The Genesis of American Slavery. What do you already know?. What percentage of Southern whites owned slaves? About how many slaves were there in America before the Civil War began? When did the first slaves arrive in North America? When did the Northern states abolish slavery?
What do you already know? • What percentage of Southern whites owned slaves? • About how many slaves were there in America before the Civil War began? • When did the first slaves arrive in North America? • When did the Northern states abolish slavery? • What piece of legislation (law), written by President Lincoln, ended slavery in America?
Slavery in the Colonies • Slaves were first brought to America to harvest tobacco crops in Virginia in 1619. • Slavery was not just a Southern phenomenon. Rather, many Northerners held slaves as well.
Slavery in the North • Northerners played a key role in the slave trade. • Ports in the North served as essential entrances for Africans to America. • Northerners would buy Africans and then sell them to Southerners. • Northerners often used slaves in their homes, shipping yards, lumber yards, fishing expeditions, etc…
Slavery in the North • Slavery had been abolished in most of the North by the eve of the Revolutionary War. • Slavery, however, continued to indirectly benefit Northern businessmen. • How could slavery in the South have made Northerners money?
Geography is EVERYTHING • Slavery didn’t continue to grow in the South because Southerners were inherently more “evil” than Northerners. • Northerners could afford to abolish slavery because they didn’t need it. They had industrialized, their climate/economy didn’t require slave labor. • If you want to know WHY something happened, look at WHERE it happened.
How did the slaves arrive? • Slaves came to America through a horrifying journey called “middle passage”. • This was the trip across the Atlantic ocean led by slave capturers. These slave capturers took Africans to the Americas and sold them to slave traders.
Middle Passage • Middle Passage (from Amistad) – YouTube • Pair Share: • What part of this video was most disturbing for you to see?
The “Old South” • The South before the Civil War. • Cotton was king, slavery expands. “White Gold” • From the American Revolution to the Civil War (1776-1861), the importance and scope of slavery in America expanded at an alarming rate.
Cotton is King • Cotton was by far the most important raw material in the world. • ¾ of the worlds supply of cotton came from the American South. • Cotton was America’s most valuable export (represented over half of all of America’s international trade revenue). • “No power on Earth dares to make war upon it. Cotton is King” Senator James Henry Hammond, South Carolina
Cotton is King • By 1860 (just before the Civil War), Americans invested more in slave labor than they did in factories, railroads, and banks combined.
Slavery’s Impact on America • Slavery was abolished in the North, but Northerners were still greatly affected by it. • Northerners made money in this slave economy: • - cotton trade financed industrial development in North • - Northern bankers financed Southern cotton plantations • - Northern ships carried cotton to Europe • - Northern companies insured slave property • - Slave labor made cotton cheap for Northern factory owners
Slavery’s Impact on Southern Economy • Slavery had many effects on the Southern economy: • - limited the growth of industry • - discouraged immigrants from entering the South • - slowed down technological progress • Slavery completely retards social/economic/technological growth in the South.
What have we learned so far? • Slavery in America Video — History.com
Regular Whites in the Old South • The majority of white Southerners, 3 out of 4, owned no slaves. • These whites existed outside of the market revolution, continuing to live self sufficiently. • Most of these whites were poor, lacking access to public education and transportation.
Regular Whites in the Old South • Could “rent out” slaves from wealthy planters. • Organized and ran the slave patrols in the Old South. • Although most whites owned no slaves, they believed that slavery was a benefit to society.
The Planter Class of the Old South • These were the plantation owners, the richest men in the South.
The Planter Class of the Old South • “The plantation was a little nation by itself, with its own language, its own rules, regulations, and customs”. Frederick Douglass • Ownership of slaves = wealth, power, status, and influence • Southerners who became wealthy almost always invested their money in slaves. • By 1860, the price of one slave had risen to $1800 (equivalent to $40,000 today)
Paternalism in the Old South • A policy or practice of treating or governing people in a fatherly manner, especially by providing for their needs without giving them rights or responsibilities. • Plantation owners saw themselves as “father figures” to their slaves. After all, they fed, clothed, managed, housed, disciplined, and cared for their slaves.
Paternalism in the Old South • In America, plantation owners lived and worked with their slaves. • “Their paternalistic outlook both masked and justified the brutal reality of slavery” • Plantation owners thought their slaves needed them, that they would be unable to survive in a civilized society without them.
Paternalism in the Old South • This concept of paternalism extended beyond slaves • “A man loves his children because they are weak, helpless, and dependent. He loves his wife for similar reasons.” George Fitzhugh, Virginia lawyer
The Pro-Slavery Argument • As more and more Northerners began to criticize this “peculiar institution”, the Southern defense of slavery intensified. • Southerners came to believe that slavery was not a necessary evil, but rather, an essential foundation for civilized and free societies.
The Pro-Slavery Argument • Based on: • Racism • Slavery is essential to human progress • Slavery made possible equality among whites • Slavery freed whites to pursue the arts/sciences • Slavery was the natural state of white/black relations • Freedom and liberty are not meant for all
Slaves and the Law • According to the law, slaves were property, not human beings. • It was illegal for slave owners to kill a slave, except in self defense. • Slaves could not testify in court against a white person, sign contracts, own weapons, hold meetings, or leave the plantation without permission. • It was illegal to teach slaves to read and write.
Slaves fight back • “Silent Sabotage” meant doing poor work, breaking tools, abusing animals, disrupting plantation routine. • Some slaves ran away, always at great risk. • Some slaves staged violent revolts.
Fugitive Slaves • Running away was incredibly dangerous. • Slaves were valuable property, and slave owners went to great lengths to protect/secure their investments. • If caught running away, the punishment for that slave would be brutal.
Fugitive slaves • “Every white man’s hand is raised against him, the patrollers are watching for him, the hounds are ready to follow in his track” Solomon Northrup • In spite of these dangers, some slaves (mainly men) did risk their lives and escape to freedom in the North.
The Underground Railroad • An organization of abolitionists who helped slaves navigate the dangerous journey to freedom in the North.
The Underground Railroad • Most famous leader was Harriet Tubman, herself a former slave who escaped to freedom in the North. • “I have the right to one of two things, liberty or death. If I can’t have one, then I will have the other.” Harriet Tubman
The Underground Railroad • The Underground Railroad — History.com Video
Slave Revolts • Slave revolts were violent, uncommon, terrifying, and shocking to the white Southern community. • Perhaps the most infamous slave revolt in American history was led by Nat Turner, a slave from Virginia. • The Underground Railroad — History.com Video • Slaves were usually outnumbered, always outgunned, and always less organized than the whites who desired to keep them enslaved. Help would have to come from outside the South.
Consequences of Slave Revolts • These revolts terrified white Southerners and led to: • 1. blacks were no longer allowed to preach • 2. strengthening of white militias in the South • 3. free blacks could no longer own guns • 4. teaching slaves to read and write became illegal
John Brown’s Rebellion • The Underground Railroad — History.com Video • Events like this made the South increasingly defensive when it came to slavery. • It was becoming more and more obvious that Southern states would not give up slavery without a fight.