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U.S. History 101. Chapter 11. By the 1800s slavery was entrenched into American Society. Lasting about 200 years After abolition in the North, slavery had become the “peculiar institution” of the South: institution unique to southern society Division at the Mason-Dixon Line

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By the 1800s slavery was entrenched into American Society. Lasting about 200 years

  • After abolition in the North, slavery had become the “peculiar institution” of the South: institution unique to southern society
  • Division at the Mason-Dixon Line
    • Two surveyors in the 18 century to settle a boundary dispute between Maryland and Pennsylvania
    • Dividing line between slavery and freedom

By 1861 there were 4 million slaves in the U.S. of a population of 21 million

  • 18th century cotton replaced sugar as the world’s major crop produced by slave labor
  • Britain abolished slavery in 1833
  • Old South was the largest and most powerful slave society the modern world has known.

Congress prohibited importing slaves in 1808

  • Between 1820 and 1860 over 2 millions were sold to the deep South
  • Constitution required all states to return fugitives slaves to the South.
  • Limited growth of industry, discouraged immigrants, inhibited technological progress

New Orleans was the only significant (size) city in the South

  • 168,000 in 1860
  • Worlds’ leading exporter of slave-grown products
southern society
Southern Society
  • 3 out of 4 families in the South did not own slaves
  • Most families resided on marginal land in isolated hill areas and were self-sufficient.
  • Racism, kinship, political culture, and regional loyalty was the common bond between the poor whites and plantation owners.
planter class
Planter Class
  • 100-199 slaves 1,500 slaveholders
  • 200 + 250 slaveholders
  • Held the majority of slaves and controlled the most fertile land.
  • Highest incomes dominated state and local offices
  • Women: cared for sick slaves, directed the domestic servants, supervised the plantation when their husbands were away

Defend personal honor and masculinity

  • Duels: Henry Clay and John Randolph after criticism on the floor of Congress. Both missed.
proslavery argument
Proslavery Argument
  • Racism
  • Biblical passages: servants should obey their masters
  • Essential to human progress
  • Greece, Rome, other great European had slave labor.
  • Without slavery, planters would be unable to cultivate the arts, sciences, and other civilized pursuits
life under slavery
Life under Slavery
  • Brutal punishment
  • Fear that their families would be destroyed by sale
  • Slaves were property
  • Illegal to kill a slave except in self-defense
  • Cold have trial, but all white juries.
  • Could not testify in court against whites
  • Couldn’t sign contracts, own property

Own firearms

  • Hold meetings unless a white person was present
  • Leave the farm or plantation without permission
  • Could not learn to read or write
    • 90% of the slave population was illiterate in 1860

Feed cornmeal and pork or bacon

  • Wild game
  • Chickens and vegetables they raised themselves
slave labor
Slave Labor
  • Butlers, waitress, nurse, dairymaid
  • Gardner, carpenters, shoemakers
  • Blacksmiths, wavers, cut wood
  • Worked in iron and cola mines
  • Repaired bridges and railroads
slave culture
Slave Culture
  • African influences were evident in the slaves music and dances, religious worship
  • Use of herbs to combat disease
  • Law did not recognize slave marriages
    • “jump over the broomsitck”
    • Needed to be approved by owner

About 1 in 3 slave marriages were broken because of being sold.

  • Equality of powerlessness
  • Men: chopped wood, hunted, and fished
  • Women: washed, sewed, child care, gardening
  • Christianity offered salvation
  • Baptist or Methodist
  • Plantations had its own black preacher
  • Christianity offered social control for the owners
resistance to slavery
Resistance to Slavery
  • Silent sabotage: doing poor work & breaking tools
  • Running away
    • Little knowledge of the geography
    • Estimates about 1000 per year escaped
the amistad
The Amistad
  • 1839 slave ship to Cuba
  • 53 slaves took over the ship
  • Landed in Long Island
  • President Martin Van Buren favored returning the slaves to Cuba
  • Abolitionists brought their case to the Supreme Court
  • John Quincy Adams argued in defends and won their freedom
nat turner s rebellion august 1831
Nat Turner’s Rebellion August 1831
  • 31 year black preacher planned and carried out a violent uprising
  • Led 70 slaves in raids on white families in southeastern Virginia
  • Killed more then 50 whites
  • Most were captured 20 hanged including Turner
  • Crowds of angry whites killed about 100 innocent blacks
antislavery movement
Divisions within the Movement

Women’s participation



Abolitionists were a vast minority

in the North

They were nearly non-existent in

the South

Underground Railroad

Harriet Tubman aka “Black Moses”

Abolitionists communicated to slaves through Quilts Link

40,000+ slaves use to find freedom

Antislavery Movement

Harriet Tubman

free blacks
Free Blacks
  • 1861: 500,000 in the U.S. most in the South
  • Descendants of slaves freed by southern owners in the aftermath of the Revolution
  • Emancipation laws of the northern states
  • Purchased their freedom or succeeded in running away.
antislavery movement1
Frederick Douglass

Born in Maryland1818 as a slave

Secretly taught himself to read and write

Barrowed “free papers” from a black sailor and escaped in 1838

Preeminent antislavery orator

Published autobiography in 1845

Lecture about slavery throughout the North and the British Isles.

His accomplishments testified to the incorrectness of prevailing ideas about blacks’ inborn inferiority

Advised Lincoln to employment of black soldiers

Advocate or giving the right to vote

Died in 1895, with the new system of white supremcacy

Antislavery Movement
  • Frederick Douglass

William Lloyd Garrison

  • 1822 – American Colonization Society establishes the colony of Liberia in West Africa to send emancipated slaves and free blacks
  • 1831 – Newspaper publisher William Lloyd Garrison opens The Liberator, an antislavery newspaper calling for abolition

HarrietBeecherStowe(1811 – 1896)

“So this is the little lady who started the Civil War.” -Abraham Lincoln


Uncle Tom’s Cabin


  • Sold 300,000 copies in the first year.
  • 2 million in a decade!
  • Detailed the harsh treatment of slaves