The Effects of Slavery on the American Economy

247 views 5 pages ~ 1283 words
Get a Custom Essay Writer Just For You!

Experts in this subject field are ready to write an original essay following your instructions to the dot!

Hire a Writer

Commercial Exchange Between British and Settlers

There exists a stronger commercial exchange between the British and settlers since the colonial era. The business exchanges made US citizens seek their rights and freedom from the British. Consequently, slaves from Africa countries worked on more massive tracks of land owned by British-American. Nonetheless, the US lacked geographical distributions of slavery that nearly failed to occur in North-America because their economic activities were diversified by an establishment of trade on goods and services and various industries.

Institutionalization of Slave Labor in Southern States

The majority (95%)of decent Africans were staying in southern states like Virginia thus making the southern nations as territories with the more substantial institutionalization of slave labor (Acharya, 624). Therefore, more economical and political systems in southern states were mainly being sustained by slave trade and slavery as the primary commercial activity during the colonial periods. The effect continued after independence where many privileged whites significantly impose their rules and power to protect their properties and maintain their status.

Dominance of Wealthy Landowners in Southern States

Wealthy landowning individuals and families dominated the community and economy of many southern states. As a result, these states developed an economy based on cultivation and production of commercial goods for exports allowing members with more significant plantations to reach preponderance. For instance, cotton was the main essential cash crops planted in the US and was defined as the king of all plants by the southern politicians. According to (Olmsted, 1862), cotton played a significant role in sustenance, growth, and development of the southern states, and thus served as the economic engine in the country based on using human slavery as the chief driving fuel for the economy.

Rise and Decline of Cotton Production in the South

Approximately, 75% of the globe’s cotton originated from the south but significantly declined after the emergence of civil war (Olmsted, 1862). The exploitation of crops especially cotton led to the rise of several millionaires in every cape in Mississippi. Nonetheless, the African descendants acted as items for exchanged, sold or bought in several internal and external markets. Slaves were the principal investments for landowners and planters in southern states. However, if the south of land would have been an independent country, it could have become the fourth most prosperous nation across the globe. Slave economy was essential and significantly prospered the Americans during the early 19th century.

Impact of Slavery on the Southern States

Slaves had profound and severe effects on the economic growth for the southern states because slavery was the basis of an economy. Slave labor was the primary fuel for generating income in the country. Thus individuals and nations developed a belief that failure to have slavery, the southern states had no future. Principal owners of southern states constantly defended the social system of slavery for the privilege and racial concerns. For example, Senator James Henry Hammond asserted in his speech during the Senate proceeding in 1858 that social networks needed the class of fewer intellects to serve the interests of prepared courses destined to ensure progress for the nation (Hammond, 1858). Based on the speech, whites from southern states conceived the black Americans as more inferior individuals who are only useful in domestic works and cultivation in the farms. Many landowners encouraged intermarriages to safeguard their investments in slaves thereby creating cultural interactions. However, poor whites from south defended the occurrence of slavery since it provided them with an opportunity to maintain superior social positions due to their skin color.

Slavery's Impact on the North and Political Tensions

According to Olmsted (1861), freedom for black Americans could allow whites to work in the fields despite a reality that according to their social conceptions, the landowners provided favors to the Africans. The support was integrating blacks into a productive apparatus of the country. Moreover, this showed great diversification of North’s economy and severe distrust to the southern states where whites were not accustomed to taking part in heavy labor because of the availability of slave labor.

Cause of the American Civil War

Due to slave labor and establishment of slavery as the major device for heavy tasks, southerners considered themselves as a more privileged class with challenges to conduct industrial duties. Politically, the southern community was informed that the liberation of blacks could result in the decline of the system. According to Acharya (631), the collapse would be in the form of unemployment, increased violence, and reduced workforce for the white. Moreover, there could be emerging anarchy in southern states. Being characterized by vital ethical, economic, and social dimensions, slavery had political cradles of scale. Politics created greater internal tensions that adversely divided the nation thereby triggering the cause of the American civil war.

Abolition of Slavery and the Rise of Equality

During the war, south and north fought about the abolition of slavery and the maintenance of the economic regime that severely disadvantaged black Americans. However, in late 1820s the parties reached an agreement based on Masson-Nixon Line (MNL) to delimit countries that were practicing slavery. As a result, the antislavery allies for the republicans won and Abraham Lincoln became the president defeating the democrat, Breckinridge, a great defender of the importance of slaves.

Violence and Its Consequences

After one month, the south Carolina state proclaimed the dissolution of the union. President Abraham Lincoln was not after dissolving the union thereby increasing tension between the north and south that later resulted in the explosion of violence. The violence efficiently ended slavery and the blacks started enjoying equal rights and freedom as the whites. In late 1863, President Lincoln approved POE (Proclamation of Emancipation) allowing for the release of all slaves of the Confederate states.

Aftermath of Slavery

The violence ended slavery, but the situation of blacks would not progress substantially. There was high literacy in northern states than the southern because northerners provided education for the black Americans. However, there were high rates of violence and mortality rates due to attacks from the blacks who were oppressed by the whites. Additionally, slavery led to the emergence of political aggression among the blacks and establishment of human rights act. Slavery inhibited family formation and growth, but increased diversification of American culture and tradition. The enslaved blacks were denied the right to secure families thereby leading to family breakages and termination of cultures and traditions of the black Americans.


To summarize, slavery was a political, social, and economic system of great importance in the world and history of US during the colonial periods. However, after independence, slavery became obsolete based on the rules and principles outlined in human rights. The decline in slavery led to the rise of series of variations between southern and northern states. Slavery improved the economic growth of southern states, increased field productions, and social interactions. Slavery positively impacted southern states by ensuring that the economy remained agrarian and would not efficiently grow. Slavery united the southerners, and made the south a more aristocratic state as only a few individuals and families could afford large plantations that generated more money; the effect was different from the situations in an egalitarian North. As a result, slavery facilitated the political economy of the south.

Works cited

Acharya, Avidit, Matthew Blackwell, and Maya Sen. "The political legacy of American slavery." The Journal of Politics78.3 (2016): 621-641.

Hammond, James Henry. Speech of Hon. James H. Hammond, of South Carolina, on the admission of Kansas, under the Lecompton Constitution: delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 4, 1858. Lemuel Towers., 1858.

Olmsted, Frederick Law. The Cotton Kingdom: A Traveller's Observations on Cotton and Slavery in the American Slave States. Based Upon Three Former Volumes of Journeys and Investigations... Vol. 2. Mason brothers, 1862.

November 13, 2023


Number of pages


Number of words




This sample could have been used by your fellow student... Get your own unique essay on any topic and submit it by the deadline.

Eliminate the stress of Research and Writing!

Hire one of our experts to create a completely original paper even in 3 hours!

Hire a Pro