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Slavery and the Old (Antebellum) South: The Cotton Kingdom. Building the Cotton Kingdom. White Gold (King Cotton). Textile manufacturing around the world ¾ of world supply came from the southern United States Over ½ of total exports from U.S. by 1850
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White Gold (King Cotton) • Textile manufacturing around the world • ¾ of world supply came from the southern United States • Over ½ of total exports from U.S. by 1850 • $ used to purchase imported manufactured goods
Southern Economy • Limited industry • Southern banks loaning $ for slaves and land • Less than 10% of manufactured goods • Discouraged immigration • Inhibited technological advances • Short rail lines (point A to point B) • Cotton Gin, Flat bottom Rear Paddle Steamboats
The Expansion of Slavery in a Global Economy • In 1860 the American South, if independent, would have been one of the wealthiest countries in the world based on the revenue of the cotton trade. • Cotton cultivation and its expansion depended on technological development, land, labor, demand, and a global system of trade.
This is the triangle slave trade.slaves were legally trafficked between Africa and the United States (until 1808) and Latin America.
Slavery in Latin America • Europeans depended on African slavery in their New World colonies. • African slaves were imported to replace the indigenous populations that were eradicated by disease. • Sugar production was the cash crop for the Latin American holdings of the European powers.
Whiteand Black Migrations in the South • Between 1830 and 1860, southerners began to migrate in a southwest direction to fill up the fertile land and increase cotton production for the mills of England. • The center of cotton production gradually shifted from South Carolina to Mississippi. • “Sold Down the River” (Coffle) • An estimated 1 million slaves were transported westward by this forced migration.
Southern Society (1850) “Slavocracy”[plantation owners] 6,000,000 The “Plain Folk”[white yeoman farmers] Black Freemen 250,000 Black Slaves3,200,000 Total US Population --> 23,000,000[9,250,000 in the South = <40%]
Paternalism and Honor in the Planter Class • Most Southern males adhered to a long-standing tradition of medieval chivalry and aversion to industrialization. • The Southern planters developed a paternalistic attitude towards his slaves; a supposedly kindly father-and-child relationship. • An intensely masculine code of honor placed the virtue of women on a pedestal. • The smallest insult could lead to pistol duels.
YeomanFarmers • Most slaveholders (70 percent) belonged to the mid-level yeoman farmer class. • A Yeoman farmer might have owned as many as ten slaves, but usually worked alongside them. • 75 percent of all southerners held no slaves at all.
Plain Folk in the South • 3 of 4 white families owned no slaves • Family labor • Hired workers • Not involved in market economy • Home production • Little access to public education • Illiterate • Mean as hell?
Why the Plain Folk didn’t despise the Planters • Economic and Personal Freedoms • Planter class had power • Racism • Political culture • Loyalty • Power (slave patrols) • Rented slaves from plantations
Hated Planters Hated Blacks Hated Everybody Hinton R. Helper’s Impending Crisis of the South (1859) Andrew Johnson Mountain Whites
Paternalism (or Feudalism revisited) • Agrarian society (Father is the head) • Personal responsibility for physical and moral well-being of their dependents • Master has right to obedience and labor • Slave has right to protection, guidance, subsistence, care and attention • Code of personal honor (dueling) • Loves his wife because she is weak
The Southern “Belle” “Lady on a Pedestal”
Mary Boykin Chesnut • Diary from Dixie
Justifying Slavery: Proslavery Arguments • Biblical Justification: ancient curse upon Ham, a child of Noah and other references • Historical Justification: all great civilizations participated in slavery • Legal Justification: the U.S. Constitution protected slavery w/o the word “slavery” • Racist Justification: multiple theories regarding inferiority of the black race • Sociological Justification: the black race as societal “children” that needed paternalistic guidance
South Carolina’s Truth • John C. Calhoun • All men created equal was “the most false & dangerous of all political errors” • Freedom is a privilege • A reward to be earned and not for all • Minister John B. Alger • “divine arrangement of the world” • Submission of inferior to superior • Black to white • Female to male • Lower classes to upper classes
Other Proslavery Apologistsfor the “Peculiar Institution” • Thomas R. Dew The Virtues of Slavery • George Fitzhugh Sociology for the South Cannibals ALL! Or Slaves w/o Masters
Daily Toil • Slaves were expected to work an average of 14 hours per day during warm weather and 10 hours in the winter. • Work gangs of 20 to 25 slaves labored under the whip of a “slave driver” or Overseer (usually white trash) • The task system allowed slaves to finish a designated task each day at their own pace. • A normal slave was expected to pick 130 to 150 pounds of cotton a day.
Slave Personality Stereotypes • Nat Turner-Rebellious, Surly, Hostile, Murderous • Masters pictured their slaves as happy-go lucky, docile, simple, childlike, stereotyped as • SAMBO
Slave Personality “SAMBO”pattern of behavior used as a charade in front of whites [the innocent, laughing black man caricature – bulging eyes, thick lips, big smile, etc.].