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Chapter 13: The South
Transcript of Chapter 13: The South
By the early 1790s, the demand for American cotton began increasing rapidly becuase of new textile factories in Great Britain. Factories in the North also depended on this cotton.
Eli Whitney's cotton gin revolutionized the cotton industry as planters (large scale farmers with more than 20 slaves) built their own gins.
The area of land devoted to growing cotton in the South grew into what was known as the "cotton belt".
There were other important crops to the South, such as corn and tobacco.
There was some industry in the South that was built to serve farmers' needs like saw mills, cotton mills, and iron works.
The popular and romantic view of the South as a place with many large plantations and grand parties could not be further from the truth.
In the early 1800s, only about 1/3 southern families owned slaves, even fewer had plantations, but their influence was great.
Most white southerners were yeomen (owners of small farms) of about 100 acres.
Religion played a large role in Southern society, and many Southerners used their religion to justify slavery.
The Slave System
Family was very important to slaves, and families being separated was very traumatic. Slaves found comfort in folktales and sprituals.
Revolts from slaves were rare, but a famous revolt was Nat Turner's rebellion in Virginia. He led a group to kill all the slaveholders in the county, but he was caught and executed.
The Slave System
With the invention of the cotton gin, the demand for slave labor in the South drastically increased.
The ability to produce more cotton, meant more cotton could be grown, which meant more slaves were needed to grow it.
Most slaves worked in rural areas on farms and plantations.
There were different types of slaves from field hands, to butlers and cooks, to skilled laborers like blacksmiths.
Slaves were considered property, not people, and were a very vaulable resource.
States had slave codes (strict laws) that prevented slaves from traveling or being literate.
The AGRARIAN South