Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel

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#41
Thank you for leading us through this, jgg. It's very informative, particularly to me, for whom economics is among the least appealing of subjects.

But, aren't these "complaints" about northern economic dominance more the result of a lack of enterprise on the part of southerners? They lament that the people of the North were doing what they, themselves, apparently made little effort to do; and wound up idealizing their own agrarian lack of resourcefulness, while demonizing the "grasping, greedy" Yankees for filling the niches they neglected -- but sure enjoyed complaining about.
That's exactly how I was taking it, they complain about Northern success in shipping and importation but not willing to invest into it to grab a market share
 

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#42
That's exactly how I was taking it, they complain about Northern success in shipping and importation but not willing to invest into it to grab a market share
The folks complaining were a vocal minority. The problem was simply that both sections were doing what they did best. South: Grow Cotton and the North: Services. These conferences and activities happen at times when cotton was under price stress. As soon as the stress was relieved, it was business as normal. Which is why they were ignored. Later slavery becomes an issue and it becomes politics from then onwards.
 

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#43
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine. PP 47

We are skipping ahead a bit. It was obvious that the South depended on the North for a lot of services.

Northern men were constantly boasting of the superiority of their section of the Union; every foreign traveler drew a picture of contrast. The wealth and population of the North, the size, prosperity, and attractiveness of its cities and towns, the mileage, cost, and efficiency of the railroads and canals, the manufactures and mines, ships and shipping, the farms, the price of land and the methods of agriculture, the homes, shops, and places of amusement, the schools and colleges, number of students and percentage of illiteracy, newspapers and their circulation, the development of literature and art all were contrasted with those of the South, and almost invariably to the advantage of the North. It was pointed out that Southerners depended upon Northern shipping, bought Northern manufactured goods, flocked to Northern watering places, sent their sons to Northern colleges, and read Northern literature. The conclusion was that the North had reached a higher degree of civilization, prosperity, and comfort. The disparity was generally credited to superior industry and enterprise in the North and to the blighting effects of slavery in the South.​

Southern people admitted the contrast it was impossible not to do so. They generally, by no means without exception, admitted that the North was more prosperous. When John Forsyth, in his lecture on "The North and the South," asked the question, "Why is it that the North has so far outstripped the South in commerce, the growth of its cities, internal development, and the arts of living?"56 he but made an admission that Southerner's commonly made. J. H. Hammond wrote: "It has so often been asserted, that in population and its ratio of increase, in wealth, aggregate and average and the facility of its accumulation, in industry, intelligence and enterprise the North is vastly in advance of the South, and by consequence that it is the strong and protecting, while the South is the weak and dependent section all these things have been so long and so generally asserted in the South as well as the North, that they have gained almost universal credence."57
"DeBow's Review, XVII, 365.
"Southern Quarterly Review, XV, 275. Cf. J. H. Hammond to Wm.
Gilmore Simms, Mar. 9, 20, 23, Apr. 6, 1849. /. H. Hammond Papers.

P47

Now the superiority of the North in these respects was not to be viewed with equanimity in any case by the loyal and progressive Southerner; and his discontent was augmented because of his belief that the North was prospering at the expense of the South. The feeling of a large element in the South in regard to the matter is well illustrated by the following typical quotation from an Alabama newspaper:​

At present, the North fattens and grows rich upon the South. We depend upon it for our entire supplies. We purchase all our luxuries and necessaries from the North .... With us, every branch and pursuit in life, every trade, profession, and occupation, is dependent upon the North; for instance, the Northerner's abuse and denounce slavery and slaveholders, yet our slaves are clothed with Northern manufactured goods, have Northern hats and shoes, work with Northern hoes, ploughs, and other implements, are chastised with a Northern-made instrument, are working for Northern more than Southern profit. The slaveholder dresses in Northern goods, rides in a Northern saddle, .... sports his Northern carriage, patronizes Northern newspapers, drinks Northern liquors, reads Northern books, spends his money at Northern watering-places, .... The aggressive acts upon his rights and his property arouse his resentment and on Northern-made paper, with a Northern pen, with Northern ink, he resolves and re-resolves in regard to his rights! In Northern vessels his products are carried to market, his cotton is ginned with Northern gins, his sugar is crushed and preserved by Northern machinery; his rivers are navigated by Northern steamboats, his mails are carried in Northern stages, his negroes are fed with Northern bacon, beef, flour, and corn; his land is cleared with a Northern axe, and a Yankee clock sits upon his mantel-piece; his floor is swept by a Northern broom, and is covered with a Northern carpet; and his wife dresses herself in a Northern looking-glass; ... his son is educated at a Northern college, his daughter receives the finishing polish at a Northern seminary; his doctor graduates at a Northern medical college, his schools are supplied with Northern teachers, and he is furnished with Northern inventions and notions.58

""Quoted in F. A. P. Barnard, An Oration Delivered before the Citizens of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, July 4th, 1851, p.12.
 

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#44
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine. PP 49

There are all sorts of advantages to the diversification of industry. Profits going Northern Commerce and Industry would stay in the South.
Some of those who preached diversification of industry not only affirmed, as did the anti-tariff men for that matter, that the North was growing prosperous, wealthy, and powerful at the South's expense, but demonstrated why it would continue to do so as long as the latter persevered in her unwise application of labor. They laid down the general propositions that an agricultural people is always exploited by an industrial people, and that wealth tends to flow toward industrial centers. In the opinion of M. Tarver, it was because she parted with her staples at prime cost and purchased almost all of her necessary supplies from abroad at cost plus profits, that the South was "growing poorer while the rest of the world is growing rich, for it is easy for the world to enrich itself from such a customer on such terms."59 Governor J. H. Hammond, who in his address before the South Carolina Institute set himself the task of showing philosophically why a people of one occupation can never attain prosperity and influence, thought one industry was not enough to absorb all the genius and draw out all the energies of a people.60 According to the Richmond Enquirer, "commercial and manufacturing nations levy a heavier tax on their dependents than any despot ever exacted from subject provinces. Labor employed in commerce or manufactures, in the general, pays three or four times as much as farming labor, and in the exchange of one for the other, the farmer gives the manufacturer three or four hours' labor for one."61 Similar was the reasoning of F. A. P. Barnard, of Alabama State University: The kinds of labor in which the element of skill most predominates are the most productive. Therefore, the wealth of a people depends as much upon the direction given to labor as upon the amount of labor employed. An agricultural people might be rich, though only in the case Nature is lavish in her bounties; but "riches thus bestowed, while the means of greater riches remain unemployed, will never give contentment."62​
When profits stay in the South stagnant cities would grow and new ones spring up. Railroads and Steamships would be built. River development and a home market would just appear.
But no matter how the North reaped profit from Southern industry, there could be no doubt of the advantages of retaining the profit at home. Everything that manufactures had done for the North and for England they would do for the South. Her stagnant cities would grow, and new ones spring into existence. Surplus capital no longer would be under the necessity of seeking investment elsewhere. Railroads would be built, and steamships launched upon the rivers; dykes would be built, and marshes drained; capital would be forthcoming to develop the mineral resources which the people of the South were beginning to realize she possessed. For the planter and the farmer a home market would be provided, not subject to the fluctuations of the foreign market. Diversified agriculture would be stimulated; the planter would no longer have to resort to distant states for his mules, pork, corn, and hay.63​

Also appearing are more and better schools, churches and colleges. The South could support its own literature.

Nor did the proponents of diversification neglect to depict the social benefits to come with new industries. With the development of manufactures, towns and villages would spring up among the scattered population. More and better schools could be established; for the chief cause of backwardness in educational progress in the South was the sparsity of population. Churches could be brought within the reach of a greater number. Colleges could be supported at home, and Southern parents would no longer be under the necessity of sending their sons North for a good college training. With the increased wealth and population which manufactures would bring, the South could adequately support her own press and literature. Said Hammond, after having given a glowing description of the revivifying effects of manufactures upon his state: "I am not conjuring up ideal visions to excite the imagination. All these things have actually been done. They have been, in our own times, and under our own eyes, carried out and made legible, living, self-multiplying and giant-growing facts in Old England and New England; and they have been mainly accomplished by the incalculable profits which their genius and enterprise have realized on the product of our labor."**​

DeBow's Review, III, 203.
"Ibid., VIII, 503 if. Cf. Hammond to William Gilmore Simms, Dec. 20,
1849. /. H. Hammond Papers.
"Quoted in DeBow's Review, XX, 392. See also Fitzhugh, Sociology for the
South, ch. XIV, "Exclusive Agriculture," and ch. XVIII, "Head-work and Hand-
work."
"Oration Delivered before the Citizens of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, July 4th,
1861, p. 16 f.
"The best examples of the home market argument are in Barnard, op. cit.,
and an article, ''Should the Loom Come to the Cotton, or the Cotton Go to the
Loom?" Western Journal and Civilian, I, 319-332.
"DeBotv's Review, VIII, 516. See also Fitzhugh, Sociology /or the South,
chs. XII-XV.


 

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#45
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine. PP 50-51

However, this ran snap dab into Southern Propendga against the North.
But the prophets of a new order met prejudices against manufactures which they could not wholly dispel. Politicians had too often described the cities and factory towns of the North as hotbeds of poverty, ignorance, vice, crime, and unreligion, the seats of abolition and the numerous isms with which the land was afflicted. Manufactures had been too frequently described as incompatible with liberty, freedom, culture, and virtue, and agriculture glorified as the only industry capable of producing a liberty-loving and chivalrous race. 65 Often the proponents of diversification considered it necessary to give the assurance that no large towns, but only villages, would be created, and that there was no danger of manufactures ever predominating over agriculture in the planting states.66 Too, it must be noted, there was a feeling all too prevalent in the South that manual labor, and particularly mechanical labor, was degrading and beneath the dignity of white men. Young men of intelligence and ability, who might have become skilled mechanics, managers, or superintendents of factories, felt that they would lose caste by entering a cotton factory. Such employment was less becoming gentlemen than agriculture, the professions, or even the mercantile business. The dignity of labor had to be proclaimed. Few more scathing denunciations of Southern social standards, as well as of the inertia, lethargy, and lack of foresight of Southern men, can be found than some of those uttered by Southern men who were trying to point the path of progress and urge their people along it.67​
Another advantage of this diversification was to give employment to "poor whites". The bottom rung of the free white caste.
One argument in behalf of manufactures by no means infrequently used was that they would give employment to the "poor whites." The poor whites were the non-slaveholding whites of the black belts, the hill country, and the pine barrens. Some of them, upon worn out and abandoned plantations or their small hill farms, engaged in agriculture in feeble competition with the planters. Others obtained a precarious subsistence by doing occasional jobs for the planters, by hunting and fishing, by begging or stealing from the slaveholders, or by trading with the slaves and inducing them to plunder for their benefit. They were not employed by the planters to work in the cotton fields, and would have been unwilling to work with the slaves had opportunity been afforded them. As a class they produced less than they consumed, and, therefore, were a burden upon society. Their ignorance was as general as their poverty; vice and crime were common among them. Their number is difficult to estimate. In 1849, Governor Hammond estimated at 50,000 the number of those in South Carolina whose industry was not "adequate to procure them, honestly, such support as every white person in this country is, and feels himself entitled to."68 William Gregg put the number at 125,000, more than one-third of the white population of the state.69 The number in other Southern states was probably somewhat less in proportion to population. Charles T. James said there were thousands of poor whites.70 James Martin, of northern Alabama, spoke of a "large poor population, almost totally without employment."71 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine referred to them as a "mass of unemployed white labor."72​
Many of the advocates of manufactures believed the employment of this class of unfortunates desirable from every viewpoint. They were said to be more than glad to avail themselves of the opportunity to work, even at most moderate wages, at labor deemed respectable for white persons; and, when so employed, to quickly assume the industrious habits of Northern operatives. By employment in factories, they would be brought together in villages, where the influence of church and school could reach them. In this way and only in this way could they be elevated to a state of comparative comfort and independence and social responsibility. From the viewpoint of the prosperity and power of the community at large, the employment of the poor whites would be of incalculable benefit: it would transform thousands of them into productive citizens and enormously increase the wealth of the region. The number of this class in some states was said to be sufficient to work up into goods all the cotton grown therein. This product would be a clear gain; for the employment of the poor whites in factories would withdraw little or no labor from the production of the raw material. How, it was asked, could the South keep pace with the North in the race for power and wealth, when so large a part of the total possible labor force was comparatively idle? 73​



**DeBow's Review, VIII, 508; XI, 127; XII, 49; XVII, 178; So. Quar. Rev.,
VIII, 142.
"DeBow's Review, VIII, 522; XI, 130-132.
"So. Lit. Mess., XX, 513-28 (Sept., 1854); So. Quar. Rev., VIII, 460 ff.;
DeBow's Review, VIII, 134, 506; XVII, 363; XIX, 614; XXIV, 383; Barnard,
op." cit., 23; Aaron V. Brown, Speeches, Congressional and Polifical, and other
Writings, 668.
 

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#46
The folks complaining were a vocal minority. The problem was simply that both sections were doing what they did best. South: Grow Cotton and the North: Services. These conferences and activities happen at times when cotton was under price stress. As soon as the stress was relieved, it was business as normal. Which is why they were ignored. Later slavery becomes an issue and it becomes politics from then onwards.
My bold.

Which, alas, is how things always proceed. Unless there is a crisis or a catastrophe that must be acted upon immediately, business folk and congress-critters will sit on their...ahh, hands and... dither as is their nature.
 

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#47
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine. PP 53

Slavery appears in the picture.

Many thoughtful Southerners regretted that so much of the capital, enterprise, and intelligence in the South was employed in directing slave labor to the almost complete neglect of a large part of the white population.74 Thomas P. Devereaux, a large slaveholder of North Carolina, thought it the great evil of slavery, that it rendered a mass of white producing ability more than unproductive; and there is evidence indicating that many shared his opinion.75 But whether slavery was responsible for the existence of the poor white class or not, its opponents in the North and elsewhere charged it with that responsibility, and it would seem that the defenders of the institution should have welcomed every opportunity for remedying the evil and proving the charge unfounded. Too many slaveholders, however, opposed manufactures on the very ground that they would aid in developing a class consciousness among white labor, which would be hostile to slavery.

Evidence that Industrial Slavery would not be easy.

In fact, it was already evident that such a class consciousness was developing, particularly in the cities and towns. It manifested itself in a movement to drive the slaves from the cities and from mechanical employments, and restrict them to agriculture. In 1849, C. G. Memminger wrote Hammond that the opinion was gaining ground in Charleston and even in the low country, that slaves should be excluded from mechanical pursuits, and their places filled by whites; and that there would soon be a formidable party on the subject.76 Several years earlier, a bill had been drafted and presented to the North Carolina Legislature to limit the employment of slaves in mechanical callings, but had been met and defeated by the objection that it interfered with the rights of the slave owners; an act of the Georgia Legislature, December 27, 1845, forbade negro mechanics to make contracts.77 In the cities there was constant friction between the white stevedores, porters, draymen, and mechanics and the negroes. 78 Everywhere there was opposition to slaves learning trades.79​

The slaveholders feared this self-assertion of white labor; for, as Memminger put it, were the negro mechanics and operatives driven from the cities, whites would take their places, everyone would have a vote, and all would be abolitionists. Those urging manufactures, he thought, were aiding and abetting the free labor party, which was the only one from which danger to slavery was to be apprehended.80 General A. H. Brisbane, who was leading in the agitation in behalf of manufactures in South Carolina, and who was instrumental in founding a mechanics' institute in Charleston, complained of the opposition he met at every turn from the slaveholders of Charleston and the seaboard.81​
On the other hand, some slaveholders thought more danger was to be apprehended from the poor whites under existing conditions than if they should be brought together in cotton factories with constant employment and adequate remuneration. In the latter case, they would see that their occupation depended upon the preservation of a system necessary for the production of cotton. In the opinion of Thomas P. Devereaux, if a notion should arise among the poor whites that slavery barred their way to the full enjoyment of the fruits of their labor, deprived them of a market for their produce, and hindered the advancement of their children, the slaveholders would have an enemy in their midst far more to be feared than abolition preachers.82 Brisbane believed it better for white labor to develop in the South, where it could see its dependence upon black labor, than in the North, where it could not, and would, therefore, be the fanatical enemy of slavery.​

"See notes 68-72.
"DeBow's Review, XI, 135.
"Devereaux to Hammond, April 17, 1850, /. H. Hammond Papers. Cf. So.
Quar. Rev., VIII, 449 if.; XXVI, 446.
"Memminger to Hammond, April 28, 1849, /. H. Hammond Papers.
"Devereaux to Hammond, April 17, 1850, ibid.
~'*DeBow's Review, XXVI, 600, extract from the Report of the Committee
on Negro Population of the South Carolina Legislature; ibid., XXX, 67-77.
"F. L. Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, II, 98; Lyell, A Second Visit to the
United States, II, 36, 81-83. And see below, pp. 218-220.
""Memminger to Hammond, April 28, 1849, /. H. Hammond Papers.
"Brisbane to Hammond, Oct. 8, 1849, ibid.; cf. Gregg to Hammond, Dec.
I, 1848.
"Devereaux to Hammond, April 17, 1850, ibid. Cf. W. B. Hodgson, of
Georgia, to Hammond, Nov. 20, 1850, ibid.; So. Quar. Rev., XXVI, 447; DeBow's
Review, III, 188; VIII, 25. See also Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South, 147.
 

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#48
as Memminger put it, were the negro mechanics and operatives driven from the cities, whites would take their places, everyone would have a vote, and all would be abolitionists. Those urging manufactures, he thought, were aiding and abetting the free labor party, which was the only one from which danger to slavery was to be apprehended.80 General A. H. Brisbane, who was leading in the agitation in behalf of manufactures in South Carolina, and who was instrumental in founding a mechanics' institute in Charleston, complained of the opposition he met at every turn from the slaveholders of Charleston and the seaboard.81
In the opinion of Thomas P. Devereaux, if a notion should arise among the poor whites that slavery barred their way to the full enjoyment of the fruits of their labor, deprived them of a market for their produce, and hindered the advancement of their children, the slaveholders would have an enemy in their midst far more to be feared than abolition preachers.82 Brisbane believed it better for white labor to develop in the South, where it could see its dependence upon black labor, than in the North, where it could not, and would, therefore, be the fanatical enemy of slavery.
I believe I have heard it said, somewhere...that we should only take them at their word when speaking of slavery.

I believe them. Nary a word of tariffs or yankee financial exploiters. Sounds like a double-edged sword, fear of slave rebellion on one hand as well as a yeoman/non-slaveowner revolt. What would an enlightened office-holding aristocrat slave-holder do to retain control with such a dilemmal? Create false issues? Divide? Blame Yankees for everything?

Surely there is more from Russel which will help point to answers in this continuing controversy.

edit typos
 
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#49
I believe I have heard it said, somewhere...that we should only take them at their word when speaking of slavery.

I believe them. Nary a word of tariffs or yankee financial exploiters. Sounds like a double-edged sword, fear of slave rebellion on one hand as well as a yeoman/non-slaveowner revolt. What would an enlightened office-holding aristocrat slave-holder do to retain control with such a dilemmal? Create false issues? Divide? Blame Yankees for everything?

Surely there is more from Russel which will help point to answers in this continuing controversy.

edit typos
Yes. There was a fear of Yankee domination, but becoming like the Yankees were not an option. This author suggests that a CSA attempting industrialization with slaves will run into home-grown problems.
 

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#50
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine. PP 54-57
There seems to be an anti-industrial attitude in the Southern elite. Other historians agree and disagree with this.
Over against the discussion of the desirability of providing employment for the poor whites must be set the discussion of the practicability of employing slaves in factories. During the period of overproduction of cotton there was a belief that slave labor engaged in producing the staple was redundant, and that it was desirable to divert some of it to other industries. The division of slave labor between the factory and the field would increase the profits of agriculture and enhance the value of slaves. 83 Slave labor was tried in several cotton factories, notably the DeKalb and the Saluda factory, both of South Carolina, and the alleged success of the experiments was cited as demonstrating that, should agriculture become oversupplied with labor, manufacturing would open channels to draw away the surplus.84 From some of the comments made, it is hard to escape the conclusion* that many Southerners were interested in manufactures only so long as it appeared possible to conduct them with slave labor; when experience finally demonstrated the superiority of white labor, their interest declined. Other men opposed from the start the employment of slaves in factories. It would weaken slavery; for, as one said, "Whenever a slave is made a mechanic, he is more than half freed .... "86 Moreover, were slaves employed, whites could not be; for whites would not work side by side or in competition with slaves.​
Here secession rears its head. The South is becoming isolated from the West over the slavery issue. Can the South prepare for secession successfully?
The movement to bring the spindles to the cotton was almost synchronous with the period of acrimonious sectional controversy over the extension of slavery which began with the annexation of Texas and continued until the general acceptance of the Compromise of 1850 gave a temporary respite. Southern men were becoming dismayed at the growing strength and vigor of the attacks upon slavery. The growing disparity of the sections in numbers and power was toe striking and too ominous not to excite most serious concern. The old political alliance of South and West could no longer be depended upon, and especially not in the case of the slavery issue, to thwart the antagonistic policies of the North. Leaders, from the great Calhoun down, cast about for means of maintaining Southern rights and preserving Southern equality in the Union. A large minority of the people in the South, in one state a majority, were convinced by 1850 that the Southern states should withdraw from the Union. Widespread discussion of secession caused consideration to be given to the preparedness of the South for separate nationality. The intemperateness of the sectional quarrel and, especially, the necessity for augmenting the political power of the South, whether to maintain her rights in the Union or her independence out of it, gave a powerful impetus to all movements for promoting the economic development of the South, including the encouragement of manufacturing.

Logical advice. Prepare for secession rather than discussion political theory. IMHO had the South modernized, modernization would have destroyed the slave-owning aristocracy. In the end, rhetorical flourishes carried the day.
More logical was the reasoning of J. D. B. DeBow and others who, while recognizing that Southern enterprise might not convince the enemies of slavery, said it would prepare the South for the crisis which they professed to believe was inevitable. "We have long ago thought," wrote DeBow, "that the duty of the people consisted more in the vigorous prosecution of their industry, resources and enterprise than in bandying constitutional arguments with their opponents, or in rhetorical flourishes about the sanctity of the federal compact. This is the course of action, which, though it may not convince, will at least prepare us for this crisis which, it needs no seer's eye to see, will, in the event, be precipitated upon us by the reckless fanaticism or ignorant zeal of the 'cordon of free States' surrounding us on every hand. 'Light up the torches of industry,' was the advice of old Dr. Franklin to his countrymen, on discovering that all hope from the British cabinet had fled forever. Light up the torches, say we, on every hilltop, by the side of every stream, from the shores of the Delaware to the furthest extremes of the Rio Grande from the Ohio to the capes of Florida."87​
"'Richmond Whig, Sept. 19, 1851; DeBow's Review, XII, 182-5.
"Richmond Enquirer, Aug. 30, 1850; Charleston Mercury, May 24, 1849;
Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, XXIII, 575; DeBow's Review, IX, 432; XI, 319.
"Ibid., VIII, 518.
"Quoted in DeBow's Review, XI, 82.
"DeBow's Review, IX, 120. Cf. ibid., IV, 211; XI, 680; William Gregg to
Seabrook, May 10, 1850, Whitemarsh B. Seabrook Papers; Richmond Whig,
Feb. 12, 1851.
 

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#51
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine. PP 57-58

The population is necessary for political power. Diversify and the South would be more powerful.
Another and more frequently used argument was that diversified industries would be favorable to a more rapid growth of population in the South, and population was necessary to political power. The North had been growing more rapidly in population and political influence, it was said, because immigration from abroad had gone almost exclusively to that section. This was not because slavery had repelled immigration, but because the South had offered no inducements. Southern agriculture was ill adapted to European labor. And what other industry had the South? The construction of railroads had attracted a few Irish and German laborers; but the demand was insufficient to bring a great number. Let industry be diversified, however, and the South would get a share of the influx from abroad. Northern people might come South. Emigration from the Southern states would be checked. The population of the North would then increase less rapidly, that of the South more rapidly; the relative political strength of the South would thus be preserved.88

OTOH diversification might bring in antislavery elements.

Not all, however, considered immigration desirable. Many feared that immigrants would be hostile to slavery. The diversificationists attempted to overcome these fears. The immigrants could be assimilated and converted into defenders of Southern institutions, they said. In proof of this view they pointed to many men who had come from the North, and were among the staunch- est defenders of the South. They further contended that a large foreign element in the North was a greater menace to slavery than such an element in the South would be; for in the latter it would become convinced of the necessity of the institution.89 Just as does the fear among the slaveholders of the development of a class consciousness among the native white labor, this fear of immigration illustrates the difficulties in the way of creating a public sentiment in the South favorable to progress along other lines than agriculture.

"DeBow's Review, IX, 120. Cf. ibid., IV, 211; XI, 680; William Gregg to
Seabrook, May 10, 1850, Whitemarsh B. Seabrook Papers; Richmond Whig,
Feb. 12, 1851.
"Barnard, Oration Delivered, before the Citizens of Tuscaloosa, Alamaba,
July 4-th, 1851, 29; DeBow's Review, VIII, 558-60; XI, 319; Hunt's Merchants'
Magazine, XXI, 498.
"Barnard, loc. cit.; A. H. Brisbane to J. H. Hammond, Oct. 8, 1849, /. H.
Hammond Papers.
 
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#52
The great advantage of slavery was that it was a good way to expand arable land as fast as possible. The owner could extract manual work from the slaves at a high rate. And that was its weakness too. It drove down commodity prices so that the regular farmer and the small towns never prospered. That is why Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama were so thinly settled.
This problem is consistent with the other thread which posted evidence that after the Civil War, US soldiers from Kentucky had diverse opportunities all over the northern areas, and many of them took advantage of them.
 

ebg12

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#53
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine.
PP22-24

It is to the credit of the men of these conventions that they recognized other causes for Southern commercial dependence than the action or non-action of the Federal and state governments. They recognized that agriculture had in the past proved more attractive to capital than the shipping or mercantile business; land and negroes had been considered the best investments. The existence of a prejudice against other pursuits than agriculture and the professions was admitted. Some were willing to credit the people of the North with habits of industry not possessed by their own people and with a superior commercial enterprise; they spoke of the "voluntary tribute" which the South paid the North. The able report of the general committee of the Norfolk convention, read by John S. Millson, traced the decline of Virginia's foreign commerce to a very early date. Before the Revolution, the report said, business was conducted by British capitalists, and even then the Resident merchants were foreigners. At the time of the Revolution, British capital was withdrawn. True, the same thing happened in the North, but to a less degree, and the North was better pre war to take the place left by the British. Furthermore, agriculture became unprofitable in the North at an earlier day than in the South, and capital had been diverted to other industries. The committee further candidly admitted that "the decline of a with considerable portion of our foreign import trade may be accounted for in the fact that we now derive from the Northern states many of those articles that we formerly imported from abroad." Such a diversion of trade was not a subject for regret.34 A committee in the Charleston convention likewise reported that the consumption of domestic goods had increased greatly, was still increasing and was estimated by merchants to extend already to one-third of the whole consumption. The committee believed, however, that the quantity of foreign goods consumed in the South was sufficient to justify merchants in Southern seaports embarking in the importing business and to enable them to compete with Northern importers, who, of course, supplied a larger demand.35

Footnotes
SBRichmondEnquirer, June 26, 1838, Mallory's report.
**Ibid., June 22, 1838, remarks of Mr. James and Mr. Caskie; June 26, 1838,
Mallory's report."Oct. 17, 1837.82
DeBow, Industrial Resources, III, 98.
"DeBotv's Review, IV, 221.
"Richmond Enquirer, Nov. 30, 1838.
Agree. What course did men in the South choose? Capital was not invested in machinery or factories in the South because the "cash crop of cotton" was so lucrative....why attempt anything else? By 1850 every ounce of credit by Southern Banks was a direct interest in the cotton industry. Men are greedy (north & south), and the prospect of becoming rich is a greater desire than being fair.
 

jgoodguy

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#54
Agree. What course did men in the South choose? Capital was not invested in machinery or factories in the South because the "cash crop of cotton" was so lucrative....why attempt anything else? By 1850 every ounce of credit by Southern Banks was a direct interest in the cotton industry. Men are greedy (north & south), and the prospect of becoming rich is a greater desire than being fair.
Fair is imprecise. Slavery had been around most of human history. No one figured it would be dead in 15 years. It was fair to everyone except the slave who had no voice. It is hard to imagine a place and time where human slavery was no more remarkable than the use of mechanical devices today. The trading of people no more remarkable that trading of stocks today. Where the economic elites were gaming the system. buying influence and paying off politicians to keep their dominance.
 
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#55
Fair is imprecise. Slavery had been around most of human history. No one figured it would be dead in 15 years. It was fair to everyone except the slave who had no voice. It is hard to imagine a place and time where human slavery was no more remarkable than the use of mechanical devices today. The trading of people no more remarkable that trading of stocks today. Where the economic elites were gaming the system. buying influence and paying off politicians to keep their dominance.
The secessionists were in good shape in 1850. And then Irish immigration ramped up. The northern economy grew. English railroad money flowed into Illinois and English iron technology flowed into Pittsburgh, ironically.
The 1857 downturn hurt Missouri and the banks in Kentucky and the secessionists began to see that 10 state cotton south did not have allegiance of the 15 state slave south.
With Britain closing in on the Atlantic slave trade, and New England and New York becoming more tightly linked to Liverpool and Manchester, it was that perception of weakness that made them think about desperate chances.
 

jgoodguy

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#56
Southern unionists supported diversification as a means keeping the South in the Union
During the secession movement of 1849-1852, which has been alluded to, many Unionists supported the efforts to develop Southern manufactures, promote direct trade, construct internal improvements, and otherwise build up the South in an economic way, as a substitute for disunion. Their position was based upon two chains of reasoning: (i) Economic regeneration of the South would tend to preserve the political equilibrium of the sections and thus enable the Southern states to maintain their rights without forsaking the Union. (2) The basic causes for the war being waged against the Union were economic discontent and the belief that the Union had been unequal in its material benefits. The Unionists, in so far as they admitted Southern "decline," attributed it to causes not connected with the operation of the government or the Union. Successful programs of economic improvement would allay discontent and prove their contentions in regard to the advantages of the Union. This aspect of the political basis for the agitation in behalf of manufactures will be discussed in somewhat greater detail elsewhere.​
The profitability of slave-grown cotton quashed further talk of industrialization about 1852.
Although the discussion of the desirability of diversifying Southern industry by no means ceased about 1852, as we shall see, the active agitation in behalf of "bringing the spindles to the cotton" may be said to have come to an end about that date. The explanation of this lies partly in the fact that the comparative prosperity of cotton culture during the fifties weakened the force of the economic arguments for diversification,90 but chiefly in the fact that the agitation no longer was encouraged by reports of large profits and the erection of new factories.​
The glowing reports of industrialization were replaced by depressing stories. I'd speculate that if the South had it back against the wall, it would have industrialized. Even if not and with a 'normal' mix of agriculture production it would have staggered through until good times boosted industry. However with the immense profits of cotton to compete with, industrialization faltered.
Accounts of new enterprises continued to appear throughout 1851, and then ceased almost abruptly. In their stead there began to appear reports of reduced profits, failures, and, later, explanations for the sudden collapse of a movement so auspiciously begun. It was not until the later years of the decade that the press again spoke optimistically of the progress of cotton manufactures in the South. William Gregg, who knew more about this subject than any other man, writing on the very eve of the war, stated that all the progress made in cotton manufacturing in the South during fifteen years was made in "about five years from 1845 to 1850." The meager statistics available tend to sustain this judgment. According to the estimates of contemporary reviewers of the cotton trade, the Southern states consumed a quantity of raw cotton in the year 1849-1850 which was not materially exceeded until i859-i860.91 During the years 1850 and 1851 the cotton manufacturing industry was suffering a depression. It is probable that, could factories newly built or building in 1850 have operated at full capacity, the total consumption for the year would have equalled that of the years immediately preceding the Civil War. The United States censuses for 1840, 1850, and 1860 may be considered sufficiently reliable to show general tendencies. The value of the product of cotton factories in states south of Maryland was $1,912,215 in 1840, $5,665,362 in 1850, and $8,145,067 in 1860. Thus, while the value of the product nearly trebled between 1840 and 1850, it increased only about 43 per cent during the following decade. The value of the output of cotton manufactures in the United States as a whole was $46,350,453 in 1840, $65,501,687 in 1850, and $115,681,774 in 1860, an increase of 41 per cent during the first decade and 76.6 per cent during the second.92​

"See Appendix, Table IV, for estimates of the cotton consumed in the North,
South, and West, 1839-1861.
"Compendium of the Sixth Census, 361; Compendium of the Seventh Cen-
sus, 1 80; Eighth Census, Manufactures, Introduction, p. xii.


 
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#57
Good post. Competition tends to favor scale economies in management and distribution. The cost advantage of the successful producers makes it very hard for the new entrants to work out their problems. Rapid improvements in railroads and steam ships opened up the southern markets to Yankee and British factors that could undercut anything the south could make. And for a few years cotton was almost risk free. It did not make sense to compete with the outsiders.
 

jgoodguy

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#58
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine.
PP60-62
Manufacturing increased when cotton was less profitable and decreased as cotton profitability recovered. Agricultural societies are reluctant to change to the risky unfamiliar.
The progress made in cotton manufacturing in the South during the 18405 must be attributed chiefly to the unprofitableness of cotton culture during the same period and to the conviction of men with capital that manufacturing would yield a higher rate of interest upon money invested. In some cases, it is true, subscription to the stock of cotton manufacturing companies seems to have been made by public spirited citizens prompted more by a desire to benefit their communities or states or to advance the cause of the South than by the desire for profit. To some degree, too, the agitation was instrumental in securing the liberalization of laws affecting joint stock companies, and may have contributed indirectly to the development of manufactures. The cessation of progress about 1851 cannot be attributed to any abatement of interest on the part of the public. Some of the causes for depression and failure in the South affected New England factories as well. Others were peculiar to the South, and serve to illustrate the difficulties which had to be overcome there, perhaps among any agricultural people, before new industries could become firmly established.

The flip side of high cotton prices is lowered manufacturing profits because raw cotton is more expensive. Prices could not be increased because British goods were cheaper because of the tariffs decrease.

One cause of the depression in the cotton manufacturing industry was the sharp rise in the price of raw cotton from 7 cents in June to ii cents in October, 1849, double the price of October, 1848. With the exception of the year 1851-1852, the price of cotton remained comparatively high until the Civil War. With the rise in price, the quantity of cotton taken for Northern mills fell from 503,429 bales in 1848-1849 to 465,702 in 1849-1850 and 386,- 429 the following year, while the estimates of consumption of the South and West for the same three years were 130,000, 137,000, and 99,000 bales, respectively.93 To add to the hardships occasioned by high priced raw material, there had been a general fall in the prices of cotton goods, caused partly by the recent rapid extensions of cotton manufactures in the United States and partly, it was said, by the increased quantities of English goods put upon the American market after the Walker tariff of 1846 had become effective.94​
Strangely, the factories of the cotton states seem to have weathered the first year or two of hard times better than factories farther north, and Southern men submitted the fact as evidence of the superior advantages of those states for cotton manufacturing.95 In the autumn of 1850, Joseph H. Lumpkin, of Georgia, said that he knew of no bankruptcy in any cotton company in the South; while seventy-one mills were reported idle within thirty "3 miles of Providence, Rhode Island, and numerous others in the North were either idle or upon short time, some Southern companies were declaring a dividend of 10 per cent.96 The Savannah News reported that Southern factories were prosperous, while some Northern mills were closing; and added, "These facts prove what we have often asserted, that we have a decided advantage over the North in the business of manufacturing yarns and coarse cotton goods."97 Thomas Prentice Kettell, of New York, wrote: "It is the transition of the seat of manufactures from the North and East to the South and West, under which northern manufacturing capital is laboring."98 But factories in the cotton belt did fail during the years 1850, 1851, and 1852, establishments changed hands at much less than the original cost, and the profits of all were greatly reduced. Moreover, Southern factories revived much more slowly than those of New England. Many of them dragged out a sickly existence until a year or two before the war, when they again became prosperous. The example of these factories discouraged further investments of capital.99​


"3See Appendix, Table IV.
"Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, XXIII, 595 ff., Dec. 1850; XXV, 465.
m DeBow's Review, X, 93, 143. Virginia and Maryland factories did not
escape the hard times. A convention of manufacturing interests meeting in Rich-
mouth, late in 1850, reported that -of the 54,000 spindles in that state, 7,000 were
running at three-fourths time, 8,000 at one-third time, 22,000 at full time but
three-fourths wages, while the remainder were either idle or practically so; the
whole averaged about one-half time. In Maryland the conditions were worse.
Of 28 factories, 8 were idle, and only 2 were running full time. Hunt's Merchants'
Magazine, XXIV, 262. The iron industry as well as the cotton manufacturing
industry was complaining of depression. The reason assigned was English and
Scotch competition.
M
DeBow's Review, XII, 46. (From an address delivered before the South
Carolina Institute at its Second Annual Fair, Nov. 19, 1850.) As late as 1855,
William Gregg wrote: "With the exception of the Saluda company and the
Charleston factory, there have been no positive failures and very few embarrassed
concerns [in South Carolina], and they labored under most of the defects that
I have named as elements of embarrassment. There was no failure among the
Georgia factories during the terrible pressure of 1850 and '51; they are now, with
one or two exceptions, doing well. Those in the vicinity of Augusta, ten miles
off, are paying 20 to 30 per cent. The DeKalb factory, near Camden, in our
state, is making 15 per cent.; Vaucluse, just above us, is making money. . . ."
The net earnings of the Graniteville Company were reported at 8 per cent in
1850, ii/l2 per cent in 1853, and 18 per cent in 1854. Report of William Gregg,
President of the Graniteville Manufacturing Co., 1855, quoted in DeBow's Re-
view, XVIII, 788.
"Quoted in ibid., XI, 322 (Sept., 1851).
"Ibid., XI, 641. It is not probable that Southern mills suffered less than
New England mills making the same class of goods.
This was notably true of the failures at Augusta, Ga. There canals had
been dug, and, it was supposed, enough water power secured to drive the spindles
of a second Lowell. Factories sprang up on a large scale. A long chain of changes
and reverses followed. Ibid., XXVIII, 483. William Gregg wrote, in 1860:
"The failure of the Augusta Mills has done more to put back the progress of
manufacturing at the South than any other failure that has taken place." Ibid.,
XXIX, 229.
 
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jgoodguy

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#59
Economic Aspects Of Southern Sectionalism, 1840-1861 Russel
University of Illinois Studies in the Social Sciences, V11, No. 1-2, March-June, 1923
Economic aspects of southern sectionalism, 1840-1861Emphasis mine.
PP62-64

With this we end this chapter.

Cotton factories in the South experienced difficulties other than the high price of raw material and the low prices of goods. 10 The factories were often cheaply constructed, and the best machinery was not always provided. Several of them employed steam power, which proved too costly and put them under a big handicap from the start. Local pride in many cases had much to do with raising capital and, consequently, in selecting sites. As a result the mills were often injudiciously located with respect to health, steady motive power, and marketing of goods. The labor problem was a difficult one. Negro labor required too much capital, if bought, and proved unsatisfactory in any case.101 The whites, though they worked for lower wages than the mill operatives of the North, from ignorance and long habits of indolence, were difficult to train and control.102 Because of the unskilled labor, Southern factories required more efficient superintendents than Northern factories, but did not pay sufficiently high salaries to command them. (The superintendents were in most cases from the North.) There was the difficulty, also, of forcing the products of infant industries upon a market already supplied with Northern and English goods;103 and there is evidence that New England manufacturers resorted to quite modern methods in meeting threatened competition from the South. The story was told of a Georgia factory that put upon the market an article known as "Georgia Stripes," which proved very popular. New England mills imitated it with a cheaper article, and drove it from the market. The fact- ory then turned to "Georgia Plains." Samples were sent North; and soon the market was flooded with Yankee Georgia Plains.104 Southern manufacturers selected sound raw material and made goods of high quality; but their Southern customers apparently preferred low prices to quality, which was more difficult to recog- nize. And, despite statements of Southern writers to the contrary, the probabilities are that the Yankee goods were better in propor- tion to price.105 Again, the idea was too prevalent that an effort should be made to supply the local demand, and that a little of everything should be made; it would have been better to specialize. The consumer seemed to prefer goods from a distance to those of home manufacture. "Yankee made," "made in the North," or "just from New York," were advertisements which appealed to the purchaser. Manufacturers frequently complained of the want of home patronage; but, except in times of unusual sectional bitterness, appeals to local pride or patriotism were rather ineffective.100​
One of the chief obstacles to the success of Southern establishments was the lack of sufficient capital. The factories were too often begun with insufficient capital, were in debt from the start, and maintained no reserve of cash to enable them to buy raw material when the price was low and hold back the product from a depressed market. Frequent items are met in Southern papers telling of consignments of goods to Northern cities. The papers of the South were inclined to boast of such incidents without stopping to inquire the reasons for their occurrence.106 Because of insufficient capital, the cotton manufacturers of the cotton states, as were the tobacco manufacturers of Virginia, were constantly in need of advances. The advances could most readily be secured by drawing upon agents in New York or other Northern cities, who sold the goods. This system meant that the goods sometimes had to be sold in a depressed market to meet the drafts. Southern manufacturers could not sell directly to Southern merchants or jobbers, because the latter bought on long credit, which the manufacturers were unable to extend. Both mill owners and merchants experienced difficulty in procuring loans from home banks whether because of inadequacy of banking facilities, or, as some believed, because of banking policy, we will not pause here to inquire. 107​



For discussions of the causes for failure of Southern factories see: (i) Re-
port of William Gregg, President of the Graniteville Manufacturing Co., 1855
(pamphlet), also in DeBow's, XVIII, 777-91. (2) Extract from a letter of James
Montgomery, an English manufacturer. Ibid., XXVI, 95 ff. (3) Letter from James
Martin, a successful cotton manufacturer of Florence, Alabama. Ibid., XXIV,
382-6. (4) Hunt's Merchant's Magazine, XLII, 376 f. (5) William Gregg.
"Southern Patronage to Southern Imports and Domestic Industry," in DeBow's,
XXIX, 77-83, 225-32, 494-500, 623-31, 771-8; XXX, 102-4, 216-23.
101
Russell, Robert, North America, 295.
10J
See Ingle, Edward, Southern Sidelights, 74 ff., for a discussion of wages
paid in the South. The best success was had where provision was made for hous-
ing the employees, enforcing temperance, and providing schools and religious
instruction, as at Graniteville, S. C., and Prattsville, Ala. DeBow's Review,
XVIII, 777-90.
10*Colwell, Stephen, The Five Cotton States and New York (pamphlet,i860).
"'On system of advances and long credits and the question of banking facili-
ties, in the South, see below, pp. 100-107.
 
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#60
There were many southerners, I believe, who were diversifying outside the south. The northern bonds offered good rates, and in as the secessionist crisis approached, risk adverse people with modest portfolios knew the northern companies and cities were safer. There had been too many state level defaults in the southern states in prior decades.
 



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