Published on January 2, 2008
US in the Mid 19th century: US in the Mid 19th century 1.Political System—Founding fathers, federal government,sovereignty,second party system, tariffs, party platforms, limited government,political patronage, spoils system, US in the mid 19th century: US in the mid 19th century 2.Economic system-American dream, women’s status, cult of domesticity, abolitionism, temperance, ‘people of plenty’, Demographic issues, western expansion, agriculture,transport,industrialization, urbanization US in the Mid 19th century: US in the Mid 19th century 3.Sectionalism- What were the main differences between the north and the south? -US never particularly united, some similarities (language, religion,legal system,celebration of the same history etc) -differences: economic-civil war as a conflict between backward, planter dominated agrarian south and modern industrialized, egalitarian north.Was Texas the dame as Virginia? Slide4: Sectionalism (cont) Many norths:some agriculture, some newly industrialized etc. Was the south economically backward? Cotton= ½ all US exports, Iron works in Richmond 4th in nation. Egalitarian north? 10% of pop’n owned 68% of wealth—almost exactly the same in the south. 75% of southerners did not own slaves in 1860. US in Mid 19th century: US in Mid 19th century 3. Sectionalism: Planters (5% of popn—own 20 or more slaves) best land, Eugene Genovese says set the tone for southern life, dominated politics—reactionary? Fluidity in southern society—some Whigs, some democrats North-south differences: Industry,urbanization, immigrants,economic grievances (tariffs benefit north,depend on northern credit, needed northern transport, ‘King Cotton’ profits go north.) Southern honor (anti-materialism, anti-urbanization,gracious ways of life) Historian Wyatt Brown southerners highly susceptible to insult,more concerned with family e.g duelling. US in Mid 19th century: US in Mid 19th century Sectionalism-values: education, south more sure to hold on to old institutions ‘peculiar institution’: slavery US in Mid 19th century: US in Mid 19th century 4. Slavery: 17th and 18th century slave trade from Africa (slave triangle) 1808, illegal, but 1 million slaves in US Pre 1830:1776 exists in all colonies, important in the south for plantation purposes (labor intensive) Quakers condemn slavery on moral grounds, others say inconsistent with liberal enlightenment of liberty. 1787, no slaves in north west territory 1793-cotton gin revolutionized production-required large amounts of unskilled labor- 1787 3/5’s compromise-Haiti revolution 1790 led to tighter social control. abolitionists: abolitionists Begin with gradual emancipation with compensation, encourage slaves to go back to Africa-1822 US purchased Liberia-limited success. William Lloyd Garrison-radical, The Liberator, slavery a sin, immediate abolition, idealist 1833 National Anti Slavery Society ¼ million members 1838 abolitionists: abolitionists Women and freed slaves e.g Fredrick Douglass-petitions to congress-gag rule. Why so strong in the north? World wide phenomenon, religion Catholicism and evangelical Protestantism (Second great Awakening Abolitionists problems in the North: only limited appeal (De Tocqueville) some fear for economic reasons, 1837 riots and Lovejoy murdered, limited political success-Liberal party set up, disagree over strategy (incite slave revolts?) abolitionists: abolitionists Problems in the south: no support after Nat turner revolt 55 whites killed, begin to argue that slavery was positive good, Christ did not condemn slavery, protected by paternalism, banned abolitionist literature- death penalty—south united to protect slavery Nature of slavery: Nature of slavery Very little account, fugitive slaves 1860 4 million slaves, 1850 1 in 3 southerners owned slaves, 1860 50 % owned no more than 5 slaves, most slaves were held by about 10,000 families 1860-1/4 million free blacks in the south, needed documents, precarious legal status, no political rights--segregation Impact of Slavery of southern economy: Impact of Slavery of southern economy Big debate, for whom was slavery profitable? Slavery responsible for the south’s economic decline? See historians Hilton Rowan Helper and Ulrich Phillips: skills not fully utilized, manuel labor brought into disrepute, slaves were a poor investment? Slevery imposes rigidity on southern mind, adds dependency on cotton Impact of slavery on southern economy: Impact of slavery on southern economy Positive impact: Historians K. Stampp- slavery was efficient, led to growth/wealth, no industrialization can be seen as a sign of health, per capita income growth greater than the rest of the US, slave agriculture more efficient (due to specialization) than other methods. Was the Civil War necessary from the perspective of slavery?: Was the Civil War necessary from the perspective of slavery? Cotton prices fall= would slavery die out? Demand for cotton still there 1860 Slavery not just an economic institution, but used for social control, ensured white supremacy/white social hierarchy preserved South remained committed to the ‘peculiar institution=fear of race war/social disintegration? Ultimately prepared to secede from the union.