slave10 - Summary of Argument by Comparing Economics Both...

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10 Summary of Argument by Comparing Economics Both Augusta and Franklin were prosperous and diversified. Blessed with the advantages of rich soil, abundant water, and mild weather, both places grew vast quantities of grain, sustained towns, and depended on railroads that came into their counties. Both had thriving industrial sectors, sustained commercial newspapers and internal trade networks, traded intensely with other cities, and provided similar employment opportunities. The white class structure did not differ markedly between the Northern and Southern communities; similar proportions of propertyless and unskilled whites lived in both places. Non-slaveholders were not pushed onto marginal land in the Southern county. In fact, they were distributed across the landscape, and across the best land, in the same proportion as non-slaveholders. The same availability of excellent soil characterized the Northern county. Occupations did not differ between the two places, and the laboring classes were comprised of people of the same general age and wealth. (See, for example, Table: Occupations; and Table: Laborers) In some significant ways, though, the economic structures of these places differed. By almost any measure, whites were wealthier in Augusta, for they owned more property and had larger farms than whites in Franklin. Some whites in Augusta accumulated huge fortunes in slaves as personal property. Women in Augusta outpaced their counterparts in Franklin, amassing larger real and personal estates. In addition, free blacks in Augusta were richer than black residents in Franklin. In the view of many whites in Augusta, their society was responsible for a higher standard of living, one that benefited all whites. Slaves, too, Augusta's whites told each other, were better off in slavery than in freedom, and better off than the free laborers in the North. Other differences in the distribution of wealth require closer scrutiny of the geographic locus of wealth in these communities. For example,
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slave10 - Summary of Argument by Comparing Economics Both...

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