Agriculture And Slavery In American History

1528 Words 6 Pages
Slavery has unfortunately become embedded in the fabric of American history. Slavery was a large part of America from the beginning of American history up until the civil war and some historians would even argue that it caused the civil war because it led to the separation of the North and South. The documents I chose to analyze were, “South Carolina Governor James Henry Hammond Instructs His Overseer on Running the Plantation, c. 1840s” and the summary on chapter 12 that explained how agriculture and slavery in the south during the mid 1800s were intertwined. These documents depict how changing times in American history affect the slaves. I chose the first document because it was a primary document that gave me insight on how plantations …show more content…
The first document I looked at was “South Carolina Governor James Henry Hammond Instructs His Overseer on Running the Plantation, c. 1840s.” The Governor himself wrote this in the 1840s it and it was most likely intended for other slave owners around the region as sort of a instruction manual on how to run a plantation effectively and how the slaves that work on the plantation should be treated. America during the time was going through a westward expansion; this led to more illustrious ways of transportation and a higher demand of agriculture, and led to the beginning of antislavery movements originating form the North. The rise in agriculture was tied to a rise in population and the South used all their slave resources to meet the demands of a rising population. This document is written as a guideline for overseers as they tend to the plantation and how they treat their slaves. The first instruction that overseers need to be concerned with is the crops and this means they need to be concerned with the items that aide with the production of the crops, these include, “negroes, land, mules, stock, fences, ditches and farming utensils. He mentions how these must be kept up & improved in …show more content…
The first document showed just how essential slaves were in the south during the mid 1800s and how slave owners were blind to just how cruel they were treating these innocent people. The author of this document tried to make it seem like he was treating his slaves good but in reality he treated them in an inhumane way. Chapter 12 explains how vital of a role the cotton gin had in southern life, “The cotton gin, then, played a central role in reinvigorating the southern economy and solidifying the slave system. Already by 1800, cotton and slavery together were spreading westward. Between 1815 and 1840, cotton output jumped from 200,000 to 1.35 million bales, each of which weighed four hundred pounds. Another cotton boom began in 1849, when output reached 2.85 million bales, and lasted until 1860, when 4.8 million bales were produced. Southern planters confidently proclaimed that cotton was king.” Both the document and chapter summary reinforces how poorly slaves were treated and how they were just property that was needed to aide in the growth of the American economy and were just workhorses on the plantations to keep up with rising agricultural demands. The fabric of this country is sewn with the blood and sweat of these innocent slaves that went

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