Political, Economic, and Social Aspects


  • tobacco and cotton typically grown on large scale farms
  • rice was a popular crop and required easier labor for slaves compared to cotton
  • King Cotton referred to the cotton industry experiencing and economic boom where most Southerners relied on a single crop economy and grew cotton on their large scale plantations
  • 80% of labor force took place on farms
  • “peculiar institution”-another term for slavery with the intent to economically benefit the South
  • only 28% of railroad mileage was located in the South


  • men were typically supporters of the Democratic Republican party
  • John C. Calhoun’s “South Carolina Exposition and Protest” which pushed for states' rights to overthrows a law they thought was unconstitutional
  • large amount of “state’s rights” supporters


  1. Wealthy (typically owned plantations and had hundreds of slaves)
  2. Middle Class (typically owned smaller scale farms and worked with the few slaves they owned)
  3. poor (did not have any money to buy slaves, instead they labored intensely to earn their own living)
  4. slaves (sometimes separated from their family at a slave auction, or just born into a slave family, slaves worked either intense labor in cotton and tobacco fields, or less extensive but still hard labor in rice fields; some women slaves worked in urban areas for their masters as maids around the house)


The South Before the War (The Civil War: Two Views Part 2)