They were a huge investment to Southerners and if taken away, could mean massive losses to everyone. The South especially needed more slaves at this time because they were now growing more cotton then ever because of the invention of the cotton gin. Within that time period of 50 years the number of slaves also rose from about 1,190,000 to over 4,000,000. The plantation owners in the South could not understand why the North wanted slavery abolished that bad. Slavery formed two opposing societies and could not have been abolished with out the Civil War.
As a result of this, land owners were now able to have large cotton plantations across the south (How the Cotton Gin). Southerners were becoming wealthy very fast because of the cotton gin. Eli Whitney’s invention of the Cotton Gin made cotton the South’s main crop making more slave labor needed and political tensions rise. Harvesting cotton needed a lot of hard labor. When the cotton farms got bigger, the need for slaves increased.
Fashions in New England and Europe increased the demand for cotton and made the crop very valuable. Since the cotton was so profitable to the small farmers and plantation owners alike, there was a surge in the population to the south and southwest in the early 1800’s of farmers trying to cash in on this crop. With this growth there was the need for more slaves to work the fields. Many small farmers had very few slaves if any, but the big plantations could have hundreds of slaves to work the fields and in the main house. Between 1820 and 1860 the slave population in Alabama went from 41,000 to 435,000, in Mississippi from 32,000 to 436,000.
African slaves were the laborers of the cotton fields, thus, the Southern capitalists increased their investment in the trading of slaves. In the 1860’s the African slave trade ended, bringing to a close three-and-a-half centuries of forced migration. The once so profitable market had been completely removed from the South’s economy which would expose their oversight in slave-agriculture specialization. Therefore, the Cotton Boom of the mid-19th century enhanced the highly profitable slave-trade market which inevitably weakened the South in the long run due to overspecialization and the displacement of physical capital. In 1793, Eli Whitney created the revolutionary Cotton Gin which replaced human involvement in the process of separating cotton fibers from their seeds.
The growth of agriculture and railroads in Texas and in the United States helped form our economy today. Railroads today pass through a lot of Texas, and even in big cities like Houston or Dallas. Since there are so many farms and open farmland (especially in south and west Texas), railroads can carry the produce and livestock to their destination. James Watt invented the first steam engine in about 1769, and from then on, railroads were a must for transportation, since cars had yet to be invented. Railroads began to be built before the Civil War.
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.
With the invention of the cotton gin many plantations moved from their other crops to produce cotton. With more and more plantations growing cotton it increased the need for cheap labor which involved the slaves. The South soon became a one crop economy and depended on cotton and therefore on slavery. The South believed that slaves w... ... middle of paper ... ...th the election of Lincoln. They believed that he was on their side and would help abolish slavery.
African slave trading became the main problem dividing Americans, and could even of been a factor of many, which led to the American Civil War. Why did the South not abolish slavery altogether? It wasn't as simple as that; slavery was crucial for economical, political, social and even religious reasons; of which the greatest was economical. Slavery was vital to the Southern colony's continuation of economic profit, and therefore was chiefly economically based. The conditions of the Southern colonies were much suited to plantation agriculture, which provided the basis of the South's wealth.
This caused Whitney to believe that the goal of his invention took a wrong turn. Eventually, the overwhelming desire for more cotton slowly became a southern wide trend by reason of multiple purchases of land in order to produce more cotton for an economic benefit. Another tragic part about c... ... middle of paper ... ...that African Americans have today. All in all, agricultural diversity in the south was mainly revolved around the slaves who became valuable property to the slave owners due to the increase in economic activity that they produced during the need of labor force. Cotton was the primary crop of the Old South as a resultant of the development of the cotton gin which made the production less difficult for the plantation owners to develop wealth.
The cotton was growing bountiful and the planters needed slaves to harvest it, thus the need for slaves pushed the slave trade and increased the amount of slaves in the South tremendously during the first half of the 1800’s. Just as slavery was starting to lessen, the South discovered a way to lasso it back into it’s grasp thanks to the discovery of the cotton gin, allowing it to quickly recuperate from the death of tobacco. The growth of slavery in the first half of the 1800’s was also aided by the expansion of land, and the cruel yet profitable slave trade, all prolonging the misery of the black Southern population.