Lecture 15

Prior to the thirteenth amendment of 1865 slavery was

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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 economy. 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 s 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 1860 North (7 states) MA NY PA NJ South (7 states) VA NC GA LA 15,012 1,264 2,682 2,598 560 7,001 1,731 937 1,420 62 1860 Mileage per 1,000 sq. miles 62 157 56 58 75 22 35 19 24 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.” “Far from...
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