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The Antebellum south

November 30, 2022 0 Comments

The Antebellum south
The Antebellum Period, ‘before the war’in the history of the Southern United States spanned the end of the War of 1812 to the start of the American Civil War in 1861. The use of slavery and the culture it fostered defined the Antebellum South. Southern intellectuals and leaders gradually shifted from portraying slavery as an embarrassing and temporary system to a full-fledged defense of slavery as a positive good, and harshly criticized the fledgling abolitionist movement as the era progressed.

The economy was largely plantation-based and export-dependent. Society was stratified, inequitable, and immigrants perceived a lack of opportunities. As a result, the manufacturing base lagged behind that of the non-slave states. Wealth inequality grew as larger landowners received a larger share of slave profits, which also helped to solidify their political power.

As the country expanded westward, the spread of slavery became a major issue in national politics, eventually escalating into the Civil War. This period was romanticized by historical revisionists in the years that followed to protect three central assertions: that the Confederate cause was heroic, that enslaved people were happy and satisfied, and that slavery was not the primary cause of the war. To the present day, this phenomenon continues to influence racism, gender roles, and religious attitudes in the South, and to a lesser extent the rest of the country.

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