King Cotton was prevalent in dividing the United States. One of the strongest pieces of evidence supporting the dividing effects of economic interests was the South’s dependence on cotton. The South became enthralled with cotton because of it’s growing demand. Foreign nations like Britain bought
As a result America started to produce three quarters of the world’s supply of cotton, allowing for big businesses to mass produce cloth. Cotton soon became “king” exceeding the value of all other products in America combined.
With the economic system, the south had a very hard time producing their main source “cotton and tobacco”. “Cotton became commercially significant in the 1790’s after the invention of a new cotton gin by Eli Whitney. (PG 314)” Let
The southern region of the United States was supportive of the institution of slavery for a variety of reasons. The biggest contributor to southern support of slavery was the dependance of southern economy on the cultivation of cotton, a valuable cash crop. Southern economy depended on the cultivation of cotton, and profitable cultivation of cotton depended on slave labor. Cotton was so valuable to southern economy that the crop was commonly referred to as "King Cotton". The importance of cotton and its dependance on slave labor can be portrayed by the image entitled "Harvesting Cotton" which portrays a typical southern plantation with a number of black slaves tending to cotton plants. The historical context of this image is the cotton boom, which was when cotton began to take off as a staple cash crop in the Unites States, especially in the south. This image helps to explain the role that slavery had in the success of cotton as a cash crop and the cotton boom. Slaves were used in cotton fields to tend to the cotton crops and to harvest cotton fibers. For this reason, the south remained dependent on and supportive
The crops grown on plantations and the slavery system changed significantly between 1800-1860. In the early 1800s, plantation owners grew a variety of crops – cotton, sugar, rice, tobacco, hemp, and wheat. Cotton had the potential to be profitable, but there was wasn’t much area where cotton could be grown. However, the invention of the cotton gin changed this - the cotton gin was a machine that made it much easier to separate the seeds from cotton. Plantation owners could now grow lots of cotton; this would make them a lot of money. As a result, slavery became more important because the demand for cotton was high worldwide. By 1860, cotton was the main export of the south. The invention of the cotton gin and high demand for cotton changed
The growth of the cotton industry impacted America economically and socially. “The domestic slave trade exploded, providing economic opportunities for whites involved in many aspects of the trade and increasing the possibility of
For example, farming was the main source of income for the Confederate states. The main southern chief crop which came to be known as King Cotton, accounted for 57% of all U.S. exports (“Civil War”). However, in order to produce these large amounts of cotton, the southern Confederate states depended heavily on slave labor. Since cotton production began to dominate and fuel the southern economy, the South felt that they did not need to industrialize like their northern neighbors did. This caused the South to manufacture very little goods and caused them to purchase manufactured goods from the industrialized North or to purchase imported goods from overseas.
labor” (Foner, 393). Cotton not only became the most profitable crop for the Southern farmers,
Great post. The invention of the cotton gin immensely changed the American economy. Southern cotton farmers planted larger crops, while Northern textile factories grew up to take advantage of the sudden cheapness of cotton. By 1860, the American South provided roughly two-thirds of the cotton sold worldwide, shipping it from its flourishing ports such as New Orleans and Charleston. However, in order to harvest and process those crops, Southerners needed more workers. The population of enslaved workers increased by 1850, and a higher ratio worked in the cotton fields than ever before. By the time of the Civil War, the invention of the cotton gin had led to an American South heavily dependent upon slavery for its
The antebellum era (also referred to as the plantation era) between 1800’s to 1860 was a period of slave driven farming, marking the economic growth of the south. During this period in 1815, cotton was the most valuable traded produce in the United States and by 1840, it was more valuable compared to all other imported and exported goods combined. In 1860, one year before the Civil War, the South was predominantly reliant on the sale of agricultural products, such as tobacco, rice, sugar, and cotton estimated at 5,344,000 bales, to a worldwide market. while the southern states generated two-thirds of the world's cotton supply, the South had little industrial capability (manufactured good estimated to the value of$156,000,000), consisting of an estimated 29 percent of the railroad tracks or 14484.1km, and only 13 percent of the nation's banks. The South attempted slave labour in manufacturing, but were mainly content with their agricultural economy. Their delay in industrial expansion was not the result of any integral economic disadvantages, there was a vast amount of wealth in the South, but it was mainly bound to slave labour. In 1860, the financial value of slaves in the United States surpassed the participated value of all of the land's railroads, factories, and banks combined. the day before the Civil War, the value of cotton was at its peak, the Confederate aristocrats were confident that the significance of cotton on the world market, especially in England and France,
Mass production was a major technological achievement all over the world especially in newly developing areas. Factory jobs were becoming wildly available and the demand for the materials used in these factories increased exponentially.” The southern states were more focused on gaining profit through agriculture, however the tobacco economy in these states was beginning to fail. With the rise of the textile industry, these same states
The South expressed their pride over their cotton-based economy system. Due to the fertile lands in that region, cotton was found to be a valuable cash crop, providing more than half of the world’s production of it. Consequently, the South believed that they played an integral part of the Union. James Hammond showed how much pride he had in the Southern economy when he said, “The South is perfectly competent enough to go on, one, two, or three years, without planting a single seed of cotton. I believe that if she was to plant but half her cotton, it would be an immediate advantage to her”. Through this speech, he expressed the crop as “King”; by using this title, the Southerners portrayed cotton as the honorable and indispensable figure in their economy. It was the staple crop of the South, and without it, the region’s economy was collapse. However, the popularity of cotton production made Hammond and many other Southerners believe that the cotton-based economy would help the region stand on its own as a Confederacy. Due to the Southern pride on how indispensable the region was internationally, the South believed their exports of cotton overshadowed all other exports from America, even though some crops were more profitable than the cotton.
Due to this, the economy of America at this period of time was centred around cotton and as Clement Eaton stated, 'After the invention of the cotton gin in 1793, the tempo of life in the South quickened.' The industry was able to achieve large profits through the use of slaves-the cheapest labour of all-and eventually 'Three-fourths of the world's supply of cotton came from the southern states.'
Rivoli’s also writes about the U.S’s dominance in the cotton industry and that by practicing the above, the U.S. took over the market and dominated the competition. Of course they did, the other countries like India and Africa for instance, were still working their farms the old fashioned way, by themselves, and paying for any needed labor – or in some cases, all their family members helped bring in the crops. However, because of their practices, they could produce and harvest nearly as much cotton as the U.S. due to their use of slaves, then advanced machinery, chemicals, and even genetically manufactured seed and of course with subsides from the government later on. I wonder how the U.S. would be regarded around the world now, if it had not been for the dominance in the cotton industry thanks to the
With Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton became very profitable. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. However, at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton meant the greater need for a large amount of cheap labor, i.e. slaves. Thus, the southern economy became a one crop economy, depending on cotton and therefore on slavery. On the other hand, the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. In fact, the northern industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. This disparity between the two set up a