The American Work Ethic and the Changing Work Force: An Historical Perspective

By Herbert Applebaum | Go to book overview

12
SLAVERY AND BLACKS
IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

Any analysis of African-Americans in the nineteenth century must deal mainly with slavery. That was the condition of the great majority of blacks until the Civil War, and slavery cast its long shadow over blacks until the end of the nineteenth century and into the twentieth. The slave system was mainly a southern plantation system, producing commercial crops for a domestic and world market. The main crops were cotton, tobacco, rice, sugar, and hemp. Slaves who produced these commodities were themselves commodities, a fact that differentiated them from all other workers. Blacks made up one-third of the South's population at the time of the Civil War--4 million out of 12 million. There were about 1.25 million white households in the South, of which about one-fourth owned slaves. The majority of southerners were family farmers, even those who owned one to five slaves. Only 8,000 southern households owned more than fifty slaves, the number required for a large plantation. A majority of blacks worked in agriculture, with most in cotton cultivation. Only 20 percent were involved in growing tobacco, rice, sugar, and hemp. In short, southern commercial agriculture in the nineteenth century was a cotton culture sustained by slave labor.

The lives of slaves were affected day in and day out by the basic reality that they were not their own masters. If a slave's workload was reasonable, or if slaves were allowed to till their own plots and sell their own products, it remained so only at the master's discretion, not because the slave decided such matters. If slaves married or visited family and friends on other plantations, it was only with the permission of his master. If slaves married they remained together only so long as their master did not separate them through sale. In every act, every expression or gesture, slaves had to consider the consequences of their masters' response. In that sense the line between freedom and slavery penetrated every corner of a slave's life. It was absolute and overwhelming. Even the most poverty-stricken white living in the worst hovel never asked to be a slave.

-109-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The American Work Ethic and the Changing Work Force: An Historical Perspective
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 228

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.