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Chapter 8 - The Northern and Southern Economies
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Chapter 8 - The Northern and Southern Economies

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  • 1. The Northern and Southern Economies 1800 to 1860
  • 2. Main Ideas  In the early 1800s, America could be divided into two distinct regions, or sections.  Northern Section: New technologies helped agriculture prosper, while a variety of new industries brought growth – with its benefits and problems – to the North. An increase in people worked in urban areas, or cities.  Southern Section: In the early 1800s, cotton farming became the South’s main economic activity. As a result, the South became dependent on slave labor.
  • 3. The Northern Section  An increasing number of people in the Northeast – the New England states, NY, NJ, and Pennsylvania – worked in factories in urban areas, or cities.  Industrialization, or the development of industries to manufacture finished goods in factories, increased rapidly in the Northeast.  Farming opportunities in the region were limited b/c the population had outgrown the land and thousands of young workers moved to the cities.  A growing number of urban poor people lived in areas with cheap, run-down housing called tenements, or crowded apartments with poor standards of sanitation, safety, and comfort.
  • 4. The Northern Section – Labor Disputes in Factories  Industries aimed to make a profit at the expense of their workers.  Most factory owners paid their employees very little and did not provide a healthy work environment.  Before long, laborers began to demand more from their bosses and complained mainly about the long hours and low wages.  As workers saw factory owners grow rich, they began to want a slice of wealth that their hard labor produced.
  • 5. The Northern Section – Labor Disputes in Factories  The American government set no minimum wage and workers could not go to their legislatures or courts for help.  Workers had only one real weapon – the could call for a strike, or a work stoppage to demand shorter hours and higher pay.  In 1834, workers organized the first national labor union – an organization of workers formed to protect the interests of its members, usually by negotiating to resolve issues concerning wages.  First national labor union – NTU: National Trades Union.
  • 6. The Northern Section – Labor Disputes in Factories  Nearly 300,000 people joined the NTU or other labor unions in the 1830s.  These early unions died out and factory owners obtained court rulings that outlawed labor organizations.  Despite its failures, the early labor movements showed that some workers were willing to take action against their employers.  By the 1840s, the North had a booming and complex economy with a mixture of industry and agriculture.  It was a region of cities and towns, banks and factories, with huge benefits and problems caused by a growing population.
  • 7. The Southern Section  One famous phrase sums up the economy of the South in the first half of the 1800s: “King Cotton”… the phrase came from the book Cotton Is King by David Christy.  He claimed southern slavery would’ve ended except for the ever-rising demand for cotton products.  Christy said, even Northern critics of slavery continued to use more and more cotton and other products of slave labor – and the American economy had come to depend on the revenue from the sale of raw cotton.
  • 8. The Southern Section  In 1860, King Cotton made up two thirds of the total value of American exports and it created enormous wealth for the South.  Cotton Belt States: North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Texas – the economy of these states relied almost completely on the production of cotton.
  • 9. The Southern Section – Geography of Southern Farming  Why did the physical geography of the Southern states make farming highly profitable?  The South remained mostly rural, made up of farms and countryside instead of cities.  Farmers could count on 200-290 frost-free days a year to grow crops  Southern land was fertile and had plentiful rains.  15,000 Southern families owned plantations which used a great number of slaves to produce a cash crop.  Hundreds of thousands of families owned just a few slaves and raised their own cash crops, own food, and livestock.
  • 10. The Southern Section – Geography of Southern Farming  Only one fourth of all slaves lived on plantations with more than 50 slaves.  During the early 1800s, farms with six slaves or fewer produced HALF of the Southern cotton crop.  With the invention of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin in 1793, Southerners scrambled to put more land into cotton production which increased the number of slaves.  By 1850, of the 3.7 million African Americans nationwide, only 12% (444,000) were free – some lived in the North but most lived in Southern urban areas or rural areas away from large plantations.
  • 11. The Southern Section – The Slavery System  In 1808, Congress banned all further importation of slaves to the United States.  In the South, however, the population growth among people already enslaved contributed to a sharp increase in the internal slave trade for the next 50 years.  Any child born into slavery became a slave.  Slave population:    1820 = 1.5 million 1850 = over 3 million 1860 = slaves made up half the population of SC and MS; two fifths of the population of FL, GA, AL, LA
  • 12. The Southern Section – The Slavery System  On small farms, slaves often worked side by side with their owners in the fields.  Most slaves did not live on small farms but on large cotton plantations.  By 1850, cotton farming employed nearly 60% of the enslaved African Americans in the US.  On the plantations, life was generally harsher than on small farms where workers often toiled in large crews under the supervision of foremen.  Most owners saw slaves as “property” that performed labor for their businesses.
  • 13. The Southern Section – Slave Revolts  Slave rebellions, especially on a large scale, stood little chance of success.  Most were small, spontaneous responses to harsh and cruel punishment and they ended in failure.  Turner’s Rebellion  Nat Turner, a 31-yr-old African American preacher, planned and carried out a violent uprising in 1831  Acting because of “divine inspiration”, he led 70 slaves in raids on white families in southeastern Virginia.  The slaves killed more than 50 people before the local militia captured them.  20 were hanged, including Turner.  In many Southern communities African Americans outnumbered the white population and for this reason, Southern states tightened restrictions on slaves – meeting, learning to read and write…