Lesson 9 - Life in the South


American History Pages
  Native Americans
  Colonial America
  American Revolution
  The Constitution
  Our Nation Grows
  Civil War
  Industrial Nation
America (1785-1849)
The Northwest Ordinance
Life in the Northwest Territory
Louisiana Purchase
Explorers - Lewis and Clark & Pike
The Events leading up to the War of 1812
The War of 1812
The Star Spangled Banner
Life in the North
Life in the South
The Northwest Territory and Andrew Jackson
Americans Push West - The Trail of Tears
Frontiersmen/Settlements in the West
Mountain Men/Folklore - Paul Bunyan
The Fight for Texas
Seneca Falls - Women's Rights
The Gold Rush
The south produced the cotton that was made into cloth in New England. In 1793 an inventor named Eli Whitney made it easy for the South to produce much more cotton with a machine he called the cotton gin. Before Whitney's invention it had taken a field hand one day to take the seed out of one pound of cotton. A hand-run cotton gin could remove the seeds form fifty pounds of cotton day. A water-powered gin could clean a thousand pounds of cotton in a day.

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As the demand for cotton grew more and more slaves were needed to plant, hoe, pick, and gin the crops. Slaves were never paid any wages. The owner had to give a slave a small cabin, some food, and a suit of clothing. Slaves could not quit. Their children were the property of the owner and could be sold like a piece of property.

The climate in the South was much like the climate in Africa. Slaves were used to working in the hot sun. The Lower South became a one-crop area. It raised cotton.

Planters in the South were rich and happy. They lived in big homes overlooking thousands of acres of cotton land. They spent their spare time with balls and parties. The life of the slave was hard with long work hours and little time for rest.

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