Slavery was becoming outdated. The British had abolished the slave trade in 1807, preferring morality to profits; gradually the old rigimes of Europe were doing away with the last vestiges of serfdom.
Yet the Sothern states held their black people in bondage. Once the Virginia legislature had decided to keep slavery after the bloody revolt of some negroes under Nat Turner in 1831, all opposition to slavery became stilled in the South.
Those sickened by the system left for free land in the West; But King Cotton and its profits provided a reason to let slaves be and breed.
The production of cotton increased seventeenfold between 1820 and 1860,making the South largely dependent on one crop; The slave population also increased two and a half time to some 3,500000 in these decades, despite the fact that one negro baby in two died.
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