The Slavery Institution In The 19th Century

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Slavery Institution in the 19th century
Slavery existed in both the North and South of America during the 18th century. As the North became increasingly industrialized and urbanized, there was less demand for slaves. During the 19th century, the South increased their dependence on slaves to work on the cotton plantations. The industrialization of the North and the rapid growth of the cotton industry in the South divided the nation during the 19th century. It was a regional issue that both sides increasingly disagreed on the issue of abolishing slavery in the United States. Some Northerners viewed slavery as a moral issue, which it was seen as a sin to enslave people. Whereas, many Southerners defended slavery and argued that it was an economic
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The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1794 made the cotton production more profitable, resulting in demand for more inexpensive laborers and increasing the South reliance on slaves (“American Yawp: The Cotton Revolution”). Cotton production was originally a painstaking business, which required plenty of time to separate the seeds from the cotton fiber. However, the cotton engine was able to accelerate the process of separating the seeds drastically. It could produce thousands of pounds of cotton with a relatively low expense. With the easier and more efficient production process, the cotton gin resolved the problem and improved the Southern economy. Along with the high demand of cotton in textile manufacturing, cotton became the staple cash crop for the Deep South and led the South to emerge as the world’s largest cotton producer (“American Yawp: The Cotton Revolution”). As a result, Southerners required more slaves to harvest cotton to meet the market’s demand, particularly from Northern textile mills and Europe during the Industrial Revolution. Slave laborers were, hence, obtained through the internal slave trade instead of importation due to “the constitutional ban on the international slave trade in 1808” (“American Yawp: The Cotton Revolution”). Following the cotton industry boomed, “the number of slaves in the South increased by just 750,000 in twenty years” (“American …show more content…
It became a widespread institution in the 19th century due to the Cotton Kingdom. “Without slavery there could be no “Cotton Kingdom,” no massive production of raw materials stretching across thousands of acres worth millions of dollars” (“American Yawp: The Cotton Revolution”). Slavery helped to prosper the cotton industry and improve the Southern economy. However, the barbaric practices in the slavery institution eventually led to abolitionist movements. It was because slaves were profoundly affected by the terrible and torturing system. They were often suffered from family separation, racism, and unrealistic long working hours. Meanwhile, female slaves frequently experienced sexual abuse from their slaveholders. Abolitionists viewed slavery as an evil and claimed that it must be removed. On the other hand, defenders of slavery argued that slavery abolishment will be a killing economic impact in the South. Over time, these arguments facilitated the growing regional divisiveness between the industrialized North and the Southern planting society, which ultimately culminated in the Civil