Theme: The explosion
of cotton production fastened the slave system deeply upon the South, creating
a complex, hierarchical racial and social order that deeply affected whites
as well as blacks.
Theme: The economic
benefits of an increasing production of cotton due to the cotton gin and slavery
was shared between the South, the North, and Britain. The economics of cotton
and slavery also led to bigger and bigger plantations, since they could afford
the heavy investment of human capital.
Theme: The emergence
of a small but energetic radical abolitionist movement caused a fierce proslavery
backlash in the South and a slow but steady growth of moderate antislavery
sentiment in the North.