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During 1800 and 1860, there was a remarkable growth, and expansion of the domestic trade of slaves and this was due to various reasons. This part gives an insight as to why slave trade was growing and the combination of factors that led to this result. United States had their constitution signed in the year 1787 and one of the major concerns before this momentous step was to address the issue of slaves’ importation. During the Philadelphia convention, there was a heated debate that in the event of any abolishes or restrictions concerning slaves’ importation then there would be no signing of the constitution.
The major reason for the increased slave trade during this period was that the American constitution allowed the slave trade to take place. The article one section 9 of the United States constitution, addressed this crucial issue and it gave an allowance for importation of persons until the year 1808. This law came in to effect immediately despite the fact some people considered slave trade to be an inhuman act and to lessen the guilt of doing such trade, the constitution imposed a tariff of not more than ten dollars. On the other hand, the slaves in certain regions, for example, the Northern States were willing to work, and get paid for less and this prompted the trade. The south region embraced the slave trade because of their large agricultural farms that were in need of the work force.
Another notable reason for the expanding slave trade was the introduction and rise of cotton and sugar market. Sugar and cotton market created a large demand for slaves, unlike tobacco farming, because of its short growing period. Tobacco farming took long seasons, and this was a huge stress and hard physical wor for the slaves and it brought diseases that led to a shorter life span. All the above factors majorly contributed to the expansion of the slave trade during the period of 1800 and 1860. From the records given it is clear that the United States was aware of the inhumanity in importing slaves but always found a reason to continue doing the trade for their own benefits? By the US making the importation of persons a law in the constitution, Americans were upholding the slave trade business.
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Slave trade was not a bed of roses for all the states in America. While most people of the south tried to explain their need for slaves, the people of the north considered slave trade to be an inhuman act because all men are equal. These differing notions concerning slave trade gave rise to conflicts between the Northern and Southern states of United States. In the year 1850 the two conflicting parties reached an agreement on the matter concerning the importation of persons. Finding the middle ground between the two conflicting parties took place in 1850 and it comprised of a series of bills that simplified the conflict. Under the leadership of Webster, Douglass and Clay the Democratic Party and Whig Party came up with a plan to ease apprehension throughout the states. The compromise deal entailed a Fugitive Slave act for the Southerners whereby any slave found on the northern part of the state will go back to his or her original owner. This was an indication that the slave trade was illegal in the state of Columbia and, on the other hand, California- in the North would be a slave free state.
According to the information, the 1850 compromise deal was in place for close to four years, as it seemed that the North had benefitted more from the deal. The compromise was a necessary step that the Americans needed to take because the issue of slavery had two sides. Letting it be an issue for everyone would have been unfair on the side of the anti-slavery because, at the time, there was lots of labeling.
The 1800 to 1860 period saw a massive expansion of the slavery trade for various reasons. This major growth in the slave trade was in the southern states because of the cotton farming business. During this period, cotton was in high demand, which meant that cotton farmers had the obligation of providing more raw materials for the thriving textile industry. The tobacco business, which was mainly in the north had crashed, and it was not in high demand. Another reason for the thriving demand for cotton was that its seasons were shorter compared to that of tobacco. At the time, white farmers had considerable interests in developing their business rather than families. The high demand for cotton meant more demand for slaves who could work on the large cotton plantations in the south states. The slaves planted the cotton seeds by April and then worked on other jobs for the remaining period. The demand for slaves was so high in this period to the extent that the slave trade was rampant with slaves transferring from the north to the south and vice versa.
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On the other hand, white planters tried to protect their wealth by even marrying their kids so that the wealth could stay in the family. The year 1840 saw a thriving textile industry characterized by increased cotton production and hence more slaves. Looking at the slave trade from this perspective, the white planters were in need of slaves but what was disappointing was the treatment and pay the slaves got from their employers. The fact that these slaves were property of other people was making the whole slavery idea seem wrong.