Revolutionary idealism such as Thomas Jefferson was openly freeing their slaves. Others predicted the iron logic of economics would eventually expose slavery’s demise. Eli Whitney invention made it possible for the wide scale cultivation of short staple cotton, white fiber rapidly became the dominant of southern crop establishing tobacco, rice and sugar.
“Cotton is King”
Cotton kingdom developed into a huge agricultural factory, as long as the soil was still vigorous the yield were high and rewards were higher.
Northern shippers were a large part of cotton trade they transported the goods to England to sell their fleecy cargo for pounds sterling, in need to buy manufactured goods from the United States.
1840 Cotton was the value of American exports; the south produced more than half of the world’s supply of cotton that held foreign nations in partial bondage.
Southern leaders were fully aware that Britain was tied by cotton threads, Fiber- famished British factories would close their gates in order for the London government to break the blockade and the south would triumph.
The Planter “Aristocracy”
1850 only 1,733 families owned more than 100 slaves, each group provided political and social leadership of the section and nation.
Aristocrats could educate themselves in the best schools up North, their money provided leisure for study. Virginia and other southern states produced a higher proportion of front-rank statesmen before the year 1860.
Aristocracy was favored by dominance by the undemocratic; it widened the gap between the rich and the poor.
Walter Scott helped idealize a feudal society with many economic activities such as hosting jousting tournaments.
Plantation system shaped the lives of southern women; some mistresses showed t regard for their bondswomen and some slaves strained the bonds of womanhood.
Slaves of the Slave System
Plantation agriculture was useless due to the fact the King Cotton and his money caused a heavy leakage of population to the West and Northwest.
South became increasingly monopolistic; as the land was thin many small farmers sold their holdings to more prosperous neighbors and headed towards North or West.
The South was financial instability of their plantation system; individuals such as Andrew Jackson wanted to plunge beyond their depth.
Dominance by King Cotton leads to a dangerous dependence on a one-crop economy whose price level was at the mercy of world conditions.
Southern Planters envied watching the North grow fat their expense; they were pained by the heavy outflow of commissions and interest to northern middlemen.
Cotton Kingdom repelled a large scale of European immigration which added richly and wealth to the North. 1860 population was foreign-born as compared with 18.7 percent for the North.
The White Majority
1850 345,000 families representing about 1,725,000 white person, over two-thirds of these families all owned fewer than ten slaves each.
Smaller slave-owners did not own a majority of slaves, but the lesser masters were typically small farmers.
1860 numbers swelled to 6,120,825 three quarters of all southern whites, As subsistence farmers they raised corn, and hogs, lived in isolated lives.
No slaveholding whites were scorned by slaves they were often described as listless, shiftless, and misshapen.
Whites without slaves had no direct stake in preservation of slavery; they were stoutest defenders of the slave system.
Many poorer whites were hardly better off economically then the slaves, however the most wretched whites could take perverse comfort from the knowledge that they were outranked in status.
Southern white were in the white mountains, marooned stretched from Western Virginia to northern Georgia and Alabama.
Future president Andrew Jackson hated haughty planters and their gangs; they viewed the impending strife between North and South.
When the war broke out whites constituted a peninsula of