The production of tobacco Essay Sample
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The production of tobacco Essay Sample
Between 1790 and 1850, the economy of the South experienced an extreme economic growth. The production of tobacco, which was the South’s main crop, was failing and as a result, the production of cotton arose, which was a big factor in the economic growth of the South. During the 1800s to 1850s, the change in the economy throughout the whole nation was influenced by the first stages of the industrial revolution, but ultimately the main factors that caused the development in the South was the importance of plantations, the middling and pootobaccor farmers, and slavery in the South.
Plantation was a big factor of the developing economy because plantations was a way that products and goods could be produced to either sell and make a profit or be self-sufficient on. This caused a self-sufficient world where the majority of people who owned plantations could provide for themselves without any help from any foreign nations. In 1790, the plantation agriculture in the Chesapeake was failing (Murrin 254). Their principle crop, tobacco was declining and the production of tobacco resulted in the soil being depleted, which resulted in farms and plantations failing (Murrin 254).
The outcome of the diminishing soil was white tenants, laborers, and small farmers starting to migrate out of the Chesapeake and into Kentucky, Tennessee, western reaches of Virginia, and even nonslave states north of the Ohio River (Murrin 254). Before the time that tobacco was failing, enslaved workers were very much needed, but due to the decline in tobacco productions these workers were less needed. During the decline of some of the old centers of slavery, planters have found a new crop that would lead them into making high profits, which was cotton.
Southern planters had known that if they could grow cotton they would be able to sell all of it, but many obstacles stood in their way of being able to grow cotton like the only profitable cotton that could be grown only grew on the Sea Islands off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina and short-staple cotton was harder to produce because the sticky seed had to be removed by hand (Murrin 256). At end of the war in 1815, the plantation of cotton stretch to be on the Mississippi river, which caused new state of Alabama Mississippi and Louisiana to grow more than half of the US cotton crop in 1834 (Murrin 256).
Cotton then became one-half to two-thirds of the the U. S. exports. Now that cotton crops were the principle crop for the South, all the planters and farmers cared about was their plantations of cotton which meant they didn’t produce any other crops. This resulted in them being heavily dependent on the markets to provide for other foods, clothes, household objects,.. etc. Due to the farmers being heavily dependent on markets they weren’t truly capitalists since with the profits that they were making with the cotton were going to the spending of other necessities for living.
The importance of plantations led the South to develop a new crop like cotton and South to have great wealth due to the crops. Southerners had said that cotton is a “democratic” crop and everyone could profit off of it, but they were incorrect (Murrin 263). Planters with big farms and many slaves worked more efficiently and profited more than the farmers that didn’t have has many resources and cotton and other crops only benefited and profited planters who had the advantages with these resources.
The planters who are wealthier bought all the good cotton land which is wherever there was fertile soil, heat and humidity, low altitude, and a long growing season since short-staple cotton flourishes in that type of land (Murrin 257). This establishes that wealthier people could only grow cotton, since they have the land and slaves to do so and the majority of the southerners who didn’t grow land continued as middling farmers. The wealthier planters also bought the majority of the slaves, which led to only 30 percent to 35 percent of of southern white families owning at least one slave (Murrin 263).
As time went on the percentage of people owning slaves started to decrease. The middling farmers who couldn’t produce cotton switched over to owning livestock and in the late summer and fall they started selling them to merchants and planters (Murrin 263-264). Many of the yeomen, farmers who owned land, practiced mixed farming for household substances and neighborhood exchange. Since few farms were self-sufficient they grew grain and livestock fed it to their families and traded them with their neighbors.
This method of trading goods with neighbors was a civil way of being able to support your family, everyone was civil with each other and shared goods among one another. Soon the idea of neighboring which is when when someone borrowed or owed something is repaid in kind or labor (Murrin 264). The south started out as many slaves in the majority of the household and ended up with more than three-fourths of the population not owning slaves. With slave labor slowly decreasing in the households of southerners the idea of neighboring was adapted and made all decisions civil and helpful with one another.
Before the 1800s, the economy of the South was filled with slaves due to the plantations of tobacco. The farmers and planters heavily relied on slave labor to do all their work. The more crops that they want to produce, the more slaves they needed to get the job done. A system called the Task System occurred which was when the owner would give everyone an assignment to do by the end of the day and if they finished early the rest of the day would be theirs. This encouraged slaves to work hard without supervision and have this system benefit them (Murrin 256).
The master-slave relationship was characterized as paternalistic because slaves gave their time for labor and had certain responsibilities and restrictions while the master provided care to their slaves. Southerners said that the masters were paternalistic towards their slaves, also meaning that they had responsibilities towards their slaves, just because it was their obligation to care for them but the masters truly cared that the slaves were healthy enough to continue working.
After the 1820s slavery turned more systematic and humane. It is said that wise masters believe that a way to a better success of a plantation, is not by terror or discipline, but by bonding with the slaves and giving them certain privileges (Murrin 265). These privileges included allowing the slaves to call their own holidays, garden plots, … etc (Murrin 265). The masters also want to keep the families together because it would bring peace on their plantations.
Masters continued wanting to keep slave families together and kept making sure that their health was good, which increased paternalism. Slaves first started out as having long hours, tighter discipline, and losing their families to almost everything working in their favor. Between the 1800s to 1850s the South has a huge economic development. They developed a new cash crop that would lead to very wealthy people, introduced an idea of neighboring due to the middling and poor farmers, and the development of how the master-slave relati