I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July. I sure did. Had family here for the first time and we all had a ball. The meaning of family is price less!
Back to business.
Here is the next article for you that don't know much about the civil war. You can read the 1st article here.
As the North and South drew further and further apart in society and economically, the political separation was growing wider and wider.
Slavery increased the severity of the regional and economic differences that the north and south had against each other. Southerners resented the large profits that the Northern businessmen were receiving from selling the cotton crop. Southerners attributed the backwardness of their own separation to the Northerners wealth. Northerners declared that slavery also called by the North “peculiar institution,” which was essential to the South’s economy, was totally responsible for their backwardness. This hardening between the North and South grew wider and wider.
In 1808 congress abolished the slave trade with Africa and was constantly being protested. With the invention of the cotton gin and the westward expansion of the Mississippi region there was an increasing demand for slaves.
With the westward expansion, Americans had been settling in territories that were not states as of yet. Texas was an independent republic up until 1845.the United States negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago with Mexico that gained the United States the Southwest region and California. The United States had gained a vast new territory of 1.36 million square kilometers, which are the present-day states of Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. Upon the arrival of all the new territory the explosive question was: Would the new territories be free or slave?
The Northern abolitionist grew more and more opposed to the extension of slavery into the western territories. The Southerners regarded slavery as a way of life. Slavery had been going on 200 years and was part of their economy. By 1860, just before the start of Civil War, there were a total of 46,274 individuals that owned at least 20 slaves. More than half of these slaves worked on plantations.
The Southerners considered expansion a necessity because cultivating only cotton crops, quickly exhausted the soil which increased the need of new fertile lands. Additionally the South believed that they needed new territories for slave states just like the North needed new territories for free states. Each needed to offset the another.
One of the largest forced migrations in history was the transatlantic slave trade. From the beginning of slavery to the mid-19th centuries, more than 10 million Africans were taken from their homes, herded onto ships which were so tightly packed they could barely move, and taken to a new land. A total of over 39,000 slaves were brought to the United States. In the 1660s, colonies enacted laws that black slaves and children of slave women would serve for life. In the Southern colonies, 40 percent of the population was slaves by 1770 with the majority in South Carolina. Slaves performed tasks from clearing forest to house servants but they were mostly agricultural laborers. Landowners that grew staple crops like tobacco, rice, and cotton owned the majority of slaves. In the Northern colonies, slavery never became as important as it did in the South. In New York only 10 percent of the population were slaves and as a whole the North had less than 5 percent, most of which were domestic servants.
By the mid-18th century, 90 percent of American slaves lived in the South. Despite the ending of slave imports in 1808, the number of slaves continued to grow. Between the years of 1808 to 1860 the slave population of the United States grew from about 1.2 million to almost 4 million thus proving that slavery could survive without slave imports.
With the world demand for cotton slavery expanded rapidly, the South became the heart of the cotton kingdom and by the 1830s produced more than half of the nation’s supply, the bulk of which was cultivated by slaves. Between 1790 and 1860 about one million slaves were moved west. Some slaves moved with their masters and others were sold to planters of the cotton-growing region, from the seaboard states.
Slavery was a growing custom. By the 1830s the United States was divided by the slave South and the free North. Slavery was essential in the South. If you defended slavery you were pro-Southern so if you opposed slavery you were anti-Southern. Although most southern whites did not own slaves, slavery set the South apart from the rest of the country. Of the whites that did not own slaves the majority were “poor whites” or “low income” in the Southern society. They did however support the institution of slavery because they feared the freed blacks would compete with them for land. By the middle of the 19th century slavery only existed in the Southern United States. The South did not grow with the industrial revolution like the north did. The South remained mostly rural. Only five Southern cities with more than 50,000 people, less than 10 percent of southerners, lived in towns out of at least 2500 people compared to more than 25 percent of Northerners. The South also lagged behind in railroad development to public education. Southern whites that were politicians, ministers, newspaper editors and authors rallied for slavery as the foundation of southern society. Southerners defended slavery in many ways from race and economic necessity to claiming that slavery was part of God’s plan for civilizing a primitive heathen people. By the 1840s the struggle over slavery became central to American politics. Northerners who were committed to free soil felt that new western territories should be exclusively for free white settlers. Southerners insisted that any limitation on slavery’s expansion was unconstitutional with the Southern order and a grave insult to Southern honor. This difference of opinion caused the two sides to greatly clash.
In 1860, southern families that owned more than fifty slaves numbered less than 10,000, those that owned more than a hundred were less than 3,000 in the entire south. A typical slave owner owned one or two slaves and was an artisan, mechanic, or a small farmer. This is important in understanding why white Southerners went to war in 1861 to defend slavery. Most did not have a financial investment in the system but the defense was more complicated than a simple fear of loss of money. The south deeply believed in the Southern way of life, which slavery was a complicated part. They also believed that to weaken slavery would unleash the pent-up hostilities of 4 million African American slaves who had been enslaved for centuries.
Article IV, section 3 of the constitution gave Congress the power to make appropriate “Rules and Regulations” for federal territory and provide that new states “may be admitted by the Congress into this Union.” This granting of the end clause was the source of considerable controversy. This controversy and debate over slavery in the territories tended to ruin congressional authority.
The territory of Missouri asked to join the Union in 1818 without any slavery restrictions; Northern congressmen tried to attach amendments restricting further slaveholding but slave owners objected to any limits being set on their owning slaves. After heated debates, Congress agreed to admit Missouri as a slave holding state and Maine, which was originally part of Massachusetts, also requested statehood. This was the first compromise led by Henry Clay, that allowed Missouri admission as a slave state and Maine as a free state but slavery was prohibited from then on in territories north of Missouri’s southern border. This compromise was designed to quiet and settle the slavery issue. Congress set the 36th parallel as the boundary, which above it, slavery could not spread.