Profits of slavery
Slavery in America started in the early seventeenth century for the purpose of helping colonizers to produce crops such as tobacco. As demand for lucrative crops grew so did slavery. As Foner shows us the peak of slavery was also at the end of the practice with almost four million slaves in 1860 (2012). Most of these slaves in 1860 resided in the plantations of the Deep South; however, the south was not the only area to benefit from slavery. In the long practice of slavery, the north benefited through social change, shipping and trading, and cotton production.
In the years slavery existed, the North benefited socially even after the north abolished the practice. When slavery was common throughout America the family structure changed in many households. Those that lived in cities and could afford slaves saw the work traditionally done by woman now done by slaves instead. This left time for the woman to focus on activities such as educating themselves and their children. In farming communities that had slaves, they saw an increase in the workforce to produce crops leaving more time for the families to engage in other activities. Although many families did not have slaves, the existence of them changed the family structure. Slaves were rented to, and used by the government to create forms of transportation for citizens and businesses (Foner, 2012). In the North were many modes of transportation were needed, slaves created roads, railroads, and canals. In the South, slaves cut firewood for steamboats and a few were even captains of the boats (Foner, 2012). Through the construction of these forms of transportation all areas benefited, especially the North were there was more movement between cities for business but also for social reasons such as political rallies. In the move to abolish slavery in the nineteenth century, a Northern reform movement was created (Foner, 2012). Through the reform movements family dynamics changed. Woman began to join the political sphere, challenging practices such as slavery and labor rights. Due to the work of abolishing slavery, it gave woman a new place in the social status of the North. Both when slavery existed in the North and after it was abolished, slavery benefited the North socially.
Throughout the years of slavery in America, the North benefited through shipping and trade. In the early days of the slave trade, the largest ports used in the trade were located in the North (Harper, 2003). Due...