Life in The South

1820's to 1860's

white Southerners

"The Cottonocracy" was a wealthy planter with at least 20 slaves. less than 1% owned 50 or more slaves. They made huge amounts of money from cotton. There were not that many in the south but their views and way of life dominated the south. The most rich planters had elegant houses with expensive European furniture. The rich planters became political leaders from their wealth and influence.


Small Farmers

About 75% of white southerners were small farmers. They might also be called "plain folk". They sometimes worked with their slaves in the fields. It was very important to help each other.


Poor Whites

they were lower on the social ladder. They did not own the land they farmed instead they used the sharecropping. that is when you rent the land and pay by giving the owner part of their crop.


Resisting Slavery