1 how did plantation crops and the slavery system

This preview shows page 3 - 4 out of 4 pages.

1) How did plantation crops and the slavery system change between 1800 and 1860? Why did these changes occur? After the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention, the Southern states were granted the option to decide the legality of slavery. At the same time, due to the Industrial revolution the slave system and plantation crops underwent a change. Plantation owners grew a wide variety of crops in the upper southern states grew mainly tobacco, hemp, vegetables and wheat. The plantations in the deep south grew cotton, rice and sugar. Long-staple cotton which was grown in the coastal regions was easy to grow and was of a high quality that it soon became in high demand in Europe. The cotton trade by the 1840’s had increased so much that the southern states were growing and exporting more than 2/3 of the world’s cotton. Soon supply has outpaced the demand. Short staple cotton, which could be grown inland, had extremely low production because it very labor intensive to remove the seeds. This had to be done by hand. With the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1792, the removal of the seeds became much easier, and this changed the production of cotton. Before the invention of the cotton gin the removal of seed from short cotton had to be done by hand and a worker could only process one pound of raw cotton a day, using the cotton gin 50 pounds could be processed in a day. Since short staple cotton could be grown inland and there was more land available, plantation owners could now increase their profits by switching from less profitable crops to grow more cotton. Growing more cotton meant more slave were needed to handle to production of cotton. Ultimately the cotton trade drove changes the social and economic structure of the Southern states where the wealthy coastal landowners and merchants increasingly controlled the dependence on the cotton crops. The invention of the gin allowed cotton to be grown in other places, such as South America and India. With cotton being grown elsewhere the trading strength of the South was weakening and
with this the economy was also spiraling downward. After the civil war was lost the efforts of the South to expand its cotton production was hindered by the trade being interrupted for such a long time and other markets were being used by the Europeans. Thus the cotton plantations of the South could not recover without the markets to support it or the slaves to work it. Henretta, James A., Edwards, Rebecca, Self, Robert O. America: A Concise History, Volume One: To 1877, 6th Edition .

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture