The Peculiar Institution Chapter 11 Part I (416-429) 1. Where was the largest concentration of slaves in the United States and why? The largest concentration of slaves was present in the south, past the Mason-Dixon Line which was drawn by two surveyors in the eighteenth century that divided Maryland from Pennsylvania. One of the reasons was the south’s huge cotton kingdom. They were in need of labor as they needed people working on plantations and running the cotton mills, especially as business was booming. New Orleans had become the biggest port for cotton and sugar exportation in the world. Another major reason for this was that the north had abolished slavery, making it a “peculiar institution” of the south; it became a unique tradition of the south. The north criticized this peculiar institution after abolishment, but slavery seemed to grow more day-by-day in the south. 2. What cemented the bond between Southern Planters and the ‘plain folk’? Incorporate Table 11.2 Slaveholding, 1850 into your answer (pg. 423). Southern planters were considered to be the biggest supporters of slavery in the south and probably owned the most slaves. The ‘plain folk’ were non-slave owning families in the south, outside of the plantation areas, and usually worked on land that used family labor. The Southern Planters and the ‘plain folk’ never had a lot in common and slaves never were really benefiting to the ‘plain folk.’ But the major factor that played a role in cementing the bond between Southern Planters and the ‘plain folk’ was the outside criticism from northerners. The only thing binding the southern planters and the ‘plain folk’ was the fact that they were from the south, so hearing criticism about their region sparked a sense of patriotism in them. Besides regional loyalty, their common beliefs in white supremacy, kinship ties, and a common participation in a democratic political culture also brought them together. The smaller workers also relied on the bigger plantation owners for an increase in economic and social power, which is why they also started supporting slavery. They genuinely believed that their freedom rested on slavery. In Table 11.2 Slaveholding, 1850, we see that at the beginning of the year, there were 68,000 slaveholders and each owned an average of one slave. At the end of 1850, there were 250 slaveholders and each owned more than 200 slaves. As time passes, the number of slaveholders is increasing and the number of slaves each person holds is decreasing. This acts as evidence for a stronger bonding between southern planters and the ‘plain folk’ as the plain folk had started electing and giving certain slaveholders more power, which is why more time passed, a small number of slaveholders remained who owned a lot of slaves.
- Spring '20
- The Bible, Slavery in the United States