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  • Slavery and the Northern Economy

  • From Indentured Servitude to Slavery

    Experience of African slaves had much in common with that of white indentured servants.

    Black and white women worked side-by-side in the fields. Black and white men who broke their servant contract were equally punished.

    Advertisement from the newspaper Glasgow Courant, 4 September 1760, for indentured servants to go to Virginia.

  • Indentured Servant Contract

  • 1793 Invention of the Cotton GinSpread of cotton as a cash crop and the development of the American textile industry ushered in a far harsher era of slavery.

  • Slavery Abolished in the NorthMassachusetts became the first state to end slavery when a judicial decision in 1783 interpreted the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 as having abolished slavery with the phrase, all men are born free and equal. Over the next few years legislation abolished slavery in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey.

  • Slave trade formed the basis of economic life in New EnglandCoopers TannersSailmakers

  • Colonial newspapers drew much of their income from advertisements for the sale of slaves.

  • Millions of gallons of New England made rum were exchanged in Africa for slaves.

  • Cotton was shipped by northern ships and financed by northern insurance companies.Hundreds of thousands of northerners livelihoods depended directly on slavery, by virtue of the power of the economic importance of cotton

  • Expansion of SlaveryBy 1830, there were more than 2 million slaves in the United States, worth over a billion dollars (compared to annual federal revenues of less than 25 million).

    During the 1830s alone, the migration of slaves to the lower South increased the slave population in Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Arkansas from 530,404 to 943,881.

  • Some Population Statistics1781: US population was 3.5 million. (approx. 575,000 were slaves)

    1801:US population was 5,308,000. (approx. 900,000 were slaves)

    1830: U.S. population was 12.8 million with more than 2 million slaves.

  • The fact that a significant portion of the Northern industrial economy rested on slave-grown cotton contributed to northerners' hostility to the abolitionist movement.


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