Chapter 11 Study Guide - -1Chapter 11 Study Guide 1 Define...

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-1Chapter 11 Study Guide 1. Define the Lower South. Consisted, in 1850, of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. 2. What was the advantage of upland or short-staple cotton? It could be planted far inland, and small farmers could grow it profitable because it required no additional costs for machinery or drainage systems. 3. Why was upland cotton well suited to slave labor? It required fairly continuous tending throughout the year. Once the harvest was in, a time when northern agricultural workers were laid of, the slaves cleared land, cut wood, and made repairs. The long work year maximized the return on capital invested in slave labor. 4. Define a plantation and the planter class. Plantations, large productive units specializing in cash crops and employing at least 20 slaves, were the leading economic institution in the Lower South. Planters were the most prestigious social group, and though less than 5 percent of white families were in the planter class, they controlled more than 40 percent of the slaves, cotton output, and total agricultural wealth. Most had inherited or married into their wealth, but they could stay at the top of the South’s class structure only by continuing to profit from slave labor. 5. What was the gang system? A crude version of the division of labor that was being introduced in northern factories, permitted a regimented work place. The organization and supervision of slave field hands into working teams on southern plantations. 6. Why did cotton prices hold steady? Demand was so strong that prices held steady at 10 cents a pound in the 1850s, even as southern production of cotton doubled. 7. How was the slave trade profitable? Southern law defined slaves as chattel, the personal property of their owners, and their market value increased along with the profitability of slavery. Prices at any given time varied according to the age, sex, and skills of the slave, as well as overall market conditions, but the steady rise in prices meant that slave owners could sell their human chattel and realize a profit over and above what they had already earned from the slaves’ labor. 8. What did slave owners invest their profits into? Most of the profits from slave labor and sales went into buying more land and slaves. As long as slaves employed in growing cash staples returned 10 percent a year, slave owners had little economic incentive to shift their capital resources into manufacturing or urban development. 9. Why did planters fear urbanization and industrialization?
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Most planters suspected that the urban environment weakened slavery. An editorial in the New Orleans Crescent charged that slaves in the city were “demoralized to a deplorable extent, all owing to the indiscriminate license and indulgence extended them by masters, mistresses, and guardians, and to the practice of forging passes, which has now become a regular business in New Orleans.” For a white person a “demoralized” slave was one who
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Chapter 11 Study Guide - -1Chapter 11 Study Guide 1 Define...

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