The Differences and Similarities between the Chesapeake Tobacco region, the Rice Kingdom, and the North in the United States during the 19th century.

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The North and the South were both strikingly similar regions. When it came to beliefs, economy, and religion, they both seem identical. The category that brought the two to be very different was slavery. When you think of the South, you think of large plantations, with many black slaves harvesting the rice. You think of shiploads of Africans reaching the shores of South Carolina. When you think of the North, however, you think of indentured servants, being integrated into the society. Africans were getting fair treatment in the North, as well as a family environment. Both these societies had many differences; however their development was directly linked to slavery. The more slavery is embedded into a society, the less the society develops.

The Chesapeake Tobacco region is a mix of both Northern and Southern standings on slavery. The part that defined the Chesapeake area from the South (as well as comparing with the North) was the use of indentured servants as workers.

They worked under somewhat fair conditions, and were brought over under equal conditions. What separated the Chesapeake from the North (as well as unifying it to the South), was the use of large plantations and growing cash crops. These cash crops were developed off of its ideal geography. Many slaves work in these fertile fields in the Chesapeake Tobacco Region. Plantations were established by riverbanks, allowing for easy transportation. To further benefit the efficiency of the plantations, slaveholders built wharves to ship goods. Like all businessmen, one of the main goals of a plantation owner was to maximize efficiency. Plantation owners achieved this by becoming almost entirely self-sufficient. Because plantations were so self-sufficient, it was unnecessary to have towns in the area. Town growth was extremely slow in the Chesapeake Tobacco region. To further deplete the towns and population, there were many diseases that had been easily spread by the rivers.

The Chesapeake Tobacco region’s workforce was mostly comprised of indentured servants. These indentured servants were mostly African or Mulatto English workers who had free transportation from Europe in return for work in the New World. Indentured servants were sometimes given land after their work. By 1700, more than 100,000 servants had arrived in the Chesapeake area. Over time, demand for tobacco increased. With this increase, the need for workers greatly increased as well, reflecting “supply and demand”. With the need for more tobacco, as well as more workers to grow the crop, workers became more valuable. Since workers became more valuable, there were stricter precautions to keep the workers. This prompted the plantation owners to treat the indentured servants like slaves. Instead of being given a place to live after their working period was fulfilled, they were kept longer periods for more income. The need for workers became so apparent that the institution of slavery was codified into state laws. Maryland passed a law stating that all blacks and their children were slaves for life in the year 1664. After laws like these were passed, slaves became property – just like land. Slaves began to be bought and sold, as well as marketed. Slaves were more expensive than servants however, so only richer people could afford these slaves.

The North and the Southern Rice Kingdom are alike in many ways. Both the North and the South have a strikingly similar geography size. Though the North had less favorable growing conditions than the South, they had kept growing a strong economy through skills, such as carpentry, instead of relying on a cash crop. They both lived under the same constitution in the later years of slavery, as well. The South and the North share a common mix of nationalism as well as localism. Most importantly, Southerners and Northerners both worship the same Protestant Gods, something that is extremely important to both abolitionists, as well as slave holders. The pro-slave people would use the bible as a way of saying whites was the more intellectual race, as well as creators of civilizations. They said that blacks were the more physical race, and were always subject to the whites. The abolitionists used the bible saying that God treated all of mankind equal, and pointed towards the Ten Commandments. Both the North and the South had very similarities, and used them in many different ways.

The South’s climate and longer growing season gave it an agricultural edge over other regions. Cotton growers spread out over the largest area possible in order to maximize production and income. Because people were so scarce, it was very difficult to finance and operate schools, libraries, or other local components. Because of this, education was far behind northern education, and thus people in the south were far less educated. Factories were also rare in the south, because planters invested most of their money in slaves. Few southerners did invest their money in iron or textile on a small scale; however the largest industry was lumbering. Another result of plantations being spread out was the slow development of a unified market economy, as well as regional transportation. People could not travel place-to-place as easily because of this. In 1860, only 35% of the nation’s railroad was in the South. The Northeast had an average of 153 people per square mile, New York City had an average of 86,400 people per square mile, and the south had far less people per square mile. The south population was described as “a hilly wilderness, with a few dreary villages, and many isolated cotton farms,” by Frederick Law Olmsted of Connecticut. This isolation was very good for slavery, however, and slavery flourished in these parts.

The main difference between the North and the South is on the issue on the slavery. By the 1860s, the South was a slave society. Their entire society relied on the slave economy. Their development was extremely slow and juvenile – there weren’t a lot of towns, the population of free people was low, regional transportation was not in a mature state, and factories were practically non-existent. In the North, however, business was booming. The population far exceeded that of the South, there were countless factories in the area, towns and cities were thriving, and regional transportation was established.

Both the North and the South had very similar regions, along with different views on slavery. They both believed in the same Protestant God, and yet they both had two distinct beliefs on the treatment of the Blacks. Looking back on the development of these societies, the North grew much larger and much faster because of its independence of slavery. The South relied heavily on slaves, and became a slave society. Both these societies had many differences; however their development was directly linked to slavery. The more slavery embellished itself into these societies, the worse off they were.

Bibliography:Bailey, Beth, David W. Blight, Howard P. Chudacoff, David M. Katzman, Frederick Logevall, Mary Beth Norton, Thomas G. Paterson, and William M. Tuttle. Norton A People And A Nation Volume Two Eighth Edition. 8 ed. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2007.