Questions To Consider

HIS 131 The Old South and Slavery,

North and South: Diverging Ways Chapter 12

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I. The Developing North

Americans in the mid-nineteenth century liked to believe that theirs was a nation specially ordained by God…that their Union represented a beacon of liberty and stability that would serve as a model to the rest of the world.

However…in fact, the United States in these years was in many respects not truly a nation at all…It was actually a highly decentralized confederation of states, many of which that had little in common with one another.

And those states remained together in part because the union was so loose, and the central authority so weak, that the differences among them did not often have to be addressed.

When the United States began to move in the direction of greater national unity, as it did in the 1840,s, it encountered a series of major obstacles…and one obstacle became so powerful that it soon threatened to tear the nation apart…That obstacle was sectionalism. (Sectionalism is defined as extreme devotion to local interests or customs of a particular geographic district).

The rivalry of one part of the country with another was not new to the 1800’s…There had been sectional differences as early as the 1600’s among the colonies of the South, the mid-Atlantic, and New England.

However, by the 1840’s and 1850’s, sectionalism had changed both in its nature and in its intensity.

In one sense, there were now three distinct regions…the Northeast, the Northwest, and the South…each with its own economy and its own social system…But in other senses, there were only two regions…the North and the South, which were developing in very different and finding themselves increasingly in conflict.

The most obvious aspect of this division was a basic difference in the labor systems of the sections.

The South was not only maintaining but it was also intensifying its commitment to slavery as its primary source of labor…The Northeast and the Northwest were committed to a free-labor economy.

But slavery was only a part of a much larger difference between the North and the South. 2



Developing in the North, was a modern, diversified economy, with an important manufacturing sector, a flourishing commercial life, and an expanding range of urban services and activities.

Also, developing between the North and the Northwest were close economic and cultural ties…And, as a result, the South sensed itself becoming isolated and left behind.

Increasingly dependent on the North for manufactured goods, for commercial services, for many of the basic necessities of life…increasingly cut off from the flourishing agricultural regions of the Northwest…increasingly committed to a way of life that much of the rest of the nation considered obsolete…the South was beginning to seem like a colony to the powerful regions in the North.

In the 1840’s and 1850’s, this deep division between the North and South would produce tensions and conflicts that would ultimately lead to the American Civil War. ———————————————–

The most obvious change in American life in the 1840’s and 1850’s was the rapid development of the economy and society of the North.

Industrialization, which had begun slowly in the years immediately following the war of 1812 and had gathered force in the 1820’s and 1830’s, now exploded as a major factor in the Northern economy.

Urban centers, which were, in the past, few in number and relatively small, now began to grow rapidly.

Socially, class divisions became more pronounced….Particularly between the newly emerging aristocratic group the industrialist capitalists and those individuals making up the industrial work force.

The North and also the Northwest was developing a complex, modern society…one that would greatly increase the differences that had always existed between the North and the South.

A. Northeastern Industry

Between 1840 and 1860, American industry experienced a steady and, in some fields, a spectacular growth.

In 1840, the total value of manufactured goods produced in the United States stood at $483 million….Ten years later the figure had climbed to over $1 billion…And, in 1860 it had reached close to $2 billion.

3 For the first time in the United States, the monetary value of manufactured goods was



approximately equal to that of agricultural products. ————————– Industrial growth was greatest in the states of the Northeast.

Most obvious in this part of the country was the change from domestic or household manufacturing to that of the factory system…That is…the shift of economic power from merchant-based capitalism to industrial capitalism.

It was this shift of economic power, along with the spread of corporate organizations in business, and other technological innovations that heralded the new age of modern America. —————————- These changes, particularly in the North, was seen by the shift from agricultural based employment of the masses to industrial employment….By 1860, of the 1.3 million workers employed in all of the United States, over 70% were employed in the mills and factories of North.

Therefore, this demographic change created a new social group…the industrialist capitalist. These were the owners and the financiers of the Northern factories, and they became the elite class…the aristocrats of the North…And, as they sought and secured economic dominance, they also reached and grasped for political influence.

B. Northeastern Agriculture

The story of agriculture in the Northeast after 1840 is largely one of economic deterioration.

The reason for the worsening situation is simple…The farmers of the Northeast could not produce crops in competition with the new and richer soil of the Northwest…Therefore, Eastern farmers turned to a system of agricultural production that aimed at a pure subsistence farming or to the cultivation of products that would not suffer from Western competition.

Many of the eastern farmers went West and took up new farms or moved to mill towns and became factory laborers…As a result, the rural population in many parts of the Northeast continued to decline.

C. Migration and Immigration

One of the most profound changes in the nature of Northeastern society in the antebellum period (that is the nineteenth century prior to the Civil War) was the character and distribution of the population…and above all…the growing size of the Northern cities.

4 For example, between 1840 and 1860, over a twenty year period, the population of New York rose from 312,000 to 805,000…Philadelphia’s population grew over the same time



period from 220,000 to 565,000…and Boston’s, from 93,000 to 177,000.

By 1860, over 26% of the population of the Northern states were living in towns or cities…which was an increase from 14% in 1840…And, that percentage was even higher for the industrializing states of the Northeast.

By contrast, in the South, the percentage of urban residents (or city dwellers) increased from 6% in 1840 to only 10% in 1860.

This new urban population was in part a reflection of the growth of the national population of the United States as a whole, which rose from 23 million in 1850 to over 31 million by 1860…But, it was also a result of the flow of people into the cities from two sources in particular.

The first, and for a time, larger source was the native farming classes of the Northeast, whose members were being forced off their lands by western competition, and therefore moving to the cities to find employment…The second, and equally important source was immigration from Europe.

Between 1830 and 1840, only a relatively small number of foreigners had moved to the United States…about 500,000 in all.

However, beginning in 1840…the floodgates had opened….The number of immigrants arriving in 1840, (which was 84,000), was the highest number of immigrants for any year as compared to all of the preceding years.

But, in the coming years, even that number would come to seen insignificant, because between 1840 and 1850, more than 1.5 million Europeans moved to America…And, by the end of that decade the average number arriving yearly was almost 300,000.

D. Labor in the Northeast

In the early years of industrial growth, the work force of the Northeastern factories had remained both small and impermanent…Because mills had been relatively few in number, manufacturers had made do with a relatively modest, largely female labor force.

However, by the 1840’s, the need for factory workers was such that a large, permanent labor class was beginning to emerge…This permanent labor force was drawn from the new urban population of migrating native farmers and European immigrants.

5 It had also been possible in the early years for mill owners to treat their workers with a type of fatherly concern (particularly because they were mostly female), that often softened the conditions of living and working in a new and alien environment.



But, with the expansion of industry, such niceties were quickly forgotten….No longer did workers live in neat boardinghouses that were carefully maintained by their employers… Instead, they were left to their own devices, to find whatever accommodations they could in the cheerless, ugly factory towns that were rapidly appearing. No longer were the conditions of factory labor monitored so as to reduce the hardship of the workers…Instead, factories were becoming large, noisy, unsanitary, and often dangerous places to work.

The average workday was extended to 12-14 hours and wages were declining, so that even skilled workers could only hope to earn from $4 to $10 per week…while women, children, and unskilled workers were likely to earn only $1 to $6 per week.

E. The Old Northwest

Life was different in the states of what was known as the Northwest in the mid-1800’s (of course this is the area we refer to today as the Midwest).

There was some industry in this region…much more than was in the South…and, in the years before the Civil War, the Northwest experienced steady industrial growth…By 1860, it had over 36,000 manufacturing establishments employing over 200,000 workers.

Along the southern shore of Lake Erie was a flourishing industrial and commercial area of which Cleveland was the center….Another manufacturing locality was in the Ohio River Valley, with the meat-packing city of Cincinnati as its center…Farther west, the growing city of Chicago was emerging as the national center of the agricultural machinery and meat-packing industries.

The most important industrial products of the West were farm machines, flour, meats, distilled whiskey, leather, and wooden goods.

However, on the whole, industry was far less important in the Northwest than in the Northeast…The Northwest remained primarily an agricultural region…Its rich and plentiful lands made farming there a lucrative and expanding activity…This was in contrast to the Northeast, where agriculture was in decline.

Therefore, the typical citizen of the Northwest was not the industrial worker or poor farmer. The typical citizen of the Northwest was normally the owner of a reasonably prosperous family farm.

6 The average size of Western farms was 200 acres, the greatest majority of them owned by the people who worked them. —————————— The expansion of agricultural markets had profound effects on sectional alignments in the United States.



Of the Northwest’s total economic output, by far the greatest part was sold to the Northeast…So it can be seen that the new well-being of Western farmers was, in a large part, sustained by Eastern purchasing power. In turn, Eastern industry, found an important market for its products in the prospering West.

Between the two sections there was being forged a fundamental economic relationship that was profitable to both the Northeast and the Northwest…and that relationship was increasing the isolation of the South within the Union.

F. Railroads and Telegraphs

The swelling domestic trade between East and West could not have developed without an adequate system.

In the 1830’s. most of the goods exchanged between the two sections were carried on the Erie Canal…After 1840, railroads gradually replaced canals and all other modes of transport.

In 1840, the total railroad track age of the entire country was only 2,818 miles…By the end of the decade, the trackage figure had risen to 9,021 miles.

The railroads enabled the Western farmers to ship their products cheaply and quickly to Eastern markets and therefore helped to force many Eastern farmers out of business.

An outburst of railroad construction without previous parallel occurred in the fifties… The amount of trackage tripled between 1850 and 1860…The Northeast had the most efficient system, with twice as much trackage per square mile as the West and four times as much as the South.

Railroads were now reaching even west of the Mississippi River, which at several points was actually spanned by iron bridges. ————————– Facilitating the operation of the railroads was another technological innovation…the magnetic telegraph.

7 Its lines extended along the tracks, connecting one station with another, and aiding the scheduling and routing of the trains.…But the telegraph had an importance to the nation’s economic development all of its own.

It permitted instant communication between distant cities, tying the nation together as never before…And yet, ironically, it also helped reinforce the deep division between the



North and the South….This was because, just as with railroads, telegraph lines were far more extensive in the North than in the South….And, they helped therefore in the same way to link the North more closely to the Northwest…and, at the same time, separating that region even more further from the South.

The telegraph had burst into American life in 1844, when Samuel Morse, after several years of experimentation, succeeded in transmitting from Baltimore to Washington the news of James K. Polk’s nomination for the presidency.

The Morse telegraph seemed, because of its relatively low operational cost, the ideal answer to the problems of long-distance communication.

By 1860, more than 50,000 miles of wire connected most parts of the country…and a year later, the Pacific telegraph, with 3,595 miles of wire, was open between New York and San Francisco.

By this time, nearly all independent lines had been absorbed into one organization…the Western Union Telegraph Company.

G. The New Journalism

In 1846, Richard Hoe invented the steam cylinder rotary press, making it possible to print newspapers rapidly and cheaply.

The development of the telegraph, together with the introduction of the rotary press, made the collection and the distribution of the news much more efficient and speedier than ever before.

In 1846, the Associated Press was organized for the purpose of cooperative news gathering by telegraph…No longer did publishers depend on an exchange of newspapers for out-of town reports. ————————- Other changes in journalism also occurred.

Originally, Washington had been the national news center, and the papers published there had been government or political party affiliates that filled their columns with documents or political speeches.

8 With the advent of the telegraph and the railroad…the center of news transmission rapidly shifted to New York (the transportation and information hub)…A new type of newspaper than appeared…One that was more attuned to the spirit and the needs of the new America.

Although newspapers continued to concentrate on politics, they also reported human interest stories and recorded the most recent news, which they could not have done before



the telegraph.

Therefore, during the 1850’s, Americans experienced the impact of a new kind of journalism.

In increasing numbers the upper and middle classes were reading monthly magazines that featured fiction and news articles by some of the country’s leading authors…And, in the long run, the new journalism would become an important unifying factor in American life.

However, in the 1840’s and 1850’s, the rise of the new journalism helped to feed the fires of sectional tensions between the North and the South.

Most of the major magazines and newspapers were in the North, reinforcing the South’s sense of subjugation…And the rapid reporting of detailed information regarding differences between the sections prompted people to anger more quickly and more than might otherwise have been the case.

Above all, the journalistic innovations…along with the revolutions in systems of transportation and communications that accompanied it…contributed to a growing awareness of the deep and ultimately irreconcilable differences between the North and the South.

II. The Expanding South

In contrast to the North, the South possessed in the mid-1800’s a relatively motionless economy. ————————- To be sure, the Southern way of life…that is, the agricultural economy based on a plantation system and slave labor…expanded dramatically as new and fertile lands in the Southwest were opened to settlement.

And, Southern society was…it is true…becoming more diversified as it expanded.

However, neither the expansion nor the diversification altered a basic fact…and that was that the South remained a fundamentally rural agricultural region, with little industry or commerce of its own.

9 The Southern economy grew, but it did not develop…and, as a result…the South remained a far more uniform region than the North, and a region far more sensitive to threats to its distinctive way of life.

A. Elements of Southernism



The qualities that gave the South its distinctive flavor are not easy to define.

Generally, the climate is warm and mild…On the lower Gulf coast, the climate is subtropical….Therefore the growing seasons are longer than in the North, varying from 6 months in the upper South to 9 months in the Gulf states.

The economy, predominantly agricultural, was characterized by the presence of the large plantation as well as the small farm.

Farming was largely commercial, concentrating on producing certain staple crops such as tobacco, sugar, rice…and of course cotton, which was King.

Unlike the Northwest, which traded mostly with the Northeast…the South disposed of the bulk of its surplus products in England in Europe rather than with the North….Because of economic relationships the South had developed with the European markets dating back to colonial days, it had long-standing and closer economic ties with the countries of Europe which it continued to maintain.

The South had fewer cities, towns, and villages than did the North, and the South’s population was more spread out. ————————- The South was the only area in the United States (indeed, in all the Western world except for Brazil and Cuba) where slavery still existed…And, the South was also the only section of the United States that contained vast numbers of a race other than Caucasian.

Southerners might differ among themselves on political and economic questions, but by the 1850’s they had pretty much come together on the issue of race…They were determined to keep the South a white man’s country, and they viewed slavery as the best means to that end.

Slavery was more to the Southerners than a labor system…It can also be seen as a white- supremacy device, and as such it finally enlisted the support of the Southern white masses, including the great majority of the Southern population who did not own slaves.

Therefore race consciousness, appeared to have the effect of unifying the South.

10 Was slavery profitable?…On the whole the planters themselves believed they were making very satisfactory profits…At the same time, there can be no doubt that the slave system retarded Southern development and posed some grave problems for the region.

Because of the concentration on agriculture, the South had to purchase its manufactured goods from the outside, primarily from the North…and because of their dependence on the North for these manufactured goods, many perceptive Southerners began to recognize the economic subordination of their region.



This led to many Southerners acquiring a sense that they were being exploited by the North…and this sense, combined with the South’s race consciousness and its subordinate status in the nation, intensified the sectionalism that already existed.

B. The Classes of Southern White Society

Only a minority of Southern whites actually owned slaves.

In 1850 the total white population of the South was about 6 million, and of this population, only about 6% actually owned slaves….By 1860, although the Southern white population had grown to 8 million, the number of slave owners had dropped to only 4% of the white population….And, of the minority of whites owning slaves, only a very small proportion owned them in substantial numbers.

How then, has Southern society come to be characterized as one dominated by great plantations and wealthy landowning planters?

In large part, it is because the planter aristocracy…that is the huge cotton, rice, and sugar growers…the whites who owned at least 40 or 50 slaves and farmed 800 or more acres…;this group exercised tremendous power and influence far in excess to their numbers.

They stood at the very top of society, determining the political, economic, and even social life of the South.

These large planters represented the social ideal of the South.

Enriched by vast annual incomes, dwelling in palatial homes, surrounded by broad acres and many black servants, this Southern aristocracy became the class to which all other Southerners paid homage.

Enabled by their wealth to practice the leisured arts, they cultivated gracious living, good manners, learning, and politics…Their social pattern determined to a considerable degree the tone of all Southern society.

11 Class distinctions were more sharply drawn in the South than in other sections.

In the newer states in the Southwest, an ambitious person could move from one class to another…and farmers nursed the hope of becoming small slaveholders, and small planters aimed to become large ones.

Many achieved their goal…In fact, the great majority of the cotton lords of the Mississippi Valley states had come from the ranks of the obscure and the ordinary.



The farmers, those who only owned a few slaves and the great number who owned none, devoted more attention to subsistence farming than did the planters…During the 1850’s, the number of non-slaveholding landowners increased much faster than the number of slaveholding landowners.

This large group of non-slaveowning whites present an important question…Why did this group not resent the system of slavery from which they did not benefit?…Unfortunately, there appears to be no easy single answer to such questions, and historians are still pondering this question today. ————————- Actually some non-slaveowning whites did oppose the slaveholding aristocracy…but this was for the most part in very limited ways and they existed only in a relatively few, isolated areas.

This group was predominantly the Southern highlanders, the “hill people,” who lived in the Appalachian region east of the Mississippi and in the Ozarks to the west of the river.

Of all of the Southern Whites, they were the most set apart from the mainstream of the region’s life…They practiced a crude form of subsistence farming, owned practically no slaves, and had a proud sense of seclusion.

This group held to old ways and old ideals, which included the ideal of loyalty to the nation as a whole…Such whites frequently expressed animosity toward the slaveholding aristocracy of the South and they often expressed their misgivings and objections about the system of slavery.

The mountain region was the only part of the South to defy the trend toward sectional conformity…and it was the only part of the South to resist the movement toward secession when it finally developed.

Even during the Civil War itself, many refused to support the Confederacy…some even went so far as to fight for the Union. ——————————- However, far greater in number, were the non-slaveowning whites who lived in the midst of the plantation system.

12 Many…perhaps most of them…accepted that system because they were tied to it in important ways.

Small farmers depended on the local plantation aristocracy for many things…Access to cotton gins; markets for their modest surplus of crops and their livestock; for financial assistance in times of need.

In many areas, there also extensive networks of kinship linking lower and upper-class whites….The poorest resident of a county might easily be a cousin of the richest aristocrat….And these extensive mutual ties ( a system of almost fatherly relationships)



helped to mute what might otherwise have evolved into extreme class tensions. —————————— But there was also another group of white Southerners who did not share in the plantation economy in even these limited ways, and yet, continued to accept its premises…These were the members of that tragic and degraded class…numbering perhaps a half million in 1850, known as “crackers” or “poor white trash.”

This group occupied the infertile lands of the southern pine barrens, the red hills, and the swamps…They lived in miserable cabins surrounded by almost unbelievable filth and misery.

Their degradation resulted partly from dietary deficiencies and disease…These poor whites resorted at times to eating clay, and they were afflicted by pellagra, hookworm, and malaria.

Held in contempt by both the planters and the small farmers of the South, they formed a true underclass…In many ways, their plight was worse than that of the slaves (who themselves often looked down on these poor whites).

However, even among these true outcasts of white society in the South, there was no real opposition to the plantation system or to slavery.

Undoubtedly, in part, their lack of protest resulted from these men and women being so overwhelmed by poverty that they had little strength to protest…But their lack of protest also resulted from the single greatest unifying factor among the Southern white population.

This was the one force that was most responsible for reducing tensions among the various classes…and that force was race.

However poor and miserable a white Southerner might be, he could still consider himself a member of a ruling race…He could still look down on the black population of the region and feel a bond with his fellow whites that came from a determination to maintain their racial supremacy.

13 III. The “Peculiar” Institution

White Southerners often referred to slavery in their region as the “peculiar institution.”… By that, they didn’t mean that slavery was odd…they meant that slavery was distinctive or special.

The description was a good one because American slavery was indeed distinctive…It differed significantly from the slave systems of other countries…even from its closest counterparts in Brazil and Cuba.

And of course, it differed fundamentally from the labor system of the North and became



perhaps the most important factor in driving a wedge between the two regions.

Within the South itself, the institution of slavery had contradictory results.

On the one hand, it isolated blacks from whites, drawing a sharp line between the races… As a result, blacks under slavery began to develop a society and culture of their own, a culture that was in many ways unrelated to the white civilization around them.

On the other hand, slavery created a unique bond between blacks and whites in the South…The two races may have maintained separate spheres, but each sphere was deeply influenced and dependent on the other.

A. The Conditions of Slavery

Slavery was an institution established by law and regulated in detail by law.

The slave codes of the Southern states forbade a slave to own property, to leave his master’s premises without permission, to be out after dark, to congregate with other slaves except at church, to carry firearms, and to strike a white man even in self-defense.

The codes prohibited teaching a slave to read or write, and denied the right of a slave to testify in court against a white person…The slave codes contained no provision recognizing legal slave marriages or divorces.

Any person showing even a strain of African ancestry was presumed to be a slave unless he could prove otherwise….If an owner killed a slave while punishing him, the act was not considered a crime. ——————— These, and dozens of other restrictions indicate that the slaves lived under a harsh and dismal regime, which would have been difficult to impossible to bear had the laws been uniformly enforced.

14 Actually, sometimes slaves did acquire property, were taught to read and write, and did assemble with other slaves…even though laws against these actions were on the books.

Most slave offenses were tried by the master, who might inflict punishment ranging from some mild disciplinary action to flogging or branding for running away….Major offenses, including crimes, were generally referred to the courts.

Slaves faced the death penalty for killing or even resisting a white person and for inciting actions to revolt. —————————- Slaves were provided with at least enough necessities to enable them to live and work… They were furnished with an adequate if rough diet, consisting mainly of corn meal, salt



pork, and molasses.

Many were allowed to raise gardens for their own use and were issued fresh meat on special occasions…They also received issues of cheap clothes and shoes…They lived in primitive cabins, called slave quarters, and medical care was normally provided by the plantation mistress or a doctor retained by the owner.

The slave worked hard, beginning with light tasks as a child…and of course his workday was longest at harvest time.

During the non-planting and non-planting seasons, some slaves were given time off to go hunting and fishing, and they were also allowed to attend church services and some of the social festivities of the slave’s owners.

Some historians have argued that the material conditions of Southern slavery were, in fact, superior to those of Northern industrial workers…Whether or not that is true, the conditions of American slavery were undoubtedly less harsh than the conditions of slavery in the Caribbean and South America.

There, the slave supply was constantly replenished well into the 19th century by the African slave trade, giving owners less incentive to protect their existing laborers… Working and living conditions in the Caribbean and South America were severe, and masters oftentimes literally worked their slaves to death.

In the United States, in contrast, there were strong economic incentives to maintain a healthy slave population…One result of this was that America became the only country in the world where the slave population actually increased through natural reproduction. ———————————- Household servants had a somewhat easier life than did field hands…On a small plantation the same persons might serve in both capacities, but on a large one there would be a separate staff of nursemaids, housemaids, cooks, butlers, coachmen, and the like.

15 These people lived close to the master and his family, eating leftovers from the master’s table and in some cases even sleeping in the “big house.”…Between the blacks and whites of such a household, there often developed an affectionate, almost family-type relationship.

Slavery in the cities differed drastically from slavery in the country.

On the more or less isolated plantation, the slaves were kept apart from free-blacks and lower class whites…The master, his family, and his overseers maintained a fairly direct and effective control, and a deep and uncross able gap was maintained between slavery and freedom.

However, in the city, the master often could not supervise his slaves closely and at the



same time use them profitably…Even if they slept at night in carefully watched backyard barracks, they went about during the day running errands of various kinds for the master.

Others were hired out, and after hours these slaves fended for themselves, neither the owner nor the employer caring to look after them…Therefore, the urban slaves gained numerous opportunities to mingle with free blacks and with whites.

It was soon realized that slavery was incompatible with city life, and as Southern cities grew, the number of slaves in them dropped dramatically.

The reasons for this were social rather than economic….Fearing conspiracies and insurrections, urban slaveowners sold off much of their slave property to the country slaveowners.

While slavery in the cities declined, segregation of blacks both free and slave increased… Segregation was a means of social control intended to make up for the loosening of the discipline of slavery itself.

B. The Slaves’ Response

Few issues have sparked as much debate among historians as the effects of slavery on the slaves themselves.

The slaveowners, and many white Americans for generations to come, liked to argue that the slaves were generally content…That may well have been true in certain individual cases, particularly among favored domestic servants…but it is clear that the vast majority of Southern blacks yearned for freedom. —————————— Rather than contented acceptance, the major response of blacks to slavery was a relative complex one…The response was a combination of adaptation and resistance.

16 Actual slave revolts were extremely rare, but the knowledge that they were possible struck terror into the hearts of white Southerners everywhere.

In 1831, Nat Turner, a slave preacher, led a band of blacks who armed themselves with guns and axes and, on a summer night, went from house to house in Southampton County, Virginia….They slaughtered sixty white men, women, and children before being overpowered by state and federal troops.

Nat Turner’s was the only actual slave insurrection in the 19th century South, but slave conspiracies and threats of renewed violence continued throughout the South as long as slavery existed. —————————– For the most part, resistance to slavery took other, less drastic forms.



In some cases, slaves worked “within the system” to free themselves from it…earning money with which they managed to buy their own and their families’ freedom…Some also had the good luck to be set free by their master’s will after his death.

However, from the 1830’s on, state laws made it more and more difficult for an owner to free his slaves…The laws, when permitting manumission (or the freeing of slaves), often required the freed slaves to leave the state….This was because most whites objected to the very presence of free blacks, who by their existence set a disturbing example for the other slaves creating a fear among the whites of slave revolts. ——————————- Some blacks attempted to resist slavery by escaping from it…by running away.

A small number managed to escape to the North or to Canada, especially after sympathetic whites began organizing the so-called underground railroad to assist them in their flight.

But the odds against a successful escape, particularly from the Deep South, were almost impossibly great…The hazards of distance and the slaves’ ignorance of geography were serious obstacles.

So were the white “slave patrols,” which stopped wandering blacks on sight throughout the South demanding to see travel permits…Without such a permit, slaves were presumed to be runaways and were taken captive.

However, despite all the obstacles to success, slaves continued to run away from their masters in large numbers…Some did so repeatedly, undeterred by the beatings and other penalties inflicted on them when captured. ————————-

17 But resistance was only part of the slave response to slavery.

The other was an elaborate process of accommodation…a process that did not imply contentment with bondage, but a recognition that there was no realistic alternative and that some adaptation and acceptance was necessary.

On of the ways that blacks adapted was by developing a rich and complex culture…one that enabled them to retain a sense of racial pride and unity.

In many areas, they retained a language of their own, sometimes incorporating African speech patterns into English…They developed a distinctive music, establishing in the process what has become perhaps the most impressive of all American musical traditions.

However, the most important features of black culture were the development of two powerful institutions…religion and family.

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Our Services

Our services are second to none. Every time you place an order, you get a personal and original paper of the highest quality.


Essay Writing Service

While a college paper is the most common order we receive, we want you to understand that we have college writers for virtually everything, including: High school and college essays Papers, book reviews, case studies, lab reports, tests All graduate level projects, including theses and dissertations Admissions and scholarship essays Resumes and CV’s Web content, copywriting, blogs, articles Business writing – reports, marketing material, white papers Research and data collection/analysis of any type.


Any Kind of Essay Writing!

Whether you are a high school student struggling with writing five-paragraph essays, an undergraduate management student stressing over a research paper, or a graduate student in the middle of a thesis or dissertation, has a writer for you. We can also provide admissions or scholarship essays, a resume or CV, as well as web content or articles. Writing an essay for college admission takes a certain kind of writer. They have to be knowledgeable about your subject and be able to grasp the purpose of the essay.


Quality Check and Editing Support

Every paper is subject to a strict editorial and revision process. This is to ensure that your document is complete and accurate and that all of your instructions have been followed carefully including creating reference lists in the formats APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago / Turabian.


Prices and Discounts

We are happy to say that we offer some of the most competitive prices in this industry. Since many of our customers are students, job seekers and small entrepreneurs, we know that money is a problem. Therefore, you will find better prices with us compared to writing services of this calibre.