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Slavery was like an addiction that the south could not break. Although it provided economic benefits to both the north and the south, the addiction or “curse” bound the people to the downfalls of slavery as well. Slavery created an oligarchy of which a small aristocracy of slave-owners would dominate political, economic, and social affairs of both blacks and whites. The institutions negative impact on the South, and even the entire nation would eventually lead to a great tragedy: the civil war. Although the institution of slavery oppressed enslaved individuals, the effects were felt beyond the large slave population. Often, “the whites of the [southern] region were also touched by an institution [slavery] which was central to their way…show more content…
Slavery may have helped produce abundant amounts of cotton cheaply, but it also cursed those who were tangled in the grip of this “peculiar institution”. Wealthy slaveholding families also dominated politics on both a regional and national level in the ante-bellum era. Slavery, like land, was seen as a sign of wealth, and wealth would provide families with the means to educate their children at private institutions. These families would lose their “investments” (slaves), if slavery was outlawed, therefore the system was “at the core of southern politics, determining issues and influencing men” (192). The need to defend slavery even led to the ultimate demise of the Whig party in the south. Slavery, according to Carl N. Degler, “gave a new, but false, unity to southern political thought” (192). Although the institution of slavery may have unified the south, the effects were temporary, and southern political freedom was cursed with restrictions. The political ideals of the south established by the cursed institution of slavery would eventually clash with northern abolitionists to cause the great American tragedy, the Civil War. The South’s addiction to slavery in the early 1800’s would lead to great impacts on the region, as well as the nations. Slaveries economic blessing came at the price of the nation’s

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