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History Essay: How did slavery affect the economic life of the antebellum South? (Essay Sample)


There are four questions, roughly one from each of the chapters 13, 14, 15, and a general question covering all three of the chapters. Answer each question in a complete essay of no more than 300 words. Each answer is worth up to 10 points.
Question 1. How did slavery affect the economic life of the antebellum South?
Question 2. How did the quarrel over the expansion of slavery affect national politics between 1846 and 1861?
Question 3. What did the Emancipation Proclamation say and how did it affect the outcome of the Civil War?
Question 4. Was the Civil War inevitable? Support your answer with evidence from all three chapters.


Due Date:
How did slavery affect the economic life of the antebellum South?
The antebellum South was primarily an agricultural economy. The entire South with farmable land had extensive plantations, mainly producing cotton, grain, tobacco, sugar, and rice. All these crops were labor intensive, and since mechanized farming was in its infancy stages, the antebellum South heavily relied on slaves. By the start of the war, the South was producing 75 per cent of the world’s cotton and creating more millionaires per capita in the Mississippi River valley than anywhere in the nationCITATION Gre18 \l 1033 (Timmons, 2018). Slaves were a source of cheap labor, and many plantations had many slaves. Labor, as an economic unit of production, helped the region economically. The South experienced exponential economic growth to the period leading to the American civil war.
The demand for labor in the South also created a new market for slaves as commodities. A new industry of trading slaves emerged. Slaves were captured in Africa and shipped over the Atlantic to the South where they were auctioned. Though prices varied depending on the health, age, gender and physique of the slave, the industry became very lucrative and integral to the economy of the South. By the time the South seceded from the Union, the purchase of a single slave as much as $150,000 and more in today's prices CITATION Sam20 \l 1033 (Williamson & Cain, 2020). By the start of the war, there were nearly 700,000 thousand slaves in antebellum South worth millions of dollars. Since slaves were traded in a free market, the multimillion-dollar industry of slaves was a lucrative industry that created more millionaires in the South.
Thirdly, slaves were also consumers. Though their financial abilities were greatly limited because of working for free, they needed clothes, medicine, food and other things. Therefore, they created demand in the South and contributed to the economy as consumers.
Therefore, the slaves in the antebellum South had a net positive effect on the economy as they were a source of cheap labor. They were also highly-priced commodities that were traded in a free market, and finally, they were consumers. They wore clothes and needed other economic goods and products which though their masters covered; they were consumed by the slaves indirectly.
How did the quarrel over the expansion of slavery affect national politics between 1846 and 1861?
Since the economy in the South was heavily reliant on slavery, it created friction when the federal government sought to compel the Southern states to abolish slavery. In 1846, the Wilmot Proviso bill was introduced in Mississippi that prohibited slavery from all lands acquired from Mexico. The Southern economy was mostly dependent on slavery and introduction of this which, which did not pass, enraged many people in the South. In 1850, Harriet Beecher Stowe published Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which detailed the awful life of slaves in the South. Stowe’s book was a bestseller and highlighted the plight of slaves in the South. The Wilmot Proviso bill and Stowe’s book ...

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