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Slave Trade - Essay Example

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The prosperous slave trade provided the backbone for the South to develop and become prosperous prior to the Civil War. The internal slave trade led to the establishment of the Cotton Kingdom and contributed to its eventual demise by making slave property too valuable for the South to surrender (Deyle, 2005).
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Download file to see previous pages The slave-exporting states such as Virginia engaged in adversarial relationships with slave-importing states in their roles of seller and buyer. Moreover, as the slaves went farther south, the lower South states deduced that the upper South was beginning to change its perspective on slavery. This difference provoked a deep debate over the reopening of the African slave trade. (Deyle, 2004)
The areas of the Deep South saw that new imports would allow Virginia to remain a loyal slave state. However, Virginia did not want newly-arrived slaves to diminish the value of its existing human property. Perceiving that slavery was under attack and fearing the loss of Virginia to the free states, the lower South decided to seced. The Deep South forced Virginia into secession. At that time, Virginia had no desire to deprive itself of the revenues from the domestic slave trade. Southern cotton supported the textile mills of England and the American North. Market forces dominated the growth and traffic of slave trade. Slave traders were demanding entrepreneurs who were fully absorbed in a highly competitive business" (Deyle, 2005). Slave traders acted as conduits of market values into the South, who then paved the way to consumerism and speculation and enhanced modern business practices to the other regions. Slaveholders denied that they sold slaves willingly and insulated themselves from complicity in the human traffic. (Deyle, 2004).
The slave trade has myriad dimensions. Southern farmers, planters, and speculators carried their human chattel with them whenever they move from Alabama to Virginia. Moreover, many slaveholders wanted to increase their enslaved workforces. The experience of being sold to slave traders and to a landowner was the most soul-rending experience most African Americans endured, aside from bodily punishments. An ex-slave Ben had recounted to interviewer Mary White Ovington in 1910 that every fall, the slaves would be sold in the same way that cattle was sold.
Slaveholders would transfer them from one place to another as if they were mules or horses. Families would be split without consideration for husbands, wives and children. Those who had been sold to new masters never knew what to expect and they never had an inkling of what type of new master they would encounter in their new plantation. (Jewett and Allen, 2004).
When Samuel Townsend, a slave owner from Virginia, needed more slaves, he bought them from traders in Richmond. This movement of slaves from the Upper South to the Gulf states presented possibilities for profitable speculations. Thousands of slaves born in Virginia showed up in Alabama during from 1820s to 1840s. Groups of slaves moved from Virginia and the Carolinas each fall. Montgomery was Alabama's largest slave sale site. Blacks being transported but encumbered by foot irons and chains were a pitiful sight on the roads. After railroads had been built in Montgomery with the Upper South slave markets, particularly during the 1850s, more traders and speculators used the railroads to move their human cargo (Jewett and Allen, 2004).
Uncle Tom's Cabin converted the North to the cause of the slave. The book brought home to the heart of the North, and of the world, that the slave was a man. The book was instrumental in conveying the fact that the slave is linked to mankind by human love and aspiration and anguish but devoid of the rights of man. (Merriam, 1970). Uncle Tom's ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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