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Cotton was a new product that was in high demand, especially in the textile industry in the North. Source of the economic boom/development in the South as well as the North; it was the way of life for nearly every southerner, thank to the introduction of the short-staple cotton and the cotton gin.
Cotton production dominated in this region, which was a more recently settled areas in the "lower South"; began to call this region the "Cotton Kingdom". Settlement in this region was like the gold rush to CA; a tremendous profit was coming out of this region.
A harder and coarser strain of cotton that could grow successfully in a cariety of climates and in a avariety of soils. It was harder to process than long-staple variety; its seeds were more difficult to remove from the fiber
Cotton's Affect on Slavery's Expansion
b/c more cotton was being produced, the demand for slaves to pick the cotton and keep up with the demand and production also increased in corresponding numbers
Cotton Production Compared 1820 and 1860
In 1820, South produced 500,000 bales of cotton and in 1860, it had produced nearly 5 million
Slavery Compared 1820 and 1860
Between 1820 and 1860, the number of slaves in Alabama leaped from 41,000 to 435,000; in Mississippi from 32,000 to 436,000; but in VA, only from 425,000 to 490,000.
De Bow's Review
It was a tireless advocate of southern economic independence from the North, warning constantly of the dangers of the "colonial" relationship between the sections; but this only emphasized the dependency of the South on North.
Reasons: 1.great profitability of the region's ag system (cotton production) &refused to move forward since they were making a profit, why change? so they depended on N for whatever they didn't have 2.a wealthy southerner had so much capital invested in their land and slaves that they had little left for other things 3.said to be that the southern climate was unsuitable for industrial economy
White southerners were "cavaliers"-happily free from the base, acquistive instinct of the "yankees" to their north; more concerned w/ a refined and gracious way of life than w/rapid growth &development. This is what created how we think of southerners of this time; "southern gentlemen and ladies"
Consisted of cotton magnates, the sugar, rice, and tobacco nabobs, and the whites that owned at least 40 or 50 slaves and 800 or more acres; they stood at the apex of society, determing the political, economic, and social life of their region
All white males adopted an elaborate code of chivalry, which obligated to defend their "honor", often through dueling. The idea of honor in the S was only partly connected to the idea of ethical behavior and bravery; also tied to the imporatnce among white males of the public appearance of dignity and authority. Avenging insults was a social necessity in many parts of S society, &avenging insults to white S women=most important obligation of a white S man
"Genteel" Southern Women
Much like women in the North with their domestic roles; however, cult of honor in region meant in theory that S white men gave particular importance to the "defense" of women; white men more dominant &white women=more suboridinate. Had less ed &opportunites than women in N; in some large plantations, women="plantation mistress", more of an ornament than active part in society. Few women rebelled against roles
Owned few slaves, most owned none. Some devoted themselves largely to subsistence farming, usually couldn't produce enough to expand operations or get out of debt. Rare instances in which poor farmers moved into ranks of the planter class, mainly because of ed
Southern highlanders who lived in the App ranges E of Miss, in the Ozarks to the W of the river, &in other "hill country" or "backcountry" areas cut off from the commercial world of plantation system; most isolated from mainstream of the region's life. Practiced simple form of substinence farming, no slaves, &proud sense of seclusion. Held to older political ideas &thought slavery threatened their sense of their own independence
Men were unquestioned masters of their homes; women &children, who were both family and work force, were firmly under the master's control. They beleived a stable system of gender relations to ensure order and stability
White southerners referred to slavery as this; menat that the institution was distinctive, special. Within the South, the institution of slavery had paradoxical results: 1.isolating blacks from whites, drawing a racial line dividing one group of southerners from another &as result, under slavery began to develop a sociey &culture of their own, but slavery created a unique bond b/w blacks and whites
Task and Gang Systems
Task system(most common in rice culture)-slaves were assinged a particular task in the morning, and after completing the job, they were free for the rest of the day
Gang system(more common)-slaves were divided into groups, compelled to work for as many hours as the overseer considered a reasonable workday
House Slaves and Field Slaves
House slaves consist of nursemaids, housemaids, cooks, butlers, coachmen; lived close to master and family, eating leftovers &sometimes sleeping in "big house"; familial relationships might develop. Resented isolation from fellow slaves, no privacy, punished more often and more noticeable
Field slaves-often left to disicpline of overseers, who had less economic stake in their wellbeing; they were paid in proportion to amount of work they could get out of their slaves; owners tried to preserve health &usefulness of their slaves
They gained numerous opportunities to mingle w/ free blacks &whites; the line b/w slavery &freedom became increasingly distinct. They did the menial chores; working in mining &lumbering, docks &construction sites, drove wagons &performed other unskilled jobs; women &children worked in the few textile mills
Free African Americans and Their Restrictions
About 250,000 free slaves in slave states before war; some earned enough money to buy their and their family's freedom (usually urban blacks); some set free by master who had moral qualms about slavery or by master's will of death. Restrictions-new laws made it difficult for slaves to become free, states forbade free blacks from entering (AR forced frees to leave); law forbade them to assemble w/o white supervision
Domestic and Foreign Slave Trade
Domestic-essential to growth &prosperity of whole system, but it dehumanized all who were involved in it. People would trade in the states b/c moved to new cotton lands in company of original owners, more often it occured through medium of pro slave traders
Foreign-although outlawed, people smuggled them into US as late as the 1850s; often discussed to consider means of making the S economically independent &legally open slave trade
The shuffling, grinning, head-scratching, deferential slave who acted out the role that he recognized the white world expected of him; it was a charade, a facade assumed in the presence of whites.
Actual slave revolts were rare, but knowledge struck terror into hearts of white southerners. For the most part, resistance took less drastic forms like running away. Most important method of resistancewas simply a pattern of everyday behavior: defying their masters. Some stole from masters or neighboring whites, some performed acts of sabotage
Gathered 1,000 rebellious slaves outside of Richmond; 2 slaves gave plot away, &VA militia stymied uprising before it could begin. Him & 35 others were executed
In 1822, Charleston free black &followers (rumored 9,000) made plans for revolt; word leaked out and suppression and retribution followed
In 1831, slave preacher, lead a band of blacks who armed themselves &on a summer night, went from house to house in Southampton County, VA. Killed 60 white people before being overpowerd by state &fed troops; over 100 executed in aftermath. This was only actual large-scale slave insurrection in 1800s South
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