US Civil War

Essay by Steve VargaCollege, UndergraduateA-, February 1994

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The North's was against slavery in the South and did not want to see it expanded to the Western states and territories because its leaders saw economic and political advantages in leaving those areas open to settlement by farmers and the working class. The North did not need slaves to support their agriculture. The North viewed slavery as a moral issue, degrading and cruel. The South on the other hand wanted to protect its influence in the federal government. Therefore, a balance should be kept between free and slave states as the Union expanded. Southerners needed slaves to support their agriculture. The South viewed slavery as a way of life, a class structure.

A typical day in the life of a slave started by having to be in the fields before sunrise and work until after sunset. At about 8 A.M. they were allowed to stop for breakfast and again about noon to dine.

The length of the rest they received was at the discretion of the paid overseer or drivers. Each overseer was responsible for approximately 100 slaves. Slaves were planters, some women learned to spin, weave and sew; others became cooks, maids, laundresses, dairy maids and nurses maids. Men became, blacksmiths, painters or shoemakers. A few learned carpentry and brick laying. The majority were laborers in the fields. Slaves received a weekly ration of food, some planters also supplied some tools, utensils and cloths. Owners usually tried to keep their slaves adequately fed, clothed and housed. Overseers did not always feel the same because they did not own the slaves. A slave owner with fifty able-bodied slaves had an investment worth $150,000. Some owners were kind religious folks and when the slaves had a chance to leave they stayed. Other owners had overseers who were very cruel and...