The economy of the Southern Unites States continuously generated enormous wealth, and it was crucial for the country’s development and growth. As well as the other slave societies, the American South did not promote the development of urban centers in terms of finance, industries, and commerce on the same scale as the North. In 1860, almost half of the wealthiest American citizens lived and worked in the South. Moreover, the southern agriculture significantly contributed to the economic growth of the 19th century America and helped finance its principal industries. Before the U.S. Civil War, the southern states guaranteed nearly half of all export earnings for the country by growing sixty percent of the world cotton. In addition, it is important to mention slavery. Despite the fact that slavery was an advantageous and highly profitable business, it still negatively affected the economy of the South. It continuously contributed to the soil exhaustion, high debts, lack of technologies and innovations. Moreover, slavery impeded progress of the southern cities and industries (“The South’s Economy”).
One can see the social effects that slavery brought to the nation in the numerous slave uprisings. White owners of slaves had fears that their subordinates would rebel against them. The racist attitude has become the obvious phenomenon, and people began to see excellence and dominance in the white race only. The judgment that whites were better than black people persisted for a long time after Lincoln abolished slavery in 1865. The confederate soldier who took part in the American Civil War, Samuel Watkins accurately summarized distinctions between the Southern and Northern states. He once stated that the South is their country while the North is the nation of individuals, who live and work there. Southerners are agricultural people while Northerners are manufacturing Americans (Watkins 7). The existence of slavery in the USA led the country to a deadlock. The slaveholding policymakers of the South were in contradiction with the federal authorities, and they feared that the central government would abolish slavery as their own peculiar institution. A seventy-year period of slavery, in fact, significantly contributed to the America’s development even being a divided house (Ericson 1). The U.S. federal authorities greatly enhanced their state capacities since the implementation of slavery.
Why did slavery become the essential difference between the North and the South?
The American South and North were quite different since the foundation of the country. While Northerners viewed the free Western United States as essential for them to become prosperous, Southerners considered closing the Western part to slavery as an obstacle to the economic progress, human dignity, and moral decency. The industrialized American North opposed slavery, in contrast to the agrarian Southern states that maintained it. Former slaves significantly influenced the North. Northerners were against slavery because of the growing awareness of this institution. The Southerners focused on the political and economic aspects of the institution of slavery. Moreover, they revolved around the agricultural economy that helped them benefit from the slave labor. The Northern part was less rural, and it depended more on the free labor. The Northern states became financial and industrial center of the country.
What are the long-term effects of slavery?
Applying barbaric and unethical practices such as removal of limbs and castration physically incapacitated slaves and undermined their status as human beings. Such practices as setting groups of slaves in fights for no reason usually led to death. Other slaves often witnessed brutal contests that greatly intensified their psychological acceptance of the status of paltry people.
Undoubtedly, slavery caused considerable destruction of human life and completely devastated lives of Black Americans. Millions of innocent people died from suffocation, diseases, and malnutrition. Moreover, slavery distorted the perception of the black family since each family member could be sold (Gutman 154). Because of the slavery, black women, children, and men were exposed to brutal, violent actions including whippings, tortures, murders, lynching, and rape. Slavery led to the severe psychological and emotional traumas keeping black people from being educated. It was illicit for the slaves to get full education, read or write. Slave masters were not interested in educating them since educated slaves could organize themselves, begin revolution and uprising, thus ending slavery.