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29 Cards in this Set

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Describe the decline of the tobacco economy.
The market for tobacco was unstable, and tobacco rapidly exhausted the land on which it grew. By the 1830s, many farmers in the old tobacco-growing regions of VA, Maryland, and NC were shifting to other crops, while the center of tobacco cultivation was moving W.
Short-Staple Cotton
This was a hardier and coarser strain of cotton than long-staple cotton. It could grow successfully in a variety of climates and in a variety of soils. It was harder to process than long-staple cotton, because its seeds were difficult to remove from the fiber. However, this problem was solved with the invention of the cotton gin.
Increasing Cotton Cultivation
Demand for cotton increased rapidly in the 1800s due to the growth of the textile industry in Britain and New England. In response to the demand, cotton production spread rapidly. From the W of SC and GA, production moved into Alabama and Mississippi, and then Louisiana, TX, and Arkansas. By the 1850s, cotton had become the "linchpin" of the S economy.
Cotton Kingdom
The newly settled Deep South, where cotton production boomed. The prospect of tremendous profits from cotton growing drew settlers to the lower S by the thousands.
Rapid Expansion of Slavery
Between 1840 and 1860, about 410,000 slaves moved from the upper S to the cotton states. Some were accompanying masters who were themselves migrating to the SW; most were sold to planters already there.

The sale of slaves to the SW became an important economic activity in the upper S.
Obstacles to Economic Development in the South
The limited nonfarm commercial sector that developed in the South was intended to serve the needs of the plantation economy. Brokers or "factors" marketed the planters' crops and were especially important.

The S had only a very rudimentary financial system, and the factors also served the planters as bankers, providing them with credit.

The S had an inadequate transportation system: canals were almost nonexistent, most roads were crude and unsuitable for heavy transport, and railroads failed to tie the regions together effectively. The principle means of transportation was water. Crops were usually shipped to market by rivers or sea.
De Bow's Commercial Review
"De Bow's Commercial Review" was a magazine owned by James D. B. De Bow. In it, he called for southern commercial and agricultural expansion, and economic independence from the N.

Despite this, the magazine was filled with advertisements from N manufacturing firms, and its circulation in the S was very limited.
Sources of Uneven Development Between N and S
In the NE, many people turned to manufacturing as the agricultural economy of the region declined. In the S, however, the agricultural economy was booming, and people eager to profit had little incentive to look outside of agriculture.

Wealthy southerners had so much capital invested in their land and slaves that they had little left for other investments.

The S climate, with long, hot, steamy summers, was less suitable for industrial development than the climate of the N.
Distinct Southern Values
Southerners were more concerned with a refined and gracious way of life than with rapid growth and development.

Even though this image was appealing to southern whites, it conformed to the reality of southern society in very limited ways.
Planter Aristocracy's Dominance
White southerners liked to compare their planter class to the old upper classes of Europe. However, many of the great landowners of the S were first-generation settlers who had only relatively recently started to live in the comfort and luxury for which they became famous, whereas the European aristocrats were people whose families had occupied wealth and power for generations.

The world of the planter was not as leisurely as the aristocratic myth suggested. Even affluent planters lived modestly, because their wealth was so heavily invested in land and slaves that there was little left for personal comfort.
The Aristocratic Ideal
Wealthy southerners adopted an elaborate code of "chivalry," which obligated white men to defend their "honor," often through dueling. They avoided "coarse" occupations such as trade and commerce; those who didn't become planters entered the military.

The aristocratic ideal was also reflected in the definition of a special role for southern women.
Female Subordinance Reinforced in the South
The cult of honor in the region meant that southern men gave particular importance to the defense of women. This generally meant that white men were more dominant and white women more subordinate in southern culture than in the N. Women were believed to have only one right: the right to protection.
Role of Women
Living on farms meant a fuller engagement in the economic life of the familyi. They engaged in spinning, weaving, and other production. They participated in agricultural tasks and helped supervise the slave work force.

On larger plantations, however, these limited roles were considered unsuitable for women. Plantation mistresses became ornaments for their husbands, rather than active parts of the economy or society.
Special Burderns of White Southern Women
They had a birth rate 20% higher than that of the nation as a whole. The infant mortality rate was also higher.

The slave labor system spared many women from arduous labor, but also damaged their marital relationships. Male slaveowners had frequent sexual relationships with their female slaves: the children of such unions were constant reminders to white women of their husbands' infidelities.
Inadequate Educational Opportunities
For sons of wealthy planters, the region provided ample opportunities for education, including public and private colleges and universities. These were only in reach of the upper class, however.

Elementary and secondary schools were fewer than and inferior to those of the NE.

The S was home to over 50% of the nation's total illiterate whites.
What segment of lower-class society opposed the aristocratic social system?
Hill people, who lived in the Appalachians, the Ozarks, or other backcountry areas. They were the most isolated from the mainstream of the region's life. They practiced a simple form of subsistence agriculture and owned no slaves. They were unconnected to the new commercial economy that dominated the cotton-planting regions.
Why did most lower-class whites not oppose the aristocratic social system?
Most nonslaveowning whites lived in the midst of the plantation system. Most accepted the system because they were tied to it in important ways.

Small farmers depnded on the local plantation aristocracy for access to cotton gins, markets for their modest crops and livestock, credit, or other financial assistance.

In many areas, the poorest resident could be related to the richest aristocrat, because cotton booms could easily allow small farmers to improve their economic fortunes.

Some felt more secure in their positions as independent yeomen and were more likely to embrace the fierce regional loyalty that spread throughout the white South.
"Crackers," "Sand Hillers," and "Poor White Trash"
They occupied the infertile lands of the pine barrens, red hills, and swamps, living in genuine squalor. Most owned no alnd and supported themselves by foraging and hunting, or by doing common labor for neighbors. Their degradation result partly from dietary deficiences and disease.

They didn't oppose the plantation system or slavery, because they were no benumbed by poverty that they had little strength to protest.

They also were united with other classes by their perception or race. No matter how poor and miserable white southerners were, they could still look down on the black population and feel a bond with their fellow whites.
Slave Codes
The slave codes of the S states forbade slaves to hold property, to leave their masters' premises without permission, to be out after dark, to congregate with other slaves except at church, to carry firearms, or to strike a white person even in self-defense. They prohibited whties from teaching slaves to read/write, and denied slaves to right to testify in court against whites. They contained no provisions to legalize slave marriages or divorces. If a white killed a slave while punishing him, it wasn't considered a crime; slaves faced the death penalty for killing or even resisting a white and inciting revolts.

The codes contained rigid provisions for defining a person's race: anyone with a trace, or even a rumor, of black ancestry was defined as black.
Enforcement of Slave Codes
Enforcement of the codes was spotty and uneven. Some slaves acquired property, learned to read/write, and assembled with other slaves. White owners handled most transgressions themselves, and inflicted widely varying punishments.

Despite the rigid provisions of the laws, there was in reality considerable variety within the slave system. Some lived in prisonlike conditions; many enjoyed considerable flexibility and autonomy.
Gabriel Prosser's Slave Revolt
1800; Prosser gathered 1000 rebellious slaves outside Richmond. Two blacks gave the plot away, and the VA militia stymied the uprising before it could begin. Prosser and 35 others were executed.
Nat Turner's Revolt
1831; Nat Turner, a slave preacher, led a band of blacks armed with guns and axes from house to house in VA. They killed 60 white men, women, and children before being overpowered by state and federal troops. Over 100 blacks were ultimately executed.
Typical Resistance to Slavery
Some blacks attempted to resist by running away. A small number escaped to the N or Canada, especially through the underground railroad.

The most important method of resistance was a pattern of everyday behavior in which blacks defied their masters. Some slaves refused to work hard; others stole from their masters or from other whites. SOme performed isolated acts of sabotage, such as losing/breaking tools, or performing tasks improperly. In extreme cases, blacks made themselves useless by cutting off fingers or kililng themselves.
Underground Railroad
Organized secret escape routes, where sympathetic whites and free blacks assisted slaves in escaping to freedom.

However, the hazards of distance and the slaves' ignorance of geography were serious obstacles. "Slave patrols," which stopped wandering blacks on sight, demanding to see travel permits, also prevented the success of running away.
Black Christianity
Blacks throughout the S developed their own version of Christianity. Many incorporated into it such practices as voodoo or other polytheistic religious traditions of Africa. Sometimes, they simply bent the religion to the special circumstances of slavery.

Black religion was more emotional than its white counterpart. Prayer meetings involved fervent chanting, spontaneous exclamations from the congregation, and ecstatic conversion experiences. It was more joyful/affirming than white religion. It emphasized the dream of freedom and deliverance. Images of Christian salvation were interpreted to express the slaves' dreams of freedom in the present life.
Pidgin
A simple, common language. It retained some African words, but drew primarily from English. It was used to ease the difficulties of communication during the first generations of slavery.
Importance of Slave Spirituals
Through the spiritual, blacks not only expressed their religious faith, but also lamented their bondage and expressed continuing hope for freedom.

These politically challenging lyrics wre created in the relative privacy of their religious services. Songs used by field workers to pass the time, on the other hand, had innocuous lyrics, because they were often sung in the presence of whites.
Slave Marriages
Black women began bearing children as searly as 14 or 15, sometimes as a result of unwanted sexual relations with their masters. Slave communities didn't condemn premarital pregnancy, and black couples often lived together before marriage.

It was customary for couples to marry soon after conceiving a child. Many marriages occurred between slaves living on neighboring plantations. Husbands and wives occasionally visited each other with masters' permission, but most visits had to take place in secret at night.
Paternalism
Despite blacks' resentment of their lack of freedom, it was difficult for them to maintain an entirely hostile attitude toward their owners.

They depended on whites for food, clothing, and shelter, as well as for security and protection.

The paternal relationship between slave and master was sometimes harsh, sometimes kindly, but always important.

The paternalislm became a vital instrument of white control. By creating a sense of mutual dependence, whites helped reduce resistance to an institution that served only their interests.