Slavery Slavery was one of the underlining causes of the Civil War. The south believed slavery was a necessity for growing and harvesting such crops or cotton. However, there were people that fought against slavery such as the abolitionists.
Abolitionists are people who wanted to end slavery. The Underground Railroad was a secret route for runaway slaves. This secret route lead from the north to Canada, so slaves could reach freedom. Harriet Stowe wrote the anti-slavery novel Uncle Tom's Cabin and William Garrison was editor of the anti-slavery newspaper called The Liberator. David Wilmot suggested that there should be no slavery in the Mexican Cession. Harriet Tubman led slaves to Canada. All these people were abolitionists.
The first black slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia in1619. They were indentured servants for seven years and later made slaves for life. All slaves had no rights! Some slaves were treated differently, but it depended on their owner/ master.
Many slaves worked in the fields from sunrise to sunset. These slaves usually picked cotton, rice, indigo, or tobacco. Others worked in houses, mines, or even factories. Almost all slave lived in a drafty one - room cabin with two or more families living together. The slave's owners beat, whipped, or killed slaves if they wished. No slave was taught how to read, or write, and couldn't marry, vote, or leave the plantation without permission.
In the period of 1820-1860, the number of slaves in Alabama leaped from 41,000 "" 435,000 and Mississippi from 32,000 "" 436,000. In the same period, the increase of Virginia was only 425,000 "" 490,000. Between 1840-1860, according to the same estimates, 410,000 slaves moved from the upper south to the cotton states.
In 1860 Abraham Lincoln was elected president without southern votes. Abraham Lincoln promised not to interfere...