Throughout the 17th century, there were slaves found in every colony of what is now the United States. The Southern colonies held the most slaves due to the economic situation of the period that was based upon agriculture. Until the industrial revolution in the 19th century, the southern colonies relied on the cash crops of tobacco, cotton, corn and rice.Continue Reading
Between the years of 1670 and 1750, the enslaved population in the Northern colonies remained at a steady number. In the Southern colonies, the population of enslaved Africans and African Americans increased from 15 percent of the total population to almost 40 percent of the total population. The climate and geography of the Southern colonies were perfect for agriculture. Abundant rainfall and warmer weather for most of the year made it possible to produce very large crops to be sold. Cotton and tobacco became the largest, most harvested crops.
Slave labor allowed Southern farmers to plant and harvest more crops without having to pay for labor, leading to the emergence of the wealthy planter-class that defines the antebellum South. Without the labor of enslaved people, this planter class would not have amassed exorbitant sums of wealth. Having slaves allowed these families to become even wealthier, helping them to buy more slaves. Some crops, such as rice, proved difficult to grow, and the planter class lacked the skill. Plantation owners would purchase slaves from the region of West Africa that had experience growing rice to work on their farms.Learn more about US History
While the King of England appointed governors over the 13 colonies, each colony essentially ruled itself. The British governors ensured that taxes were paid to England under orders of the king.Full Answer >
Sectional tensions over slavery began to increase in the early part of the 19th century when the United States began acquiring new territory. Abolitionists wanted the new territories to be free, while slave-holding interests wanted slavery in the new lands.Full Answer >
Major historical events in Texas include the Texas Declaration of Independence, the annexation of Texas to the United States, the termination of slavery, the ratification of the Constitution, and oil drilling. The foundation for all these events was Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca's first exploration of Texas in 1528.Full Answer >
The Compromise of 1850 set up an untenable status quo between the northern and southern regions of the United States in terms of slavery policy. The U.S. Congress intended to achieve a sustainable solution for the conflict over slavery policy. However, the Compromise of 1850 merely delayed the inevitable schism between rivalling regions of the nation.Full Answer >