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The Antebellum South

The Antebellum South

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The Antebellum South

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  1. The Antebellum South

  2. Early Emancipation in the North

  3. Missouri Compromise, 1820

  4. At the dawn of the American revolution, many believed that slavery was on a slow decline, much to do with its economic inefficiency and also from the idealism of the revolution. Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin, which made cotton profitable and it also needed a huge labor force. As a result, it chained the slave to the gin and the planter to the slave. Slavery in the South

  5. Cotton became an instant boom crop and many planters raced to gain more land in the gulf states. As they got more land, they wanted more slaves, so they could plant more cotton, so they could reap more financial rewards. It became cyclical. The North is guilty too. They made huge amounts of money on the cheap available southern cotton in the northern textile mills (where cheap wage slaves worked). Also, Northern shippers transported massive amounts of cotton to Britain and made huge profits. The prosperity of both the North and the South depended heavily on slave labor, the North indirectly and the South directly. Cotton is King!!!!

  6. In 1840, 50% of the value of American exports was cotton In 1840, the South produced more than half of the entire world’s supply of cotton. 75 percent of the cotton used in Britain, who employed 20% of its workforce in textiles, was from the South. The main point, Cotton was making a killing and southern plantation owners essentially had a monopoly on the world’s cotton market. So much so, the South believed that if a war were to happen between the North and South, the British Royal Navy would stop any attempts by the North to blockade the South’s cotton. Cotton is King!!!!

  7. Southern Agriculture

  8. Changes in Cotton Production 1820 1860

  9. Slaves Picking Cottonon a Mississippi Plantation

  10. Slaves Using the Cotton Gin

  11. Value of Cotton Exports As % of All US Exports

  12. South is an oligarchy because of the wealth and influence of the planter aristocracy. 1,733 families owned more than 100 slaves each. These families provided the cream of the political and social leadership. Image of the large columned white plantation house of the “cottonocracy” Sir Walter Scott Famous author idolized in the South because he wrote about feudal society with manors and castles. Many southern plantation owners viewed themselves as lords and kings in a feudal society. This is why they were attracted to Scott’s books, they reflected their archaic medieval society. Southern Aristocracy

  13. Tara – Plantation Reality or Myth? Hollywood’s Version?

  14. Women who married plantation owners controlled a sizable household staff: Cooks, maids, seamstresses, laundresses, and body servants Bonds varied between households. Some women had affectionate bonds while others were cruel and mistreated the slaves. However, despite accounts of kindness, essentially no slaveholding women believed in abolition or advocated for it. Women and the Plantations

  15. The Plantation System

  16. Plantations were actually quite wasteful and inefficient. Harsh for the land and destroyed the soil Economy became more monopolistic and many small farmers were forced to leave to the West or Northwest to eek out a living. Basically, the big got bigger and the small got smaller. (Think Walmart and small mom and pop stores) Additionally, it was financially unstable. Overpopulation in land and slaves caused economic instability and debt Slaves represented a heavy investment of capital Dependence on one-crop economy (think the Irish and the potato). So no manufacturing, which made the South dependent upon the North Plantation Waste

  17. Antebellum Southern Society

  18. Characteristics of the Antebellum South • Primarily agrarian. • Economic power shifted from the “upper South” to the “lower South.” • “Cotton Is King!” * 1860 5 mil. bales a yr. (57% of total US exports). • Very slow development of industrialization. • Rudimentary financial system. • Inadequate transportation system.

  19. Southern Society (1850) “Slavocracy”[plantation owners] 1,733 Families Other Slaveowners (345,000 families) 2/3 of which owned less than 10 slaves each) 1.7 million people Whites who owned no slaves 6.1 million people Black Freemen 250,000 Black Slaves4,000,000 Total US Population  23,000,000[9,250,000 in the South = 40%]

  20. Slave-Owning Population (1850)

  21. Slave-Owning Families (1850)

  22. Southern Population

  23. Usually owned no more than 10 slaves and many families had one or 2 slaves. Sometimes up to a family of slaves In total, only ¼ of the southern white population owned slaves. There were 6,120, 825 white non slave owners in the south They scraped a living and life was tough. Lived a simple life in the mountains or in the backcountry Viewed plantation owners as a snobocracy and benefitted little from slavery. White non-plantation population

  24. However, why did the poor white non-slave owners defend slavery? Idea of perhaps owning slaves themselves and improving their lot, gaining their southern American Dream Took solace in idea of racial superiority of whites that was preached in the South and that even though southern whites were poor, slaves still ranked below them on the social ladder. White non-plantation population

  25. Isolated from the rest of the South in the Appalachian mountains. Kind of a throwback to an earlier time and stuck in time. Some even kept some Elizabethan speech patterns. Little in common with the other whites and far from King Cotton. During the Civil war, many of these whites in the mountains sided with the Union and helped in winning the war for the North. Mountain folk

  26. In 1860, roughly 250,000 free blacks lived in the South. Upper South- many emancipated after the spirit of idealism spread during the revolutionary War period Deep South- many free blacks were mulattoes. However, some free blacks also purchased their freedom with earnings from labor after hours. In New Orleans, there was a sizable mulatto population and many owned property. William T. Johnson was a free black in New Orleans who owned 15 slaves. African American Population

  27. In many ways, free blacks in the South were like a “third race”: Forbidden from certain jobs and testifying against whites in court Constant fear of being kidnapped by slave traders Slave system saw them as a threat because they were examples of what a non-slave society could achieve. In the North: (250,000 free blacks) Some states forbade entrance, most denied right to vote, and some barred free blacks from school. The Irish often fought against free blacks in the North because they competed for jobs with them. Frederick Douglas was mobbed and beaten in the North many times. Common thought of the day was that southerners hated blacks as a race but liked the individuals while northerners professed they liked the race, but disliked individual blacks. Laws Against Free Blacks

  28. In 1860, estimated 4 million slaves in the South (quadrupled since 1800) Legal importation was banned in 1808, however…. Illegal slave trade continued as many smuggled N.P. Gordon, was hanged for participating in illegal slave trade in 1862 in New York. Only recorded time of a slave trader being punished executed. Bulk of the increase came from natural reproduction, which made American slave population unique in the world. Southern Slavery

  29. Antebellum Southern Plantation Life

  30. The South's "Peculiar Institution"

  31. Slaves primarily seen as investments, and 2 billion dollars sunk into slavery by 1860. Thus, as any capitalist, planters looked to make sure their investment was cared for as an asset As a result, many slaves were barred from doing dangerous work. This was usually done by Irish laborers, if a next was to be broken, better it was not a slave. Plantation Life

  32. Slave Auction Notice, 1823 Slave auctions were brutal sights and showed the lack of humanity that was the slave system. Many families were separated. Many slaves were sold alongside cattle and horses, further diminishing their humanity. One of the worst legacies of slavery was the lack of concern in keeping families together and the separation of families at these slave auctions

  33. Slave Auction: Charleston, SC-1856

  34. Slave Accoutrements Slave MasterBrands Slave muzzle Life on the plantations varied greatly based on the slave owner. However, everywhere meant hard work, ignorance, and oppression. Slaves worked from dawn to dusk everyday, under constant threat of the overseer and his whip. No civil or political rights and could not testify in court.

  35. Slave Accoutrements Slave shoes Slave leg irons Slave tag, SC Floggings were common because The whip was an alternative to the Wage-incentive system. Some Slaves sent to the “breaker” who Used cruel lashings to “break” a Slaves will to resist.

  36. Anti-Slave Pamphlet

  37. Slaves posing in front of their cabin on a Southern plantation. By 1860, majority of slaves lived in the Deep South were Cotton Farming was the most practiced. In some counties, Slaves accounted for over 75% of the population. This allowed for secure family life and also the creation of a Distinct African-American culture.

  38. Signs of family continuity evidenced in the following: Practice of naming children for grandparents and surnames not of their current master, but of a forebear’s master Avoiding marriage between first cousins, displaying African cultural roots In religion, many embraced Christianity, but mixed it with African elements. Evident in the responsorial style of preaching, which was an adaptation of traditions in Africa African-American Culture

  39. A Slave Family

  40. The Culture of Slavery • Black Christianity [Baptists or Methodists]: * more emotional worship services. * negro spirituals. • “Pidgin” or Gullah languages. • Nuclear family with extended kin links,where possible. • Importance of music in their lives. [esp. spirituals].

  41. Slave Resistance & Uprisings

  42. Slave Resistance • Destroying crops and pilfering food. Sabotaging expensive equipment, and sometimes poisoned master’s food. Sambo- Negative Caricature of Slaves.

  43. Slave Resistance • Refusal to work hard. • Isolated acts of sabotage. • Escape via the Underground Railroad.

  44. Runaway Slave Ads

  45. Quilt Patterns as Secret Messages The Monkey Wrench pattern, on the left, alerted escapees to gather up tools and prepare to flee; the Drunkard Path design, on the right, warned escapees not to follow a straight route.

  46. Harriet Tubman(1820-1913) • Helped over 300 slaves to freedom. • $40,000 bounty on her head. • Served as a Union spy during the Civil War. “Moses”

  47. Leading Escaping Slaves Along the Underground Railroad

  48. The Underground Railroad

  49. The Underground Railroad • “Conductor” ==== leader of the escape • “Passengers” ==== escaping slaves • “Tracks” ==== routes • “Trains” ==== farm wagons transporting the escaping slaves • “Depots” ==== safe houses to rest/sleep

  50. Slavery Was Less Efficient in the U. S. than Elsewhere • High cost of keeping slaves fromescaping. • GOAL raise the “exit cost.” • Slave patrols. • Southern Black Codes. • Cut off a toe or a foot.