Slavery And The American Economy

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Slavery spans to nearly every culture, nationally, and religion and from ancient times to the present day. Slavery was a legal institution in which humans were legally considered property of another. In the 18th century, new ideas of human rights and freedom emerged out of the European Enlightenment stretching across the Americas and Europe. By the era of the American Revolution, the belief that slavery was wrong and would ultimately have to be abolished was widespread, in both the Americas and northern Europe. However, the southern states of the United States believed that slavery is essential to their way of living and providing history, and religion to defend slavery. The debate between proslavery, whom were Southern states, and…show more content…
As Kansas was applying for admission into the Union as a slave state, Senator James Henry Hammond of South Carolina argued that “the strength of a nation depends in a great measure upon its wealth,” which was created by its exports.1 About two-thirds of America’s export were either produced by slave labor, like raw cotton, or were manufactured goods tied to slavery, like cotton cloth.1 Hammond also brought the notion that “Cotton is king,” and no one would dare to make war on cotton.1 Cotton revolutionized the American economy and became the staple of industry in the southern states. In 1787, there was virtually no cotton grown in America.1 However, with the invention of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin allowed production of cotton to soar along with the demand for black slaves. The expansion of cotton meant the geographic expansion of slavery as well; as it grew, cotton dragged its slaves to the southwest where it could be grown more easily.1 Proslavery supporters argued that the end of slavery would have a devastating impact in the southern economy, where the reliance of slaves was the foundation of their economy. Even Thomas Jefferson agreed that the South’s economy was all based off of slave labor and without the slaves, the South would not had a successful economy.1 Although slavery was highly profitable, it had a negative impact on the southern
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