Literature Study GuidesCotton Is King Speech

Cotton is King Speech | Study Guide

James Henry Hammond

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Course Hero. "Cotton is King Speech Study Guide." Course Hero. 24 Feb. 2020. Web. 28 Mar. 2020. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cotton-is-King-Speech/>.

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Course Hero. (2020, February 24). Cotton is King Speech Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cotton-is-King-Speech/

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(Course Hero, 2020)

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Course Hero. "Cotton is King Speech Study Guide." February 24, 2020. Accessed March 28, 2020. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cotton-is-King-Speech/.

Footnote

Course Hero, "Cotton is King Speech Study Guide," February 24, 2020, accessed March 28, 2020, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/Cotton-is-King-Speech/.

Overview

Author

James Henry Hammond

Year Delivered

1858

Type

Primary Source

Genre

History, Speech

At a Glance

  • James Henry Hammond (1807–64) was a senator from South Carolina from 1857 until 1860. He had previously served short terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and as governor of South Carolina.
  • He delivered this speech on March 4, 1858, as part of a debate in the U.S. Senate over whether Kansas should be admitted to the Union as a slave state.
  • Kansas was a hotbed of unrest. A proslavery constitutional convention had written a state constitution for Kansas known as the Lecompton Constitution, but antislavery settlers had refused to vote on it. President Buchanan allowed the constitution to be submitted to Congress.
  • In his speech Hammond argues that the Lecompton Constitution is legitimate, even if the territorial legislature that led to the constitutional convention might not have been.
  • Hammond also discusses the might of the South and its exports, famously declaring, "Cotton is king."
  • Toward the end of his speech, Hammond stresses the value of slavery. He describes it as the "mud-sill," or basic structural support, of Southern government and society.

Summary

This study guide for James Henry Hammond's Cotton is King Speech offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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