Slavery in the Nineteenth Century

Start Free Trial

How did plantation crops and the slavery system change between 1800-1860? Why did these changes occur?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Between 1800 and 1860, the entire economy of the United States had changed, and nowhere more so than in the South. Early settlers chose coastal locations, where soil was moister and long-staple cotton was easy to grow. This cotton was very high quality and rapidly found a large market in Europe. Demand rapidly outpaced supply. This demand in turn led to three developments: farmers switched from other less profitable crops to cotton; many new farmers moved into the Southern cotton belt because of the economic opportunity it presented; and farmers also increasingly had to choose less desirable upland locations where the soil was less rich and much drier. The long-staple cotton didn't grow there as well, and the quality was less negatively affected. European demand was such that most of the European nations were actually on better terms with the South than they were with the North. In terms of trade, cotton had made the South quite powerful, but it depended on constant production of new...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 802 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team