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A short time before the civil war, changes in economy brought about new cultural, social, political and ideological issues that divided the country along regional and moral lines. Reformers tried hard to look into these issues. The reform movements included women's rights, abolition, temperance and states' rights. They were pressured by messages of individual achievement and discipline contained in transcendentalism, free labor and great awakening. Free labor was advocated by many people in the northern states. Although the words might suggest the direct meaning, it had nothing like working without wages but it indicated the need for independence, self reliance and freedom. It emphasized an uncensored vision of personal potential, an idea that any person is capable of being successful with dedication and hard work. The second great awakening, which was a religious revivalism supported individual potential. During the same time, some philosophers were advocating self -reliance through ideas such as transcendentalism.
Industrial development helped change the nature of production and work in the north. The early America agrarian republic was a center of production and manufacture. As a result of apprenticeships, workers learnt specialized business transactions. The industry changed the place of work to factories with the machines requiring fewer laborers' skills. A good example of early industrialization in America is the Massachusetts textile mills. Economic changes helped to distinguish social roles of men and women and also created the class distinctions. Marriage now could no longer serve as an economic union since developing manufacturing separated work and home. The US constitution defined women as people with no rights politically. The industrialism defined work as entrepreneurship and spirited paid labor. With these two factors, women had a less public role. As a result of the work that was done by the women was not paid and the public eye outside, they were relegated to a separate sphere from men. While in this sphere, they came to represent the virtues that were to be destroyed by the new order.
Women constantly worked in public. Women who were poor provided labor in factories and the upper and middle class white women were dominant in the movement for reforms via political and public actions. Middle class men and women formed unpaid associations, eliminating the space between the sphere of the home and public life of government organizations. Good dissemination of information and communication contributed to their unity. By 1830s women were the dominant in the teaching work because if the reasons that they worked for less salaries than men and also because the teacher role fit into the new sense that they had the moral authority for the job.
On top of teaching, in 1850s, women in middle class practiced moral authority by participating in reform movements that targeted to control disgusting behaviors such as alcohol taking and sexual sin. This temperance movement got the support of religious groups of Impact of Migration and Second Great Awakening. Women blamed alcohol drinking on the arrival of Irish and German immigrants not on the changes brought by industrialization. Most of the drinking by the women and men happened in the home yet the movement viewed alcohol as a great contributor to domestic violence. American Temperance Society was founded in 1826 by Lyman Beecher. It condemned alcohol drinking as a vice that led to idleness, violence and poverty.
Abolitionism was another movement that was formed to control changes that occurred as a result of industrialization. The Second Greatest Awakening and free labor fuelled the abolitionism movement. Beecher and his family embodied one of the greatest reforming trends in that era. Beecher was a preacher in a famous religious movement and his daughters were also active in other movements for reforms. Greenberg, Kenneth. Masters and Statesmen: The Political Culture of American Slavery. (Baltimore: the Johns Hopkins University Press, 1985), pg 78 -90
The role of cotton in shaping United States history from 1793 to 1877
Cotton gin was invented by Eli Whitney in 1793. It was a wooden roller fixed with wire spikes fixed in a box. Another cylinder fixed with brushes turned around in an opposite direction. This discovery inspired the cultivation of cotton which could grow well in inland areas. After only four years, Eli had more than thirty gins in Georgia and the use of the gin had spread to Tennessee. Gins that were operated by water or draught animals replaced the hand cranked gins. These gins were capable of cleaning five hundred pounds of cotton in a day. This led to a great demand for slaves to make new cotton plantations. In twenty years, there was a seventy per cent increase in slaves in the United States only who were mainly located in the Deep South.
The planters began to plant huge amounts of cotton as they were no longer limited by the quantity of cotton they could clean. The yields of cotton per acre ranged from a thousand to a thousand and five hundred pounds. The regional average was five hundred pounds. Upland cotton production rose from about one fifty thousand pounds in 1793 to six and a half million pounds in 1795. The profits also rose greatly.
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In 1860, statistics showed that twelve richest counties in the US were located in the south. The cotton drove the economy of the whole country. Northern banking and shipping were dependent on the cotton economy. Cotton from the south which was also referred to as "white gold" was not exported directly to Europe but was transported to New York where merchants exported it to Britain or northern textile mills. Banks in the north provided loans to planters in the south to acquire land and slaves. Local governments and the state got an income by taxing slavery and taxes on inheritance.
South was a major player in the global economy as a result of cotton. Cotton export made a significant growth between the year 1800 and 1860. By the year 1850, cotton demand was an average of 5.5 pounds per person in the US and Britain mainly because cotton textile price had fallen to around 1% of the total cost in the year 1784.
One of the negative effects of cultivation is that it ruined the land. In 1835, the top soil in Georgia east was gone and the clay that remained was eroded severely. Cotton planters were forced to go to the west. This created a huge demand for land and more people were moving to the west. These led to the removal of Native Americans and were moved to the west of river Mississippi. As they were being moved, they resisted and resulted in three wars between 1817 and 1858. Cotton and new settlers spread to Georgia, South Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and up Mississippi valley. By the year 1890 the demand for cotton rose drastically which saw more and more slaves brought to America.
In the early days, small planters would prepare the fields, majority of them not using the forced or slave labor. Over a period of time, cotton prices varied greatly making the planters to increase its plantation and acquire more slaves. In 1850, 1.8 million slaves out of 2.5 million slaves in the US were providing labor in cotton production. All slaves whether they were house servants, artisans, and field slaves were pressed to pick cotton. Cotton was one of the main reasons why slaves were exported to America. Reidy, Joseph P. From Slavery to Agrarian Capitalism in the Cotton Plantation South: Central Georgia (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1992) pg 67.
The north won the war, the south won the peace.
The American civil war was fought between the year 1862 and 1865. It led to loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. It was as a result of conflict between southern and northern states of the US. The main cause was the issue of slavery. The southern part wanted it to continue while the northern part wanted it to be abolished. Slavery had become a part of life in the south and they would not let it go easily. They felt that they needed the slaves so as to continue their cotton production with free labor. The winners of the civil war were the northerners but it did cost many lives. It was obvious the north would win as they embraced industrialization and had better weapons.
The southerners were farmers and land owners and they refused to embrace industrialization which led to their loss. Once the war was over, slavery became extinct in the US up to now. There are a couple of reasons why the northerners won the civil war. The first one is that they had a larger of soldiers and forces that had better training and tactics were superior to the southerners. They also had immense resources at their disposal as compared to the weak south. Other reasons are that they had manpower, financial resources, greater economic leverage, advanced equipments among other reasons.
Another main reason why the north won the war is their purpose of fighting; they were fighting to abolish slavery which is bigger on a moral scale. This gave the northerners the feeling that they were up to a right cause and it boosted their morale. Freedom is one thing that can never be brushed aside as an irrelevant reason for fighting. The southerners' loss can be attributed to several factors also. One of the reasons is that they were fighting for individual governments for every state which contributed to their downfall as they were advocating for division instead of unity. Secondly there was no unity in their camp and that is the main reason why they went to the war was the very reason for their defeat. There was a frequent supremacy battle among the states and this was another reason of their defeat. The north won the war and the south won the peace is true in the sense that the north defeated the south and the slaves in the south became free and were now at peace.
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