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The Southern Economy and the slave system. The Cotton Boom. Cotton belt formed when farmers switched from less profitable crops to cotton Stretched from South Carolina to Texas 1791: US produced 2 million lbs/year of cotton 1860: 1,650 million lbs/year of cotton. Reasons for the Cotton Boom.

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the cotton boom
The Cotton Boom
  • Cotton belt formed when farmers switched from less profitable crops to cotton
  • Stretched from South Carolina to Texas
  • 1791: US produced 2 million lbs/year of cotton
  • 1860: 1,650 million lbs/year of cotton
slide3

Reasons for the Cotton Boom

  • Crop prices fell after the Revolution, so did the demand for slaves
  • Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin reenergized southern agriculture
  • Impact: Slavery had been on the decline, but once again increased
advantages of cotton
Advantages of Cotton
  • Easy to grow
  • Easy to transport
  • Did not spoil easily
  • Stronger types of cotton produced by crossbreeding

…This is why cotton became King

scientific agriculture
Scientific Agriculture
  • Use of scientific methods to improve crop production
  • Problem: cotton pulled so many nutrients from the soil, the soil became useless for years
  • Solution: crop rotation, more research to understand soil chemistry
cotton exports
Cotton Exports
  • Cotton sent to ports via rivers
  • Major port cities: Charleston, Savanna, New Orleans
  • Sold cotton to Great Britain and other foreign countries- Great Britain needed cotton for their booming textile industry
planters vs yeomen
Planters vs Yeomen
  • Planter: large scale farmer with more than 20 slaves- there were very few planters
  • Held political and economic power despite small numbers
  • Yeomen: owned small farms, some held a few slaves, worked in the field
role of slaves
Role of Slaves
  • Majority worked in fields sunup to sundown
  • Some worked as butlers, cooks or nurses in the home
  • Treated better, but worked longer hours
  • Some were skilled laborers- Blacksmiths, carpenters
conditions
Conditions
  • Poor clothing
  • Shoddy shelter
  • Not allowed to be educated. Why?
  • Punishment: whipped, put in the stocks, hanged, detained, put in different devices
how did slaves endure
How did slaves endure?
  • Maintaining a sense of culture
  • Religion- spirituals were songs sung to express religions beliefs
  • Telling folktales- stories with a moral, taught slaves how to survive under their conditions
challenges to slavery
Challenges to Slavery
  • Passive resistance: breaking tools, working slowly, stealing, carelessness
  • Active resistance: suicide, running away, revolts
  • Nat Turner’s Rebellion: slaves in VA rose up in 1831 and killed 60 whites. Turner was arrested and executed