The plantation owners had all the land and resources, but no one to work on their grounds long term. Throughout the years 1607-1775, slavery rose as an important contributor to the South’s economy due to social, geographic and economic aspects. Slavery affected the South’s social structure because the southern elite enjoyed being at the top of the ranks. Although slavery was originally started for economic reasons, social components regarding slavery soon became important to the southern colonists (red). Land and slave owners were at the top of these ranks, and then came poor farmers, and then slaves at the bottom.
The development of a leisure class also developed the social upper classes of the Old South. (2) In other words, other than the obvious, slavery produced gargantuan benefits indirectly for white Americans. Production was not a true concern of many plantation owners; since it was being handled it would always be handled as long as there were slaves on the plantation production system. While the South became extremely wealthy by using slavery for agricultural labor, the North focused on trade, commerce, banking, shipping, and manufacturing. But the question can one survives without the other comes up?
Since the development in textile industry in the north and in Britain, cotton became high in demand all over the world. The south at one point, was responsible for producing “eighty percent of the world’s cotton”. Even though the South had a “labor force of eighty-four percent working, it only produced nine percent of the nations manufactured goods”, (Davidson 246). This statistic shows that the South had an complete advantage in manpower since slavery wasn’t prohibited. In the rural South, it was easy for plantation owners to hire slaves to gather cotton be... ... middle of paper ... ...ecause they feared that Slavery would soon be completely abolished.
The slaves were needed to work on plantations which helped the South prospered. During the 19th Century, the North worked hard on abolishing slavery, which they thought was a disgrace to the Union. The South relied strongly on the slave trade and when the North spoke of abolishing it, the South spoke of forming there own country. These slaves were very valuable to the slaveholding planter class. They were a huge investment to Southerners and if taken away, could mean massive losses to everyone.
Overspecialization occurs when an economic actor is so excessively-concentrated to a single function that when change arises, it is unable to adapt. The Southern United States experienced, firsthand, the destruction that results from such change. But how could the entire southern half of the United States find themselves trapped in overspecialization? The rising demand of cotton attracted Southern capitalists. African slaves were the laborers of the cotton fields, thus, the Southern capitalists increased their investment in the trading of slaves.
After the cotton gin was invented slaves were in high demand for harvesting the cotton from the fields. Consequentially, “the number of slaves in the South leapt from 700,000 to 1,200,000”(Danzer 216). Due to the fact that the number of slaves went up 500,000 in such a short amount of time, it can clearly be conveyed that the south depended on its slaves. Slave-owners didn’t care about the slaves themselves, they only cared about the money that they were bringing in, which is why they enslaved people in the first place. As a result of the 1860 presidential election, Lincoln won with “180”(Document 4) electoral votes, while Breckinr... ... middle of paper ... ...dinance of secession, “the public mind must rest in the belief that Slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction”(Document 6).
Slavery today is a large concern to many people, just as it always has been. Any type of slavery is considered immoral and unjust in today’s society and standards. However, before the Civil War, slavery was as common as owning a dog today. Many in the United States, particularly in the South, viewed slavery as a “positive good” and owned slaves that were crucial to their business and income. However, the Civil War then changed the lifestyle of many southerners in a negative way.
The balance of power was beginning to shift as the antebellum South’s dependence on free labor economically tied their existence to the heinous practice of owning slaves. Slavery was in many ways a dream come true for southern culture in its ability to relieve the issue of finding labor and keeping costs low, but this inhumane practice became the downfall of the antebellum South in how its practice became so common in its culture that it became more of an economic addiction. Their entire economy was seemingly tied to this need for free labor under the impression that slavery was there to stay, shamefully allowing the gruesome, inhumane, nature of slavery to transcend societal values to the point of widespread acceptance. This accepting culture marked the downfall of the antebellum South.
Since the 17th century, slavery helped build the United States by strengthening the economy, but also ruined many African American’s lives. Slavery especially effected the South and their economy, politics and laws, and the culture. Many whites did not see an unethical problem with the slave trade, especially if they treated their slaves well, but that is wrong. African Americans tried extremely hard to hold onto their culture and their lives before slavery. African Americans, free or not, suffered immensely because of the prejudice put upon them merely because of the color of their skin.
There were many differences between the North and the South. These differences can be explained through the treatment of African Americans and slaves, factories, farming and agriculture, and how the regions made money. Most things moved slower in the South than in the North. The main reason for that is because slaves were one of the most important things to most Southerners. Many people in the North cared more about industry and expanding.