By the mid-nineteenth century, the South had become a "cotton kingdom." How did cotton's profitability shape the region's antebellum development? How did southern white legislators and intellectuals attempt to strengthen the institution of slavery in the 1820s? What prompted them to undertake this work? Finally, although bondage restricted slaves' autonomy and left slaves vulnerable to extreme abuse, they resisted slavery. Discuss the variety of ways in which slaves attempted to lessen the harshness of slavery. What were the short- and long-term effects of their efforts?

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I can answer some of the questions you pose above. After the invention of Eli Whitney's cotton gin in 1794 to remove cotton seeds, cotton became the most important crop in the South. The effect of the growth of cotton on the South was a recommitment to the institution of...

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I can answer some of the questions you pose above. After the invention of Eli Whitney's cotton gin in 1794 to remove cotton seeds, cotton became the most important crop in the South. The effect of the growth of cotton on the South was a recommitment to the institution of slavery to have access to the labor to harvest the crop. The South stayed agricultural and did not industrialize, while the North started to turn to industry and the development of railroads. The North became a center for immigration (particularly from Ireland and Germany during this time), while immigrants largely did not go to the South—making the North and South demographically different.

During the lead up to the Missouri Compromise in 1820, southern legislators and intellectuals began to publish defenses of slavery. They wrote that it was even justified in the Bible, and they began to crack down even more harshly on slave revolts and slave infractions. While northerners defended free labor as the system that benefited the country and its future development, southerners argued that the factory system of the North was degrading and that slavery promised the "freest" system for the white man. Slaves resisted the institution of slavery in different ways. What has your research turned up about revolts and about how slaves tried to keep their families together in spite of slavery? What have you uncovered about how slave revolts and other forms of resistance provoked harsh responses from white plantation owners and legislators in the South?

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