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Out of Many Chapter 10. The South & Slavery. King Cotton & Southern Expansion. Slavery had long dominated southern life Slaves grew tobacco, rice & indigo while the slave owners made fortunes Slave system waned until cotton entered & became highly profitable

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The South & Slavery

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    1. Out of Many Chapter 10 The South & Slavery

    2. King Cotton & Southern Expansion • Slavery had long dominated southern life • Slaves grew tobacco, rice & indigo while the slave owners made fortunes • Slave system waned until cotton entered & became highly profitable • Dominant crop in MD, DE, VA, NC, SC, GA, KY, TN, MO, AL, MS, LA, AR, FL, & TX • Created a regional culture quite different from that of the North

    3. Cotton Gin • Cotton had one drawback: the seeds were so difficult to remove • Took 1 day to hand-clean 1 lb. of cotton • Eli Whitney, Yale graduate, northerner • Hired as a tutor for a southern plantation • Catherine Greene, widow, plantation owner • 1793, built the cotton engine, or “gin” • Catherine suggested making the teeth out of wire • Suddenly you could clean 50 lbs. of cotton per day

    4. Southwest Expansion • New land was wanted because cotton rapidly depleted the soil • “Alabama Fever” • Southern farmers rushed to the exceptionally fertile lands of Alabama & Mississippi • One of the swiftest migrations • Slaves cleared the land, drained swaps, built houses & barns, & planted the first crops • Settlement of the Old Southwest took place at the expense of the region’s Indian population

    5. The Economics of Slavery • Worldwide demand for cotton supported slavery • Export of cotton a dynamic part of American economy • Financed northern industrial development • Northern industry directly connected to slavery • Cotton & slavery tied up capital leaving the South lagging behind the North in urban pop., industrialization, canals, & railroads

    6. The Industrial Revolution • The demand for cotton was a result of the technological & social changes that we know today as the Industrial Revolution • A Series of inventions resulted in the mechanized spinning & weaving of cloth • The ability to produce large amounts of cotton cloth revolutionized the world economy • By the time of the Civil War, cotton accounted for nearly 60% of the US’s exports • As cotton boomed, it provided capital for the new factories in the North

    7. A Slave Society in a Changing World • After the Rev. War, the northern states abolished slavery & many slave owners in the Upper South freed their slaves • Jefferson thought that a “total emancipation with the consent of the masters” wasn’t too far in the future • January 1, 1808 – slave trade was constitutionally abolished in the US • A small number of slaves continued to be smuggled in from Africa • But, for the most part, now depended on natural increase • The South was being consumed by cotton • Did not see the need to invest in risky businesses like canals & railroads • Did not industrialize as quickly as the North did • Cotton created a distinctive regional culture. • Slave states were losing political dominance because their population was not keeping up with that of the North

    8. To Be a Slave • In 1850, 55% of all slaves were engaged in cotton growing • Seventy-five percent of slaves worked as field hands, from sunup to sundown, performing the heavy labor needed for getting out a cotton crop. • Some slaves worked as house servants. • About 1/3 of the female slave pop. in VA were servants • Needed them to maintain their newly “rich” lifestyles • Some slaves were skilled workers. • Weavers, seamstresses, carpenters, blacksmiths, mechanics • Lumberjacks, miners, & deckhands • The wages of the slave belonged to the master, not the slave • Not surprisingly, many suffered from poor health.

    9. Internal Slave Trade • As the expansion in the Southwest accelerated, so did the demand for slaves in the newly settled regions • Upper South (DE, KY, MD, VA, & TN) slave owners sold slaves “down the river” • More slaves – est. 1 million – were uprooted by thisinternal slave trade &forced to migrate than werebrought to N. America duringthe entire time theinternational slave trade waslegal

    10. Coffles • If they weren’t traveling down the Mississippi River on steamboat, slaves travelled by foot • They were often chained together in groups of 50 or more • Were a common sight on southern roads • Once they arrived at their destination, they were carefully inspected by potential buyers & sold at auction to the highest bidder • Many owners sold slaves & separated slave families not out of necessity but to increase their profits • The sheer size & profitability of the internal slave trade made a mockery of southern claims for the benevolence of the slave system

    11. A coffle of slaves sold west from South Carolina

    12. The African American Community • African American values & attitudes, and especially their own forms of Christianity, played a vital part in shaping a culture of endurance and resistance • Most lived on plantations with 20+ slaves • Even though slaves were considered property, only the most brutal masters refused to see the humanity of their slaves • White masters learned to live w/ the 2 key institutions of African American communities: • The Family • Church

    13. Hermitage plantation slave cabins, Savannah, GA - each 2 rooms, bedroom & kitchen

    14. The Price of Survival • Growth of African American slave pop. Was due to the high fertility rates of African American women (though not as high as white women) • Mortality rates of slave children under five twice that of white counterparts • Due to the mothers being inadequately nourished, working too hard, & were too frequently pregnant • Infectious diseases endemic in the South • Life expectancy for whites 40-43 years • Life expectancy for blacks 30-33 years • Malnutrition & lack of basic sanitation took a high toll on slaves

    15. From Cradle to Grave • Slavery was a lifelong labor system • Owners argued that by feeding & housing them from birth to death, they were more humane than their northern counterparts • Children lived with their parents • Would play with one another & the white children of the plantation until their were about 7 years old • At age 12, they were considered full grown & put to work on the fields or in their designated occupation

    16. Slave Families • Marriage not legally recognized but encouraged among slaves • frequently not respected by masters • a haven of love and intimacy for theslaves • Parents gave children a supportiveand protective kinship network. • Parents made great efforts to teach & protect their children • The internal slave trade made separation a constant danger • Slave families were often split up. • Separated children drew upon supportive networks of family and friends.

    17. African American Religion • Slaves were not permitted to practice African religions, though numerous survivals did work their way into the slaves’ folk culture. • The first and second Great Awakenings introduced Christianity to many slaves. • In the 1790s, African American churches began emerging. • Whites hoped religion would make the slaves obedient. • Slaves found a liberating message that strengthened their sense of community and offered them spiritual freedom.

    18. An 1860 slave burial “drawn from life” at the plantation of LA Gov. Tucker

    19. Freedom & Resistance • Most slaves understood that they could not escape bondage. • About 1,000 per year escaped, mostly from the upper South. • Running away and hiding in the swamps or woods for about a week and then returning was more common • Harriet Tubman – gained fame by serving as a scout, spay & nurse during Civil War

    20. Slave Revolts • A few slaves organized revolts. • Gabriel Prosser and Denmark Vesey organized large-scale conspiracies to attack whites in Richmond and Charleston that failed. • Nat Turner led the most famous slave revolt in Southampton County, Virginia in 1831. • Turner used religious imagery to lead slaves as they killed 55 whites. • After Turner’s revolt, white southerners continually were reminded by the threat of slave insurrection.

    21. Nat Turner’s Rebellion 1831

    22. Free African Americans • By 1860, there were nearly 250,000 free African Americans, mainly working as tenants or farm laborers. • In cities, free African American communities flourished but had a precarious position as their members lacked basic civil rights. • Throughout the South, state legislatures tightened black codes • Laws passed by states & municipalities denying many rights of citizenship to free black people • Could not carry firearms, purchase slaves (unless members of their own family), liable to criminal penalties meted out to slaves, could not testify against whites

    23. The White Majority • The Middle Class • A commercial middle class of merchants, bankers, factors, and lawyers • arose to sell southern crops on the world market • lived in cities that acted as shipping centers for agricultural goods • Poor White People • Between 30 to 50 percent of southern whites were landless. • These poor whites lived a marginal existence as laborers and tenants. • They engaged in complex and sometimes clandestine relations with slaves. • Some yeomen hoped to acquire slaves themselves, but many were content with self sufficient non-market agriculture. • Yeomen supported slavery because they believed that it brought them higher status.

    24. The White Majority • Yeoman • Two-thirds of all southern whites lived in non-slaveholding families. • Most yeomen were self-sufficient farmers. • Their goal was economic independence • The strong sense of community was reinforced by close kin connections and bartering.

    25. Planters • Small Slave Owners • Most slaveholders owned only a few slaves. • Bad crops or high prices that curtailed or increased income affected slave-holding status • Middle class professionals had an easier time climbing the ladder of success.

    26. Planters • The Planter Elite • Most slaveholders inherited their wealth but sought to expand it. • As slavery spread so did the slave-owning elite • The extraordinary concentration of wealth created an elite lifestyle. • Most wealthy planters lived fairly isolated lives. • Some planters cultivated an image of gracious living in the style of English aristocrats, but plantations were large enterprises that required much attention to a variety of tasks. • Plantations aimed to be self-sufficient.

    27. The Plantation Mistress • Following southern paternalism, in theory, each plantation was a family with the white master at its head. • The plantation mistress ran her own household but did not challenge her husband’s authority. • With slaves to do much of the labor conventionally assigned to women, it is no surprise that plantation mistresses accepted the system. • Were responsible for arrangements for visitors

    28. Coercion & Violence • The slave system rested on coercion and violence. • Slave women were vulnerable to sexual exploitation, though long-term relationships developed. • Children of master-slave relationships seldom were publicly acknowledged and often remained in bondage

    29. Abolitionist engraving by Alex Lawson: “Barbarity committed on a free African, who was found on the ensuing morning, by the side of the road, dead!”

    30. The Defense of Slavery:Proslavery Arguments • Slavery gave rise to various pro-slavery arguments including: • in the post-Revolution era, Southern whites found justifications in the Bible or classical Greece and Rome • the Constitution recognized slavery and that they were defending property rights • by the 1830s arguments developed that slavery was good for the slaves. • George Fitzhugh contrasted slavery, which created a community of interests, with the heartless individualism that ruled the lives of northern factory workers.

    31. Defense of Slavery:Southern Anti-Slavery • Despite efforts to stifle debate, some southern whites objected to slavery. • The growing cost of slaves meant that the percentage of slaveholders was declining and class divisions widening. • Hinton Rowan Helper denounced the institution.

    32. Population Patterns In six southern states, slaves comprised over 40 percent of the total population.