But the elite are hardly alone.
Boles writes about the evolution of the Southern way of life from the end of the Revolutionary war to the beginning of the Civil war. Unlike the North, the South depended on agricultural products for revenue such as sugar, indigo, and tobacco, but mainly cotton in the later years. In order to produce these products, the plantation owners of the South used the cheapest labor available, which was slave labor.
Slavery evolved to become the backbone of the South. Slavery was upheld in the early stages of the United States because Southern slaveholders referred to their slaves as property.
Slaves realized that all men aren? Freedom was only a dream. Slavery increased because of the Louisiana Purchase of that doubled the size of the United States.
Inthe Census reported that there were 1, slaves in the South, mainly due to the growing production of cotton and sugar. England first realized the potential of black slaves when inLord Dunmore granted freedom to all? Southern whites did not like this proposition and they took emergency militia and police action to prevent a slave exodus to the British side.
Bythe need for men forced the English and Colonials to rely on the use of black troops.
However, although some blacks did fight side by side with their white counterparts, the majority of black involvement in the war was in a supporting role as cooks, wagoneers, and servants.
After the war, there was an industrial revolution in the production of cotton cloth in England. Several species of cotton were known in the South before the revolution, but it was not easy to produce. However, with the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney inthe production of cotton in the South dramatically increased along with the demand for cotton overseas.
Cotton employed the labor of almost three-fourths of all southern slaves. Cotton was now King in the South. With migration into the Southwest, rich black soil, experienced slaves, and hard work propelled many southern white plantation owners into very rich men.
Cotton requires a long growing season and thrives best with moderate springtime rains and dry autumns. Cotton harvest also required more intense labor than any other season of the year.
Very cheap slave labor was used in the South to harvest this cotton. Slaves planted, cultivated, and grew more cotton than they could pick. Cotton was cheap to produce because of cheap slave labor and no expensive equipment was needed to harvest, no extensive and costly irrigation canals were required to bring a cotton field into production.
Cotton did not rot or spoil after being picked and it could be easily stored until enough was required to head to the gin. South was not widespread;' 'not more than a quarter of the white heads of families were slave owners, and even in the cotton Cotton was also very well suited to the small farmer.
Small farmers who didn? The larger planters had a gin and cotton press to satisfy their own needs also helped out other farmers in need. What developed before the Civil War was a complex white slave owning society that depended on slave labor as a way of life. In many areas of the South such as western Maryland, West Virginia, and Kentucky, there was no slavery at all.
Small yeoman farmers owned their own land, grew most of their food, and lived self-sufficient with no outside help. However, in the Deep South of Alabama and Mississippi, almost half of the white families were slave owners.
There were two societies to the South, slave holding and self-sufficient. Although, class conflict was largely absent by the ? Thousands of small farmers with little tobacco or cotton could identify with local planters because they were both growing the same crop.
An economic connection existed between the small farmers who marketed their surplus corn and hogs to planters and depended on them to gin and even market their bales of cotton. Although it was racial fear, not farmer brotherhood, that led to the southern determination to maintain slavery in the face of northern opposition.
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John Boles, Black Southerners (), ch. 3, 'The maturation of the plantation system, ' Robert W. Fogel and Stanley Engerman, Time on the Cross () Eugene Genovese, The Political Economy of Slavery (). By the South trailed the nation in manufactured goods per capita.
Yet the South and North had more in common in than in As the rest of the nation industrialized after the Civil War, the South became a case study in underdevelopment, for all the familiar reasons.
The Maturation of the Plantation System, (pp. ) Slavery in the North American mainland colonies was approximately a century old when the American Revolution sundered the British colonies from the crown. A Condensed History of American Agriculture – –99 The Philadelphia Society for the Promotion of plantation system.
Availability of barbed wire allowed fencing of Development and Assistance Act (P.L. ) facilitated agricul-tural exports and foreign aid.
In the essay, Maturation of the Plantation System , John B. Boles writes about the evolution of the Southern way of life from the end of the Revolutionary war to the beginning of the Civil war.