Slavery during the antebellum period
Slavery During the Antebellum Period
Since slavery started in the colonies during the 1600’s , the subject has always brought many debates on how justified it was . With more than 385 000 slaver owners in the United States , slavery was well implanted , but was still a notion subject to changes . Even though the arguments in favor ofslavery were essentially focused on the economic importance of slave laborers , the American population was also divided on different topics such as ethnic reasons , economical ones and many moral issues . Abolitionists and Pro-slavery advocates’ views contrasted on almost every society topic concerning the justification of slavery , with more or lessstrength . Tensions and coldness were easily created between the two movements , as E.W Taylor proves in his letter A Pro-Slavery New Yorker : “ The abolitionist . . . [ should ] pay attention to his own affairs ” . Antislavery produced a harsh reaction in the South as well as in the North .
Most of the slaves were working in cotton , sugar ,tobacco , and rice fields , and their labor was considered as necessary for the nation’s progress . Not having to pay the slaves , the plantation owners or any other producers made real big profits , that directly had good impacts on the State’s economy . Slaves were there to do the work that other white men would not do . The growingplantations needed land and a large work-force , that slavery could provide . The country’s production grew rapidly , and most of the people didn’t see why they should end slavery if it meant having a bad repercussion on the economy and on the production . Defenders of slavery stated that abolishing it would result in a big and killing economicimpact , because reliance on slavery was the basis of the economy . They also argued that if all slaves were being freed , unemployment would increase in a anarchic way .
Slavery was one of the reasons that made the United States a powerful country . However , abolitionists were wondering about whether slavery was beneficial or detrimental to theAmerican economy . They argued that free labor , instead of slave labor would be more beneficial because it would encourage competition and foreign investment . They said slavery was discouraging free and open trade . This economic reason partly led to a big movement called the Westward Expansion .
In 1808 , when the international slave tradewas abolished , people thought that it would be the end of slavery , but in the South , slavery made it much more profitable for their economy . The United States were then divided into states permitting slavery and states prohibiting it , called free states . Concerning the Western part of the country , the Missouri Compromise permittedslavery in the new states of Missouri and in Arkansans , but it was forbidden everywhere in the Western and Northern parts of Missouri . As this excerpt from the Missouri Compromise shows , Louisiana was one of the free states :
And be it further enacted , That in all that territory ceded by France to the United States , under the nameof Louisiana , which lies north of thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes north latitude , not included within the limits of the state , contemplated by this act , slavery and involuntary servi tude , otherwise than in the punishment of crimes , where of the parties shall have been duly convicted , shall be , and is hereby…