Upper and Lower SouthCompare the economic systems of the upper and lower South. In which region would slavery have died a "natural" death? Explain.

3 Answers

rrteacher's profile pic

rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

Upper South states were indeed selling slaves into the deep South and to the West, and this not only weakened the institution, but allowed for the development of a more diverse economy. While slavery was still very important in Virginia until emancipation, there were also many more small farmers who grew diverse crops there, particularly in the Shendandoah. The state, particularly Richmond, featured some of the only heavy industry in the future Confederacy as well. I would add, however, that it was actually in the Upper South that tobacco was important, not the Lower South, where cotton was central to the economy.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

It makes sense that slavery would end on its own in the upper sought. The upper south had more contact with the north. The lower south, on the other hand, was more heavily into agriculture that required slaves, such as cotton and tobacco. So they'd hold on to the bitter end.
pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Slavery would have died a quicker "natural death" in the upper South.  In the lower South, the economy still centered around cotton which was very labor intensive.  Slaves were being sold from the upper South where there was less demand to the lower South where there was more.