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Southern economy & slavery. Southern Economy. Farmers in 1700s grew mostly long-staple cotton Expensive & difficult to grow Only grows along warm coastline Easy to “clean” – remove seed Expensive selling price – luxury. Long-staple cotton. Southern Economy. Few grew short-staple cotton

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Southern economy & slavery


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    1. Southern economy & slavery

    2. Southern Economy • Farmers in 1700s grew mostly long-staple cotton • Expensive & difficult to grow • Only grows along warm coastline • Easy to “clean” – remove seed • Expensive selling price – luxury

    3. Long-staple cotton

    4. Southern Economy • Few grew short-staple cotton • Cheap & easy to grow • Grows anywhere it’s warm • Hard to clean – fibers are tighter • Too expensive to process by hand • Not as fancy – cheaper price

    5. Short-staple cotton

    6. The Cotton Gin • Eli Whitney invented – 1793 • Easier to cultivate short-staple • Feasible to grow all over south • Cheaper product – must grow lots to make money

    7. How it worked

    8. Southern Economy • Poor farmers could buy cheap land in new western states • Set up new plantations for cheap short-staple cotton • More and more slaves needed

    9. Southern Economy • King Cotton • S became dependent on cotton • Relied on selling to NE & Britain • No need to industrialize

    10. Southern Economy • Cotton mostly shipped by river to ocean ports • Charleston, Savannah, NO • Few railroads/other transportation improvements

    11. Slave Population, 1840 Slave Population, 1860 Slave Population, 1820

    12. King Cotton • Contributors to slavery’s rise: • Southern planters • Northern merchants and traders • English merchants and traders • Congressional “gag rule” prohibited discussion of slavery

    13. White culture • Wealth = # of slaves owned • Price of slaves skyrocketed • 1808 slave trade ban = supply • Western expansion = demand • Many fortunes made from slave sales – esp. in northern states

    14. The Southern Gentleman • Chivalry • Noblesse oblige • Paternalism • Education – classical, not technical • No labor training – beneath planter class

    15. Impact of religion • Baptists & Methodists • Biblical justification for “peculiar institution” • Other groups lost membership • Catholics, Episcopals, Unitarians

    16. How many owned slaves? • Very few, but exact # tough to determine – where / when? • Most owned ≤ 5 slaves, worked alongside them on farm • Most of population – PWTs, slaves

    17. Poor Whites • Aspirational for slave ownership • Many poor whites supported slavery • Maintain social (relative) superiority

    18. Emancipation? • VA considered emancipation before 1831 Nat Turner Rebellion • Also: Stono Rebellion, Gabriel’s Rebellion, Denmark Vesey’s Rebellion • Planters exploited fears – keep lower classes from uniting

    19. Slave Codes • States tightened control over freemen • Disenfranchised • No weapons • No public assembly • No alcohol • No education • White ministers present for church

    20. Life of a slave • By 1830 – almost 2 million slaves in US • Many born in US • Most spoke English

    21. Rural slavery • Large plantations – 20 or more • Big plantations generally harsher • Overseer meted discipline • Most field hands • Some domestics • Some tradesmen

    22. Rural slavery • More slaves on big plantations than anywhere else • 18 plantations: >500 slaves in 1860 • Largest – 1130 (SC) • Largest in GA – 505 • 15 of 18 in SC/LA/MS

    23. Urban slavery • Worked in mines or factories, or as artisans • Rented out during slow times on plantations • Owner charged rent / no supervision concerns

    24. Urban slavery • Urban slaves had it easier than rural slaves • Urban whites unlikely to own slaves / if so would be domestics • Aren’t part of planter society • More witnesses of cruelty

    25. Free Blacks in 1850

    26. Free Blacks in 1850 • Some cities had significant pop of freemen & slaves with some rights • Many were mulattos • Many had bought freedom (manumitted) • All must keep papers so they wouldn’t be captured & sold • Many captured anyway

    27. Abolition • It’s complicated… • Many points on the spectrum • Many questions and issues to answer • Emancipation abrupt or gradual? • Possible major social/economic upheaval if it’s an abrupt change • Millions displaced & unemployed • Gradual? How does that work?

    28. Abolition • It’s complicated… • Many points on the spectrum • Many questions and issues to answer • Should slave owners be paid? • If yes – with what money? • If no – they might be upset, and they’re powerful – some are in Congress • You do want to get a law for this passed, right?

    29. Abolition • It’s complicated… • Many points on the spectrum • Many questions and issues to answer • Should they receive equal rights? • Do you know what that means? • Testify against white people? • Serve on juries to convict white people? • Legally intermarry with whites? • Equal pay for equal work?

    30. Abolition • It’s complicated… • Many points on the spectrum • Many questions and issues to answer • Did you say equal pay? • Do you know what that means? • Poor southern whites have to compete • Poor in north feel threatened – were you hoping that your candidates would ever win?

    31. Abolition • It’s complicated… • Many points on the spectrum • Many questions and issues to answer • Do you just hate southerners, and want to bring them down a notch? • They can be a little irritating, I suppose

    32. Abolition • It’s complicated… • Many points on the spectrum • Many questions and issues to answer • Are Blacks & Whites inherently equal? • You could want slavery to end and still be pretty racist (from our perspective)

    33. Guess who said this… • I am not now, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in any way the social or political equality of the white and black races. • I am not now nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor of intermarriages with white people. • There is a physical difference between the white and the black races which will forever forbid the two races living together on social or political equality. • There must be a position of superior and inferior, and I am in favor of assigning the superior position to the white man.

    34. Abolition • It’s complicated… • Many points on the spectrum • Many questions and issues to answer • Would it be better if the US just sent freed slaves back to Africa? • Or Haiti, or Barbados, or Panama?

    35. Liberia • American Colonization Society • Nation established 1847 as refuge for freed slaves • Capital – Monrovia • Named after James Monroe (resettlement originally his idea)

    36. Liberia

    37. William Lloyd Garrison • Newspaper editor – The Liberator • For immediate emancipation • No compensation to owners

    38. William Lloyd Garrison • Founded: • New England Anti-Slavery Society • National American Anti-Slavery Society • Strong support of Blacks; little early support of Whites (even northern)

    39. William Lloyd Garrison • Garrison became the most popular abolitionist in the North

    40. Frederick Douglass • Born a slave • Taught to read & write by owner’s wife (illegally) • Escaped to NY

    41. Frederick Douglass • Became friends with WL Garrison • Spoke out about experiences • Opened his own newspaper • The North Star

    42. Frederick Douglass • Favored abolition by political means • Also in favor of women’s rights

    43. Abolition • Former slaves became important abolitionists: • Related reality of slavery through Freedom’s Journal & North Star • Leaders in Underground Railroad • Vigilante groups to protect fugitive slaves in North

    44. Frederick Douglass & Sojourner Truth 1845 --> The Narrative of the Life Of Frederick Douglass 1847 --> “The North Star” R2-12

    45. Underground Railroad

    46. Underground Railroad

    47. Abolition • Abolitionists most appealed to small town folk in the North • Opposition in north came from: • Urban populations • Near Mason-Dixon line

    48. Abolition • Radical abolitionists hurt by in-fighting • Many people criticized Garrison: • Appointed a woman to executive committee of American Anti-Slave Society • Called for Northern secession & boycotts of political elections • Some abolitionists broke off & formed Liberty Party in 1840

    49. Abolition…in the south? • Hinton Helper (NC) • Wrote The Impending Crisis of the South • Slavery hinders economic growth • Slavery hurts non-slaveholders • He was NOT pro-African American