TheAgrarian South The North
Growth of the Cotton Industry • With the growth of textile mills in the North, the demand for cotton grew rapidly. Long-staple cotton was easy to process. Unfortunately, most of the South grew short-staple cotton.
Growth of the Cotton Industry • Problem: Picking seeds from cotton was difficult and time consuming. It could take a day to pull seeds from 1 pound of cotton. • Solution: Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin – a machine that removed seeds from short-staple cotton. (“Gin” is short for engine.)
The Cotton Boom • With the Invention of the Cotton Gin • Cotton was so profitable, southern farmers abandoned other crops in favor of cotton. • By 1840, the U.S. was producing more than half of the cotton brown in the entire world. • The success of cotton helped keep in place the institution of slavery in the South.
The Cotton Belt • The Cotton Belt • The area of high cotton production became known as the cotton belt. Farmers and agricultural scientists constantly looked for ways to improve the crop and soil chemistry. With crop rotation and stronger types of cotton, the industry grew through the 1860s. • Congress made • Importing slaves illegal • in 1808 but the slave • trade within the U.S. • was thriving.
Southern Industry The South had industry as well. Many of the first factories in the South were built to serve farmers’ needs by processing crops such as sugarcane. Sawmill and cotton mills were built as well.
Southern Society • Not all white southern families lived on plantations and had many slaves. During the first half of the 1800s, only 1/3 had slaves. Even less had plantations. • The plantation owners were the powerful, political leaders.
Hierarchy of Southern Society Planters – wealthy plantation owners
Planters • Grew crops and supervised laborers and slaves • Wives were socialites who planned grand parties
Hierarchy of Southern Society Free African Americans – 250,000, discrimination Poor Whites – Did odd jobs, fished, hunted Slaves – 4 million Yeoman – Small 100 acre farms, few slaves Planters – wealthy plantation owners
Slaves • Worked on plantations or farms • Gang labor system = all field hands work on same task at the same time • Worked all day – sickness and weather didn’t matter • House slaves = cooks, nannies, or nurses.
Nat Turner’s Rebellion Did slaves every revolt? Yes. Nat Turner’s Rebellion was the most violent slave revolt in the U.S. In 1831, slave Nat Turner believed God told him to end slavery. He led a group of slaves to kill all slaveholders in a county in Virginia.
Nat Turner’s Rebellion They killed 60 whites and 100 slaves were killed in an attempt to end the rebellion. He ran for 6 weeks before he was caught and executed. Stricter coders were enforced on slaves as a result.