Slavery in the North and South Pre-Civil War

Slavery: 1775 - 1830
Slavery is one of the darkest periods of American history, and a grim reminder of our nation’s past mistakes. The institution of American slavery went through many changes in its long history, depending on location. Developments in the North eventually led to greater freedoms for slaves, while the South was dependent on slavery. During the period between 1775 and 1830, the growth of freedom in the North and the continuing growth of slavery in the South are both the results of the two regions’ contradictory responses to the changing government, economy, and social environment.
The government made changes that drastically impacted the efficiency of slavery. In 1775, the British government demanded that slave must fight alongside them in the Revolutionary War. This proclamation was issued by Lord Dunmore, who ordered the slaves around as if they were the government’s property: “And I do herby further declare all indentured Servants, Negros, or others, ([belonging] to Rebel,) free that are able and willing to bear Arms, they joining His Majesty’s Troops as soon as may be” (Document A). Not only were the enslaved African-Americans being treated like property, but even the free Negros were treated inhumanely. In 1808, Congress voted to outlaw the importation of slaves. This affected the North and the South in different ways, depending on their economies. The North’s economy was based on industry and had been growing to discourage slavery. Since the North was already moving away from the slave industry, this act pushed them closer to eventual emancipation for all slaves. The South, however, had an economy dependent on slavery and they began breeding slaves as a way to increase their workforce. The government later outlawed slave trade within the States in the north. This meant that to sell slaves, northern slave-owners only had the option of moving south and selling them there. The amount of effort required to own a slave now was outweighing the...