Slavery is one of the most brutal intuitions in the US history. African American slaves were usually kept in bad conditions and forced to work hard for their masters. In addition, slavery may have been the most emotional issue to split the North and South, but it was only one of several very serious conflicts (Diane, 74). That is why it is important to analyze some peculiarities of slave trade and the emancipation of African Americans in North and South.
To start with, South and North had different values and ideologies and that is why they developed many differences in political, economical and cultural aspects of life. For example, they had their unique economic direction. The South’s economy was agricultural – it was based on producing cotton which required a large number of workers (Diane 74). In addition, it was also focused on production as well as export of agricultural products. The South made its money by exporting agricultural products to Europe and the northern US (Diane 74). Thus, due to its natural conditions South was able to succeed in agriculture and constantly required manual labor.
Nevertheless, North’s economy was based on industry and most of the US manufacturing was in the North (Diane 74). Northern industry was very powerful and had many mines and manufactures. That is why it did not take a long time for North to move toward a society with its impersonal, bureaucratic meritocratic, urbanizing, industrializing characteristics (McPherson 24). Thus, mechanized Northern states did not require as much human labor as agricultural Southern states.
In addition, there was a major difference in slave trade between North and South. In the South, slaveholders increasingly regarded their slaves as their major capital – even more so than their land (Holzer 52). In fact, human capital, was very important for unindustrialized societies. The reason is that agricultural South always needed cheap labor for working on the cotton fields. That is why slaves were considered as a very valuable capital. Moreover, treatment of slaves in Southern states was extremely brutal. Southern whites were more likely to carry weapons and to use them against other human beings than Northern were (McPherson 26).
It is also interesting to analyze the ideological and cultural aspects of slavery. Slavery was viewed as moral order on which society rested, and slave-owners were viewed my many as benevolent individuals who maintained an essential social task (Rodriguez, 114). That is why preserving slavery was an essential goal for many white Americans. The culture of slavery was different in North and South. For example, Southerners believed that their lack of manufacturing was another factor that made their region distinctive and celebrated it by extolling the supposed virtues of agricultural productivity (Rodriguez, 120).
Proclamation of emancipation of slaves brought many changes to both Southern and Northern States. The idea to end the slavery was initiated by American government. Of course, there have been many attempts to abolish slavery. For example, Lincoln proclaimed in 1863 that all slaves still under Confederate control were free, though the US had no legal means of enforcing this act in the Confederate states (Diane 81). Nevertheless, when the slavery was officially abolished not all the states were willing to apply this law. When slavery had been abolished by seven northern states after the American Revolution most of the states had used a form of gradualism to bring about emancipation (Rodriguez, 106).
All in all, there are many cultural and economical differences between the slave trade and the emancipation of slaves in North and South America. One of the reasons is that they had different values and ideologies. In addition, they had a different type of economic development, while South’s economy was agricultural, North was quite industrialized. As the result, Northern states did not require as much human labor as agricultural South. Thus, slaves were considered as a very valuable capital in Southern states, while Northern states were not as focused on manual labor. Nevertheless, despite all these differences South as well as North were able to gradually implement antislavery laws.