Relationship Between Slavery And American South And The Rising Political Power And Economic Growth Of The United States

Relationship Between Slavery And American South And The Rising Political Power And Economic Growth Of The United States

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Study questions for The Half Has Never Been Told:

1) How have white historians in the past described the relationship between slavery in the American South and the rising political power and economic growth of the United States? Why was slavery not portrayed as a “modern” institution?

White historians in the past described this relationship as essentially ‘non-existant.’ These historians proclaimed slavery as an unprofitable institution, one that did not have direct correlation with the economic and social transformations occurring in the nineteenth century, because it did not rely on new technology or efficient methods of machine labor that came from industrialization. Rather they painted slavery out to be a static and unchanging economic system that did not adapt to modern economy or expansion of the US economy. Due to this idea, slavery was not portrayed as a “modern” institution. These historians insisted that slavery was a “premodern” institution because it did not seek profit. Instead, they claimed that enslavers considered their slaves to simply be “inferior family members.”

2) Why did allowing slavery to continue and even expand seem important to legislators in the late eighteenth century?

Allowing slavery to not just continue, but also expand was important to legislators in the late eighteenth century because it was a means of achieving national and political unity between the North and the South. With a more unified government, there is a stronger economy that correlates to the relationship between Southern entrepreneurship and Northern interests for a stronger and more unified federal government.

3) What do northern land speculation and the Yazoo land claims tell us about northern whites’ attitudes toward expandi...


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...or were the main attributes of African-American music and culture in the early nineteenth century? How was this culture often misrepresented and misconstrued by whites?

According to the author the main attributes of African-American music and culture in the early nineteenth century involved utilizing skill and individuality to create means of temporal enjoyment and a mode of communication that would otherwise be impossible, through music and dance. These displays and creations of song were unique to their experience and story, and according to the writer exceptionally modern. However, this culture was often misrepresented by whites as being placed in context of traditional culture and “premodern” in quality. They viewed African-American music and culture as without individual skill, but rather a “power of imitation” and the “primitive ability to forget the self.”


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