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Economics of Slavery Research Papers

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Economics of slavery research papers report that in 1790, one thousand tons of cotton were being produced each year in the South. This economic boom was brought about by the following aspects of the cotton industry:

  • In 1793, Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin
  • Production soared along with the demand for black slaves
  • By 1860, the South was producing one million tons per year. 
  • During that same time period, a slave population of 500,000 grew to 4 million. 

Congress outlawed the slave trade in 1808, but it has been argued that some 250,000 slaves were illegally imported between the years of 1808 and 1860.

Economics of Slavery

Slavery and Economics

After the Missouri Compromise of 1820, the slavery question agitated the nation and slowly dominated the national debate.  Entrenched viewpoints on both sides of the question drew up their arguments and steeled themselves for the coming struggle.  Each side in the debate saw the other as a threat to their way of life.  In the North, abolitionists, both white and black, girded themselves for a moral crusade.  In the South, pro-slavery apologists vehemently defended their “peculiar institution” as ordained by God and economically necessary to the South.

This economics of slavery research paper will examine the viewpoints of three sides in the national debate between 1830 and 1860: white Southerners, white abolitionists, and black abolitionists, frequently using their own words in order to understand the depths of passion that they brought to the debate.

Lincoln and Slaves

Traveling through Kentucky, Abraham Lincoln discovered that the majority of voters in that border state were opposed to any form of emancipation.  The prospect of owning slaves, he learned was “highly seductive” because slaves were (in his words) “the most glittering ostentatious and displaying property in the world.  One Kentucky resident told him:

You might have any amount of land; money in your pocket or bank stock and while traveling around no body would be any wise; but if you had a darkish trudging at your heels every body would see him and know that you owned slaves.

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