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In 1860, there were more farms in the North than in the South, although Southern states, especially in the Cotton Belt, had the majority of large farms (1,000 acres or more).Census data on farms and cities, however, reveals that while cities grew rapidly in the North between 18, they did not become leading population centers until 1920, 60 years after the Civil War began. had eight cities with more than 150,000 residents in 1860 and three of them—St.
Why were southerners eager to bring territories such as New Mexico, Texas, and California—where very little cotton was grown—into the Union as slave states?
There were many reasons completely unrelated to cotton.
Many students believe that the Republican Party, created in 1855, focused on slavery in the 1860 campaign, but their key issues centered on political corruption of the Buchanan Administration.
The Republican platform called for containment, not the end of slavery.
Religious opposition to slavery increased, supported by ministers and abolitionists such as William Lloyd Garrison.
Geographical conflict over the spread of slavery into western territories and states—areas with neither an industrial nor a farm economy—grew.
They gloat over the North's shipping yards and are surprised to learn of the busy shipping industry based in cities such as Richmond, Charleston, and New Orleans. Sugar and tobacco became the most profitable to meet European demands for crops that did not grow in the colder European climate.
Their jaws drop when I talk about the thousands of slaves in the South who worked in busy cities, not on quiet plantations. Virginia planters made a fortune growing tobacco, making tobacco the first King. By 1860, however, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana replaced Georgia and South Carolina as leading growers of cotton (see Primary Source Cotton and Slaves Data ).
Northerners did not need slaves for their economy and fought a war to free them.
Everything else, many textbooks claim, was tied to that economic difference and was anchored by cotton.