answers for book - The Peculiar Institutions role in...

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The Peculiar Institution’s role in shaping… in antebellum Texas: 1. the economy Slavery flourished in Texas primarily as an economic institution. Most of the early settlers emigrated to Texas from southern slave states such as Louisiana, Virginia and Mississippi and many brought slaves with them. Many historians believe that the successful settlement of Texas (both in initial settlement and early statehood) would have been unlikely without the institution of slavery. “Stephen F. Austin’s colonists and the impresario himself believed that a province so land-rich and labor poor could be settled and brought into large-scale, profitable production much more rapidly with slave than with free labor…” (Campbell, p 67,) “…land is so cheap, and cropping so profitable, that very few even poor men consent to be hired, preferring to work their own lands. Owing to these circumstances no one could cultivate a large plantation by free labor” (Campbell, p 67, an anonymous observer traveling through TX in 1840) Cotton plantations (the most prevalent and profitable) as well as major farm crops exploited a majority of the slave labor force and drove economic growth. “Slavery existed in antebellum Texas primarily as an economic institution. Those who purchased bondsmen to supply labor on farms and plantations generally found their investments profitable. Slaves produced larger and larger cotton crops, reproduced themselves, and appreciated in value through the late antebellum years. They also produced enough corn and other food crops to provide self-sufficiency in the state’s agricultural economy. Finally, slavery was very flexible and highly functional, as witnessed, for example, by the hire system, so that it was economically advantageous in ways that did not appear on a profit-and-loss balance sheet. The institution may have contributed to Texas’ relative backwardness in commercialization and industrialization, but there were no important demands that it be ended in order to promote diversification. Slavery flourished in Texas throughout the late antebellum period and was never in danger of failing from its own economic weakness.” (Campbell, p 253) The slave market itself contributed to the economy and it can easily be argued that the
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2010 for the course HIST 320P taught by Professor Brown during the Fall '09 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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answers for book - The Peculiar Institutions role in...

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