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South and the Growth of King Cotton

Page history last edited by Mr. Hengsterman 1 year, 2 months ago




The South and the  Growth of King Cotton [1830 to 1865]

The continuing dominance of large-scale plantation agriculture in the 
South affects the social, political, and economic fabric of southern life




Impact of the Market Revolution 





The explosion of cotton production fastened the slave system deeply upon the South, creating a complex hierarchical racial and social that deeply affected whites as well as blacks.   REVIEW TIMELINE: African Americans and Slavery





Northwest Ordinace.jpg




The Northwest Ordinance 1787 – a federal ordinance under the Articles of Confederation that organized the Northwest Territories (modern Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota) declared “ there shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territories”



The Constitutional Convention tackles the issues – Debate over representation is centered on the 3/5th compromise and the Constitution grants the power of the federal government to regulate or even abolish the import of slaves after 1808 – the word slavery is even conspicuously avoided throughout the document









#1 The Industrial Revolution: A new series of artificially powered machines fuels the Industrial Revolution in Great Britain and New England. Starting with the spinning jenny, which eliminated the handwork that had gone into making textiles. Within a generation, cheap mass-produced textiles had laid the foundation for the Industrial Revolution.




#2 The Cotton Engine: Yale educated Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin in 1793. The cotton gin transformed the processing of raw cotton by eliminating the tedious need to pick the cotton clean of seeds.




Image result for cotton gin


The Power of 50


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The cost of cotton production dropped, just as the hunger for England’s textile mills was growling even LOUDER


Americas new cash crop – almost as valuable as sugar in the West Indes and much more valuable the tobacco had been to Chesapeake years before




The Spread of Slavery, 1790-1860


In  1831, Southampton County was a backwater that bore little kinship to either the genteel Old South of Confederate lore or the grinding plantation economy that most Americans think of when they imagine the brutishness of slavery. Southampton’s loamy soil had been exhausted by tobacco, and few farmers owned more than a handful of slaves. Many whites occupied low-slung, wood-frame dwellings known as “a story and a jump.” Slaves lived and worked close by their owners, not only in the fields but in workshops and apple-brandy stills. The county also was home to an unusually large number of free blacks, a legacy of the many local Baptists, Methodists, and Quakers who opposed slavery.


Source: Untrue Confessions by Tony Horwitz 





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By 1850, of the 3.6 million slaves in the country’s fifteen slave states, 1.8 million were producing cotton;

by 1860, slave labor was producing over two billion pounds of cotton per year.




Scene on the Coast of Africa', by Francois-Auguste Biard c.1840. 
Presented to Sir Thomas Foxwell Buxton to commemorate the Abolition of Slavery in 1833




"There was never a moment in our history when slavery was not a sleeping serpent. It lay coiled up under the table during the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention. Owing to the cotton gin, it was more than half awake. Thereafter, slavery was on everyone's mind, though not always on his tongue. "  Essayist John Jay Chapman



1787 - The Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade founded in Britain by Granville Sharp and Thomas Clarkson1792 - Denmark bans import of slaves to its West Indies colonies, although the law only took effect from 1803. 


1807 - Britain passes Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, outlawing British Atlantic slave trade.- United States passes legislation banning the slave trade, effective from start of 1808.


1811 - Spain abolishes slavery, including in its colonies, though Cuba rejects ban and continues to deal in slaves.


1813 - Sweden bans slave trading


1814 - Netherlands bans slave trading


1817 - France bans slave trading, but ban not effective until 1826 


1819 - Portugal abolishes slave trade north of the equator- Britain places a naval squadron off the West African coast to enforce the ban on slave trading


1823 - Britain’s Anti-Slavery Society formed. Members include William Wilberforce



1831 - Alexis de Tocqueville  tours the United States

Scarcely a hundred years after the settling of the colonies, the planters were struck by the extraordinary fact that the states that had few slaves increased in population, in wealth, and in prosperity more rapidly than those states that had many slaves


1833 - Britain passes Abolition of Slavery Act, ordering gradual abolition of slavery in all British colonies. Plantation owners in the West Indies receive 20 million pounds in compensation- Great Britain and Spain sign a treaty prohibiting the slave trade


1839  - The Amistad Revolt 


1846 - Danish governor proclaims emancipation of slaves in Danish West Indies, abolishing slavery


1848 - France abolishes slavery


1851 - Brazil abolishes slave trading


1858 - Portugal abolishes slavery in its colonies, although all slaves are subject to a 20-year apprenticeship


1861 - Netherlands abolishes slavery in Dutch Caribbean colonies


1862 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln proclaims emancipation of slaves with effect from January 1, 1863;


1865 13th Amendment of U.S. Constitution  bans slavery


1886 - Slavery is abolished in Cuba


1888 - Brazil abolishes slavery






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