Chapter 17 slavery and abolition
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Chapter 17 – Slavery and Abolition. AP US Unit 6 November 16-17, 2010. King Cotton :. After Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton far eclipsed all other agricultural goods in the south and made slavery profitable for the planters. King Cotton :.

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Chapter 17 – Slavery and Abolition

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Chapter 17 slavery and abolition

Chapter 17 – Slavery and Abolition

AP US Unit 6

November 16-17, 2010


King cotton

King Cotton:

  • After Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton far eclipsed all other agricultural goods in the south and made slavery profitable for the planters.


King cotton1

King Cotton:

  • England’s major export at the time was cotton cloth – 20% of England’s population was tied to the production of it.

    • 75% of the fiber used came from the South.

    • The South felt that as long as this remained, England would always side with the South if the North and South came to blows.


Planter aristocracy

Planter Aristocracy

  • South was controlled by a few in 1850 only 1733 families owned more than 100 slaves. They controlled the politics, culture, and society of the South

  • Negatively affected public schools since their children were sent to private ones.

  • Ruled in their own self interest


Problems with king cotton

Problems with King Cotton

  • Destruction of the soil because of overproduction

  • Dependence on a single crop (economically unsound and prevented healthy diversification of agriculture AND expansion into manufacturing). Also at the whim of world prices

  • Financial Instability due to desire to over-speculation in land or slaves. Slaves cost $1200 sometimes and could run away, injure themselves, or die.


Problems with king cotton1

Problems with King Cotton

  • Big got bigger and the small got smaller – small farmers could not keep up and sold their land. Then the small farmers moved to the West or NW.

  • North prospered with industry and immigration – the South had neither. South was wholly dependent on the North for manufactured goods.


The white majority

The White Majority

  • ¾ of the whites in the South owned no slaves. Most of the ¼ that did own slaves owned very few and were hard working farmers and not rich planters.

  • The “other whites” were divided into 2 groups. Backcountry and Appalachian.


The white majority1

The White Majority

  • The Backcountry whites were those referred to as rednecks and hillbillies. They were mainly subsistence farmers but were also virulent supporters of slavery.

    • Economically they dreamed of acquiring slaves and making money

    • Socially they were glad to be higher than someone on the social ladder

  • These “hillbillies” were looked down upon as lazy by other whites and even some slaves – turns out they were malnourished and often suffered from parasites such as hookworms.


The white majority2

The White Majority

  • The Appalachian whites were a different group. In the land that time forgot, they looked upon slaveholders and slaves with disdain and were therefore “a spear of Unionism” down the backbone of the South during the war.


Free blacks before the civil war

Free Blacks Before the Civil War

  • Half a million free blacks – half in the North and half in the South.

  • In the South, they were often prohibited from holding certain jobs, testifying against whites in court, etc.

  • Also had to worry about being kidnapped back into slavery.


Free blacks before the civil war1

Free Blacks Before the Civil War

  • In the North, there was possibly more racism against the freed blacks.

  • Freed blacks and the Irish competed for menial jobs.

    • Frederick Douglass was often stoned in the street and most of the fight to keep slavery out of the territories was based on racism and economic fear rather than humanitarian ideals.


Plantation slavery

Plantation Slavery

  • 4 million slaves by 1860 even though the international slave trade was outlawed by 1808. (still lots of smugglers as well as internal trade)

  • Slave population in US increased on its own – totally different than elsewhere in the new world. Book thinks this means slaves were treated well…


Plantation slavery1

Plantation Slavery

  • Slaves were an investment for the planters, $1800 by 1860, and were often spared the most dangerous labor (which was hired out to Irish work gangs).

  • Slave owners often slept with their slaves to conceive children that would be more slaves (mulattoes).

  • Auctioning of slaves and the division of family was the most obvious and one of the most cruel results of slavery.


Life under the lash

Life Under the Lash

  • Even though slavery sucked, slaves were able to construct some kind of society and culture for themselves.

  • Families and marriages did occur

    • even though these weren’t recognized by masters and families were often split – separations were more common in the Upper South though


Life under the lash1

Life Under the Lash

  • Religious practices were based on a combination of Christianity and African roots.

  • Responsorial style of preaching – congregations responds with affirmations and amens to preacher

    • adaptation of the ring shout dance


Chapter 17 slavery and abolition

  • Ken Burns Clip on Slavery


The burdens of bondage

The Burdens of Bondage

  • 90% of all adult slaves in 1860 were illiterate – mostly because laws were passed against instruction and knowledge gives power

  • Slaves still found ways to cause problems within the system: work slowing, taking food and produced goods, sabotaging machinery, and (occasionally) poisoning the master’s food


The burdens of bondage1

The Burdens of Bondage

  • A few rebellions happened – Gabriel (1800 Richmond, VA – foiled by informers)

  • Denmark Vesey (1822 Charleston SC – free black that led rebellion and was hung with 30 followers after being betrayed by an informer)

  • Nat Turner (1831 VA – slaughtered 60 Virginians – mostly women and kids) all were stopped and their planners were severely punished


The burdens of bondage2

The Burdens of Bondage

  • Living in a constant state of fear of rebellion or losing slaves, the Southern white planters began to convince themselves of ideas of racial superiority

  • As Booker T. Washington observed “whites could not hold blacks in a ditch without getting down there with them”


Early abolitionism

Early Abolitionism

  • Began in Revolutionary times with the Quakers

  • First attempts were to return the African American slaves to Africa

    • The colony of Liberia was founded on the West African coast in 1822 – 15,000 moved there over the next 40 years


Early abolitionism1

Early Abolitionism

  • By 1860 all slaves were born African Americans

  • Combination of British abolition and 2nd Great Awakening spawned more abolitionism


Radical abolitionism

Radical Abolitionism

  • William Lloyd Garrison (abolitionist) published the antislavery newspaper: The Liberator


Radical abolitionism1

Radical Abolitionism

  • Garrison gathered others to him and they founded the American Anti Slavery Society.

  • Included in this group were free black abolitionists like David Walker, Sojourner Truth, Martin Delaney, and Frederick Douglass.

PA Anti-Slavery Society 1851


Radical abolitionism2

Radical Abolitionism

  • Also included was Wendell Phillips, “abolition’s golden trumpet”, who practiced non-consumption to further his cause – wouldn’t consume cane sugar or wear cotton

  • Quotes by Wendell Phillips:

  • Revolutions are not made; they come. A revolution is as natural a growth as an oak. It comes out of the past. Its foundations are laid far back.

    • Speech (January 8, 1852)

  • The best use of laws is to teach men to trample bad laws under their feet.

    • Speech (April 12, 1852)


Radical abolitionism3

Radical Abolitionism

  • Garrison became extremely radical without giving solutions.

  • Douglass took the political path and more political abolitionists supported the Liberty Party in 1840 and the Free Soil Party in 1848.

    • (All these would become the Republican party in the 1860’s)


The south lashes back

The South Lashes Back

  • Anti-slavery societies were more prevalent in the South than in the North in the early 1800’s, but after 1830, they had disappeared and states tightened their slave codes and prohibited emancipation.

  • Furthered by fear of rebellion after Turner in VA


The south lashes back1

The South Lashes Back

  • The South began to justify slavery much more firmly.

    • Basing it on the Bible, Aristotle, and the benefit to the African Americans

      • Plantation owners compared the “happiness” of their slaves to the “terrible conditions” of Northern factory workers.

    • Many southerners said that slaves were part of the “family”

    • Also based ideas on true racism – said Africans were meant for slavery.


The south lashes back2

The South Lashes Back

  • The South had to crush antislavery actions so much that they required the House to table without debate any anti-slavery bills that came through and they banned the delivery of anti-slavery publications through the mail in the South.


Abolitionist impact in the north

Abolitionist Impact in the North

  • Not all northerners supported it:

    • Racism

    • Economic Stake in South

    • Supported Constitution

    • Many Northerners became free-soilers


Major questions for concept mapping

Major Questions For Concept Mapping

  • How was slavery justified by southern planters?

  • How did the planters insure that slavery was supported by the majority of southern whites?

  • Why were southern planters so afraid of abolition?

  • What affect did abolitionists have on the country in the Antebellum Era?


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