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Southern Slavery. Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin (1793). Reduced number of slaves needed to separate seeds from the cotton Increased the number of slaves needed to be in the fields to keep up with the pace. Eli Whitney. Statistics.

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Southern Slavery


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  1. Southern Slavery

  2. Eli Whitney and the Cotton Gin (1793) • Reduced number of slaves needed to separate seeds from the cotton • Increased the number of slaves needed to be in the fields to keep up with the pace.

  3. Eli Whitney

  4. Statistics • 1790-1840 export of southern cotton drives American economy • British manufacturers bought as much cotton as South could produce • Up to Civil War, southern exports were roughly $200 million/year (60% U.S. exports) • Southern cotton financed northern industry • Profits from cotton shipping (controlled by Northerners) paid for northern factories

  5. Effects • Although slavery was becoming increasingly unpopular, high profits were hard to overlook • 1808: international slave trade banned • South relies on natural increase and internal slave trade • Southern capital was tied up in cotton production and slavery: • South lagged behind in industrialization, railroads, etc

  6. King Cotton • Lack of southern industrialization was a matter of choice. • Railroads, factories considered risky • Unwilling to introduce free wage labor into the controlled society of slavery • Between 1790-1860 slave population grew: • 700,000 to over 4 million

  7. Slavery based on violence • Sheer number of slaves (1 out of 3) terrified white southerners • Gang labor with overseer with whip to ensure swift punishment • Free blacks subject to strict “black codes” • White people feared influence that free blacks might have on slaves

  8. Slave Revolts • Gabriel Prosser (1800) • Planned to lead slaves into Richmond, Va • Plan was uncovered and James Monroe (then Va. Gov.) sent militia to put down revolt. • Prosser eventually caught and hanged • Denmark Vessey (1822) (Charleston, S.C) • Former slave who purchased freedom • Plan was uncovered and he was executed

  9. Gabriel Prosser

  10. Nat Turner • August 1831 • Most famous slave revolt • Used religious imagery to lead slaves • Killed 55 white people • Turner eludes capture until October and executed • Retaliation of militias resulted in murder of hundreds of slaves

  11. Nat Turner

  12. 2nd Great Awakening • Slaves not permitted to practice African religion • Great Awakening introduced Christianity to slaves • Slaves owners believed Christianity would foster obedience • Slaves found a liberating message that strengthened community and spiritual freedom

  13. William Lloyd Garrison • Abolitionist publisher of “The Liberator” • Leading anti-slavery newspaper • Published in 1831

  14. William Lloyd Garrison

  15. Sarah and Angelina Grimke • Daughters of prominent southern slave owner • Left the south to speak out against slavery

  16. Southern Defense of Slavery • Found justifications in the Bible • Pointed out Greek and Roman society • Recognition of slavery in the Constitution • Claimed slaves were treated better than factory workers in the north • 1836: Southerners introduce “gag rule” in Congress that prohibits anti-slavery debate