


Conflict and consensus in the white south cont

Conflict and Consensus in the White South (cont.)

  • Planters dominated state legislatures

  • All white men had the right to vote by 1820’s

    • The planters could not ignore the desires of the yeomen majority


Conflict over slavery

Conflict over Slavery

  • There was a potential for conflict between slaveholders and nonslaveholders

  • But the majority of nonslaveholding southerners supported slavery

    • Why?

      • Some hoped to become slaveholders

      • Many feared freedmen would demand social and political equality with whites

      • Feared a race war


Conflict over slavery cont

Conflict over Slavery (cont.)

  • Throughout the South there was a fear of a race war

  • Many whites also shared racist beliefs about blacks

  • Feared that emancipation would be followed by a race war

    • Which would endanger the lives of all whites


The proslavery argument

The Proslavery Argument

  • The proslavery argument was also used as a tool to unite southern whites behind the institution

  • The proslavery argument was constructed by southern intellectuals between 1830 and 1860

  • The argument claimed that slavery was a positive good rather than a necessary evil


The proslavery argument cont

The Proslavery Argument (cont.)

  • It claimed that slavery was sanctioned by history and the bible

  • Southern slaves were treated better than northern factory “wage slaves”

  • By the 1830’s, most southern churches had adopted the proslavery position


The proslavery argument cont1

The Proslavery Argument (cont.)

  • Southerners persuaded themselves of the righteousness of their “peculiar institution”

  • They also increasingly suppressed all public criticism of slavery

    • They seized and destroyed abolitionist literature mailed to the South

    • Smashed the presses of southern antislavery newspapers


Violence in the old south

Violence in the Old South

  • During the colonial and pre-Civil War periods, violence was more prevalent among southern whites than it was among white people in the North

  • The murder rate was as much as 10 times higher in the South

  • Physical prowess became a badge of honor


The code of honor and dueling

The Code of Honor and Dueling

  • Behind much of the southern violence was an exaggerated notion of personal pride

  • White men must “react violently to even trivial insults in order to demonstrate that they had nothing in common with slaves.”

  • Among gentlemen this pride took the form of a code of honor.

  • Any intentional insult to one’s reputation had to be redressed by a challenge to a duel


The southern evangelicals and white values

The Southern Evangelicals and White Values

  • The code of honor was potentially in conflict with the values preached by southern evangelical churches

    • Humility and self-restraint

  • From the 1830’s on, evangelical religion grew in influence to the point that some southern gentlemen did denounce drinking, gambling, and dueling as un-Christian practices

  • On the other hand, southern churches partly endorsed the gentry’s code of honor


Life under slavery

Life Under Slavery

  • Introduction

    • Slavery was an exploitative institution that took by force the life and labor of one race for the profit of another

    • Slaves could be found in cities or on farms

      • In the fields or around the house

    • As the central units of an economic institution slave life depended not only on the kindness or cruelty of masters but also on unseen market forces


The maturing of the plantation system

The Maturing of the Plantation System

  • The institution of slavery changed between 1700 and 1830

  • In the earlier period

    • the majority of the black population was recent African or Caribbean arrivals

    • Disproportionately young males

    • Spoke little English

    • Isolated on small farms


The maturing of the plantation system cont

The Maturing of the Plantation System (cont.)

  • By 1830

    • There was a more even balance between males and females

    • Most were American born and English speaking

    • Most worked on large plantations

    • These changes facilitated a more rapid natural increase in the black population


Work and discipline of plantation slaves

Work and Discipline of Plantation Slaves

  • No other 19th century Americans worked as many hours under as harsh discipline as slave field hands

    • Either worked in gang labor or under the task system

  • Slave craftsmen and domestics on the plantations

    • had higher status

    • easier work

    • but also were subjected at times to physical brutality


The slave family

The Slave Family

  • The slave family was not recognized or protected by southern law

  • Husbands and wives, parents and children were separated by sale

  • Sexual demands were made on black females by masters and other white men

  • Despite these problems, the black family did not dissolve


The slave family cont

The Slave Family (cont.)

  • Despite these problems, the black family did not dissolve

  • It evolved in ways that were different from those of middle-class whites

  • In the place of the nuclear family, fictive kin networks allowed slaves to assimilate to new environments


The longevity diet and health of slaves

The Longevity, Diet, and Health of Slaves

  • Slaves in the Old South lived longer and reproduced faster than those in Brazil or the Caribbean

    • More even sex ratio

  • Adequate diet

  • Southern slaves had a higher mortality rate than their white countrymen


Slaves off plantations

Slaves off Plantations

  • The majority of slaves worked on plantations

  • Other jobs for slaves

    • Mining

    • Lumbering

    • Manufacturing

    • Performed a variety of skilled artisan jobs in cities and villages


Life on the margin free blacks in the old south

Life on the Margin: Free Blacks in the Old South

  • Not all blacks in the Old South were slaves

  • More than 250,000 free blacks in 1860

  • From the 1830’s on, the position of the free black in the South deteriorated

  • Southern law forbade teaching blacks (free or slave) to read


Life on the margin cont

Life on the Margin (cont.)

  • Obstacles were put in the way of manumission (freedom)

  • Free blacks were barred from entering or remaining in many states

  • Many of the post-Civil War black leaders came from this group


Slave resistance

Slave Resistance

  • Nat Turner’s 1831 rebellion was the only one in which whites were killed

  • 2 earlier planned insurrections were betrayed before they got underway

    • Gabriel Prosser’s (1800)

    • Denmark Vesey’s (1822)


Slave resistance cont

Slave Resistance (cont.)

  • The Old South experienced far fewer uprisings than South America and the Caribbean

    • Slaves did not form a large majority anywhere in the South

    • Whites had all the weapons and soldiers

    • Blacks were reluctant to endanger their families

    • Black rarely had allies in southern Indians and never in nonslaveholding whites


Slave resistance cont1

Slave Resistance (cont.)

  • An alternative way to freedom was to try to escape to the North

  • Black abolitionists who escaped

    • Frederick Douglass

    • Harriet Tubman

    • Josiah Henson


Slave resistance cont2

Slave Resistance (cont.)

  • Underground Railroad

    • Way to help slaves escape to the north

    • Underground railroad map

    • PBS summary

  • Relatively few slaves made it to the North successfully


Fugitives arriving at indiana farm

Fugitives Arriving at Indiana Farm


Slave resistance cont3

Slave Resistance (cont.)

  • More than be either running away or violent revolt,

    • slaves resisted slavery by furtive means:

      • Theft

      • Negligence

      • Arson

      • Poisoning

      • Work stoppages and slowdowns


The emergence of african american culture

The Emergence of African-American Culture

  • Introduction

    • American blacks under slavery developed a distinctive culture

      • Drew on African and American cultures

    • But was “more than a mixture of the two.”


The language of slaves

The Language of Slaves

  • During the colonial period, verbal communication between slaves was difficult

    • Variety of African languages they spoke

  • By the time most slaves were American-born, they had developed their own language

    • Pidgin English

  • This was an indispensable tool for communication

  • A bridge to a distinctive black culture


African american religion

African American Religion

  • The first Africans brought to the South were Muslims or followers of a variety of indigenous African religions

  • By 1800 many had been converted to Christianity

    • Methodists and Baptists

  • Masters hoped that by preaching Christian humility and acceptance to their slaves, they could make blacks docile and obedient

    • This did not work

    • Many of the rebels and their followers were devout Christians


African american religion cont

African American Religion (cont.)

  • While Christianity did not turn most slaves into revolutionaries

    • It did serve as a unifying force among blacks

    • A source of hope and comfort


Black music and dance

Black Music and Dance

  • Compared to the cultural patterns of upper-class whites in the Old South, the culture of blacks was “extremely expressive”

  • Expressed their feelings in shouts, music, and dance

  • They composed work songs and religious songs (spirituals)

    • PBS songs


Conclusion

Conclusion

  • Slavery is what unified the Old South

  • Though the majority of white southerners owned no slaves, they had become convinced that the perpetuation of the “peculiar institution” was in the best interests of the entire South


Conclusion cont

Conclusion (cont.)

  • Northerners believed that slavery made the South backward and bankrupt

  • Southern whites reacted to outside criticism by defending slavery as a benevolent way to handle the innate inferiority of the black race

    • Few slaves agreed


Conclusion cont1

Conclusion (cont.)

  • While most of slaves did not revolt or escape successfully, they did engage in covert resistance

  • White masters hoped black conversion to Christianity would render their slaves submissive

  • When blacks accepted Christianity, they read into it the message that slavery was a gross injustice


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