Chapter 16 - The South and the Slavery Controversy, 1793-1860 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 16 - The South and the Slavery Controversy, 1793-1860 Deck (29)
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Eli Whitney

Introduced the cotton gin in 1793, which made the wide-scale cultivation of cotton possible. The explosion of cotton cultivation created a demand for labor which reinvigorated slavery.


Cotton Gin

Invented by Eli Whitney, the cotton gin was a machine that separated cotton from its seeds. This invention made the wide-scale cultivation of cotton possible. Cotton became the dominant southern crop, accounting for half the value of all American exports after 1840. In fact, the South produced more than half of the entire world’s supply of cotton.



-Sir Walter Scott, a favorite author of the elite southerners, helped them idealize a feudal society similar to medieval times.


One crop economy

The increasing reliance of the production of cotton led to a one-crop economy, whose price level depended on world conditions. The whole system discouraged a healthy diversification of agriculture and manufacturing.


Yeoman Farmer

Any person who was a small landowner, which was the majority of people in the South, who farmed their own land and usually did not own slaves.



The least prosperous non-slaveholding whites. They were even scorned by slaves as “poor white trash.” They generally raised corn and hogs, not cotton, and often lived isolated lives. Many of them suffered from malnutrition and parasites.



Free blacks numbered about 250,000 by 1860. Emancipation was inspired by the idealism of Revolutionary days. Emancipated blacks in the South were considered a “third race.” They were prohibited from working in certain occupations and forbidden from testifying against whites in court.



Children of mixed race, generally the child of a white planter and his black mistress



In terms of slavery, a person that can be bought, possessed, or sold as property. As the booming cotton economy created a demand for slave labor, black human chattels had quadrupled by 1860. Even though legal importation of African slaves into America ended in 1808, thousands of blacks were smuggled into the South.


Natural Increase

A huge part of the increase in the slave population came not from imports but instead from natural reproduction, which distinguished slavery in America from that in other New World societies and implied much about the conditions of family life under slavery.


Harriet Beecher Stowe

Wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” which seized on the emotional power of slave auctions.



The white supervisor who would watch the slaves, both men and women, while they worked. They were ready to whip them at any time, watching the slaves from dawn to dusk.



the person strong-willed slaves were sent to, meant to punish slaves for their wrongdoings. Their technique consisted of extreme and violent whipping.


Old South

More settled areas of the South, where slavery was not as hard as the Deep South.


Deep South

The area that stretched from South of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, where most slaves were concentrated in the “black belt” by 1860. This was the region of the southern frontier, where cotton growth had boomed.


Peculiar institution

A euphemism for slavery and the economics that go along with slavery in the South. The term highlighted the irony of the legalization of slavery in a country where “all men are created equal.”


Gabriel Prosser

was executed for organizing 1000 rebellious slaves outside of Richmond, his plan failed because two of the slaves gave the plot away, and the Virginia militia put a stop to the rebellion before it could even begin.


Denmark Vesey

A mulatto who inspired a group of slaves to seize Charleston, South Carolina in 1822, but one of them betrayed him and he and his thirty-seven followers were hanged before the revolt started.


Nat Turner

slave in Virginia who started a slave rebellion in 1831. His rebellion was the largest sign of black resistance to slavery in America and led to a policy passed by the state legislature of Virginia that said that slavery could not be questioned.



The anti-slavery movement that first occurred at the time of the Revolution, especially among Quakers. Some of the earliest abolitionist efforts focused on transporting blacks back to Africa. The Great Awakening caused many people to become involved due to the opposition to “the sin of slavery.”


The American Colonization Society

founded in 1817 for the purpose of transporting blacks bodily back to Africa.


Theodore Weld

AMerican abolitionist, aided by two wealthy New York merchants, who paid his way to Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati. He was expelled for organizing an eighteen-day debate on slavery. Weld and his fellow “Lane Rebels” fanned out across the Old Northwest preaching the antislavery gospel.


Arthur and Lewis Tappan

Wealthy and devout NEw York merchants who aided Theodore Weld financially on his way to Lane Theological Seminary in Cincinnati, Ohio.


Harriet Beecher Stowe

wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” in 1852, which persuaded more people, particularly in the North, to want an end to slavery.


William Lloyd Garrison

abolitionist who published in Boston the first issue of his antislavery newspaper, The Liberator in 1831. This paper triggered a thirty-year war or words and in a sense was a cause of the Civil War.


Wendell Phillips

an associate of William Lloyd Garrison, he founded the American Antislavery Society in 1833.


David Walker

black abolitionist whose “Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World” advocated an end to white supremacy.


Sojourner Truth

freed black woman in New York who fought tirelessly for black emancipation and women’s rights.


Frederick Douglass

Perhaps the greatest black abolitionist who escaped from bondage in 1838 at the age of twenty-one. He gave a stunning impromptu speech at an antislavery meeting in Massachusetts, and thereafter lectured widely for the cause.

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