Slavery Under Debate

This discussion addresses the following outcomes:

  • Discuss the role of the “cotton revolution” and other factors in the  expansion and transformation of slavery during the late eighteenth and  early nineteenth centuries. (CO#1, #5)
  • Explain slavery’s influence on national politics and the development  of prevailing Northern and Southern views on slavery (CO#4, #5, #6/Gen.Ed. Outcome 4.2)

Slavery grew along with the United States, not just in the number of  slaves but in the nature of the institution itself. It underlay the  South’s wealth and to a great degree formed the South’s political and  social identity. The “cotton revolution” enabled the expansion of  slavery westwards and the same time that the Northern states abolished  it within their borders. The nation’s westward expansion soon confronted  the United States with several political controversies that reinforced  sectional differences.

In preparation for our discussion be sure to read the Module Notes, Chapter 11: “The Cotton Revolution (Links to an external site.)” in The American Yawp, Mullen, L. (2014), “These Maps Reveal How Slavery Expanded Across the United States (Links to an external site.)”, and read the following primary sources:  The Missouri Crisis (Links to an external site.) (1820), George Fitzhugh Argues that Slavery is Better than Liberty and Equality, 1854, and Harriet Jacobs on Rape and Slavery, 1860.

Using the primary and secondary source materials above as evidence, consider the following in a post of at least 250 words:

  • How did the American system of slavery change by the early 1800s because of the “cotton revolution”?
  • How did different political, economic, cultural and ideological  differences between the North and South shape the debate over slavery in  the early 1800s?