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IB History of the Americas: Quiz 1.1 Study Guide

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American colonies and slavery
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In 1776, Georgia and South Carolina coastal swampland had a high population of slaves. Here, dense concentrations of slaves tilled rice and a rare, silklike fleece called Sea Island cotton. Here, an especially top-heavy social structure lent an especially intractable aristocratic mentality to the slaveholder as republican.
Pennsylvania passed the New World's first antislavery law in 1780. This pathbreaking edict, however, liberated only blacks born after the enactment and only after the afterborn reached twenty-eight years of age. The law indirectly consigned all slaves born before 1780 to permanent thralldom. The edict also freed no slave until a third of a century after the American Revolution. New York's legislature, acting two decades after Pennsylvania's, also freed only the afterborn and only after they reached adulthood. This legislation, intended to liberate no one until a half century after the American Revolution, ultimately failed to free a third of its intended belated beneficiaries.
Invented by Eli Whitney in the 1790s. Assisted in processing a more common, crude product than Sea Island cotton: short-staple cotton fiber. Slave labor then became more profitable in the previously apparently useless Lower South areas west of the Atlantic coast swamps, including upcountry South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Florida, and after annexation in 1845, Texas. The base of slavery was no longer solely in Virginia and Maryland's tobacco belts.
The National Democratic Party lent slaveholders' threats added leverage. Democrats usually won national elections. They almost always ran strongest in the South, especially in the deepest South. The minority section wielded the power base of the majority party. When Southern Democrats threatened to quit the party unless northern allies supported a proslavery law, enough Northern Democrats tended to give in, not only to save their republic but also to save their party.