HIS101 Lecture13

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THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Two images of the pre Civil War Deep South Magnolias and white mansions Southern Belles and “Ret Butler” like gentlemen A “cultured” society with an aristocratic air Good prices on cotton

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Privileged white minority lording over millions of slaves and “poor white trash” “New rich” - “Cotton Snobs” Abuse slaves – show contempt for lower class whites “Poor Whites” Lazy violent ignorant people trading in whiskey and runaway slaves Slaves Bottom of the economic ladder

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Myths about the pre Civil War Deep South Myth: Utterly distinct in Geography and Climate Truth: Climate does make a difference Truth: Geography is largely the same as the north

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Myth: Single Agricultural Unit – COTTON Truth: Corn is actually the major crop (economically) in the south 1855 – Corn harvest valued at $209 Million 1855 – Cotton harvest valued at $136 Million

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Corn is grown by subsistence farmers (thousands of them) Cotton is grown by plantation owners (hundreds of them) Cotton planters get rich Leaves impression that Cotton is the main crop in the south

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Myth: The South is Economically backward / southerners pour money into cotton rather than machinery and factories Truth: South is NOT resistant to this growth Some slaves are skilled factory workers, miners, and construction workers Over 200 textile mills in the south by 1860 There are simply more PROFITS in agriculture than in industry in the South

Slide7: 

Myth: Only Rich Planters, Poor Whites and Slaves exist in South Truth: 2,200 southerners own large plantations Less than 1% of southern white population owns more than 100 slaves Truth: Typical slave holder is middle class 200,000 (71%) of slaveholders own fewer than 10 slaves Truth: MOST white southerners are non slave owning subsistence farmers (Corn growers)

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Two Extreme views of slavery Southerners attempted to paint slavery as a bunch of “Happy Darkies” out singing in the fields – not suffering under slavery Abolitionists see slavery is a system of organized terror that breaks the spirit of the slaves

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Truth: 4 Million slaves in south – Most work the soil Three-fourths of slave labor associated with large plantations Living on a large plantation affords different opportunities Living on small plantations provides direct contact with white family

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Myth: Slaves imitated whites and had no culture of their own Truth: Slaves develop their own culture Slaves sang about God, salvation, freedom Slave Religion moved away from traditional west African religion to one of Baptist and Methodist Christianity Slaves identify especially with Moses and Exodus

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Slave Culture West African fables The witty Brer Rabbit who outwits stronger animals with his resourcefulness and trickery

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Myth: Slaves are lazy and would not work unless directed by masters and overseers Slaves are thieves Truth: Slaves practice passive resistance Slaves sabotage equipment Slaves engage in work slowdowns Slave thievery is generally of items that their own labor produced

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Slave Families: Uncle Tom’s Cabin American Slavery as It Is By 1860 approximately 10% of slaves have partly white ancestry

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH The Harshest Truth or The “Bottom Line” Punishment – always at the whim of owners Even in areas where slavery is lenient, it is grounded in legalized terror Slavery denies the individual freedoms that Americans cherish Slavery reinforced American Racism

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH The Southern Mind How did they justify slavery 1800 – Slavery seen as dying institution 1860 – Slavery DEEPLY ingrained

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Slave Resistance Passive resistance (as mentioned earlier) Slave Revolt Nat Turner – 1831 Revolts left deep fears in Southerners Slaves MUST be controlled

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Abolitionists Even southerners debated abolition until 1832 Southerners turn on abolitionists Censorship of US Mail Denunciation of Southern abolitionists “Gag rule” in House of Representatives

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Southern justification of slavery Sanctioned by the Bible and Christianity The “Curse of Ham” Sociological arguments for slavery George Fitzhugh Wage Slavery in the north Black slaves have a better life than wage earners in northern factories

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Southern Ideology Southerners began to question majoritarian democracy Population growing in the north Southerners began to questions northern economic dominance Southerners began to reconsider nullification

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH: 

THE ANTEBELLUM SOUTH Calhoun’s Plan Dual presidency – North and South Both presidents would have veto power over Congress

LECTURE 14: 

LECTURE 14 Lecture 14

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