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Lecture 9

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Department
History
Course
HIS271Y1
Professor
Erin Black
Semester
Fall

Description
Week 9 - The Old South An Agrarian Economy They had a cash crop economy The north was slowly industrializing The south was clinging proudly to its Agrarian heritage Not interested in wage labor, industry, etc. Major cash crops include tobacco, sugar, rice, and cotton (4 main ones) When the colonies declared independence from Britain, they stopped exporting tobacco from the colonies Over the course of the revolution, the British found new places to acquire tobacco even though they were the biggest exporter of tobacco in the US Tobacco isnt nearly as lucrative and is kind of edged out Large scale sugar production is limited to the south and New Orleans/Louisiana in 1790s Most physically demanding slaves working in this area of the US worked 18 hour days to cut the cane, to haul it to the mill, and then process it, grind it, boil it down, etc. Rice is grown along the Carolina coast In the coastal region, the population is about 90% black because it is slave based Cotton was so prominent that some southerners referred to it as King Cotton o King Cotton This is how impressive and significant it was to their economy It begins to become commercially significant in the 1790s because tobacco was declining and southerners were looking for a new cash crop that was lucrative and more profitable It doesnt become commercially buyable until the 1790s until the cotton gin (engine) was invented separated seeds from the cotton to turn it into textiles The type of cotton that grows well on the coast is not the same that grew inwards (look at the map) Man responsible for creating the cotton gin was Eli Whitney He also invented the interchangeable part This mans inventions are single handedly responsible for the economic development of the north and south during this period This cuts the harvest time drastically Cotton as a result comes to push out tobacco as the most significant cash crop in the south This industry bound millions to slavery As southerners start to move away from the atlantic coast, they see a wide variety of trade, soil and weather however cotton grows very well in the clay like soil in the area east of the Appalachians Grows well in the black belt the black soil areas of Georgia and Alabama Cotton production in 1820 Cotton Production in 1860 The south becomes known as the cotton kingdom amongst southerners and northerners More than 60% of things the US exported abroad was cotton making the south the richest region of the US Made southerners argue that what they are doing (slave labor) is what makes the American economy hum In Comparison to the North o The south is more agricultural while the north is more industrial o The south doesnt want to change their ways of slavery because they were really rich o They didnt want manufacturing because they thought the rise of industry was result in the rise of southern working class ties to the plantation or slavery o The south does not want to diversify and they like their way of slave labor o The south ships the cotton to the north They grow 100% of the nations cotton
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