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Unformatted text preview: Prior to the thirteenth amendment of 1865, slavery was the
foundation of the economy in the Southern US.
The South was relatively underdeveloped because of the slave
An economy based on slave agriculture induced little industrialization
or urbanization (9% in South, 30% in the North) and the South was
substantially poorer than the North (about 60-70% of North’ GDP
per-capita). James A. Robinson (Harvard) The Emergence of Modern Economic Growth: A Comparative and Historical Analysis
November 2, 2008
4 / 18 Regions of the U.S. Regional Income Trends Manufacturing was very backward in the South.. Source: Bateman, Fred and Thomas Weiss (1981) A Deplorable Scarcity: The Failure
of Industrialization in the Slave Economy, p. 17. Even though it was highly profitable Source: Bateman, Fred and Thomas Weiss (1981) A Deplorable Scarcity: The Failure
of Industrialization in the Slave Economy, p. 116. And the Planters did not invest in it! US Counties in 1850: Slavery and Manufacturing Lagerlof, Nils-Petter (2005) “Geography, Institutions and Growth: The US as a microcosm” Railroad Mileage in the US
North (7 states)
South (7 states)
62 1860 Mileage per
1,000 sq. miles
7 Average Annual number of patents granted for wheat, corn and
cotton production. Years Wheat Corn Cotton 1837-1859 10.3 12.4 1.2 1860-1879 35.4 34.2 11.1 1880-1899 57.2 48.7 25.9 1900-1919 47.1 63.0 46.1 Source: Jacob Schmookler (1972) “Time Series of Patents Classified by Industry,
United States 1837-1957,” in Zvi Griliches and Leonid Hurwicz eds. Patents, Inventions
and Economics Change. The Fogel-Engerman Debate In Time on the Cross, Fogel and Engerman argued that in fact slavery
was not an economically ine¢ cient system.
Two of their 10 bullet points (pp. 4-6) are
1 2 “Slave agriculture was not ine¢ cient compared with free agriculture ...
e¤ective management, and intensive utilization of labor and capital
made southern slave agriculture 35% more e¢ cient than the northern
system of family farming.”
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