During the pre-Civil War in the United States, a stronger argument can be made that slavery played a vital role in the development of the economy. An example of a crop is the slave-grown cotton. It supplied over half of all the United States export earnings. The South, by 1840, produced sixty percent of the world's cotton and supplied some seventy percent of the cotton used by the British textile industry. Therefore, slavery had paid for a significant share of the capital, iron, and manufactured goods which set the foundation for American economic growth. The American shipping and financial industries also depended on the slave-produced cotton. Cotton was not transported from the South and straight to Europe. It was transported to New York and afterwards transshipped to England along with other cotton manufacturing centers in the United States as well as Europe (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 1).
Since enslaved Africans were hired as a cheap source of labor in the United States, within the American political economy, it also turned out to be an important economic as well as political capital. The Enslaved Africans legally became a form of property, that is, a commodity. Still, Individually as well as collectively, the slaves were often used as security in all categories of business transactions. The slaves could also be traded for goods and services of other kinds. Slaveholders often used their investments value held in their slaves to secure loans to procure extra lands or slaves. The Slaves could also be used to settle outstanding debts. While computing the estates’ value, the projected worth of each one the slaves was also incorporated. Thus, it turned out to be the basis of tax revenue used by the local as well as governments’ of each state. Taxes also imposed on slave businesses (Howard 1).
The United States Constitution politically integrated an element that made political capital from the enslaved Africans to the advantage of the states in the south. The alleged three-fifths concession permitted the states in the south to tally their slaves the same as three-fifths of a human being for intentions of determining states' representation in the United States Congress. Therefore, the balance of authority amongst non-slaveholding and slaveholding states changed, to a certain extent, on the three-fifths existence of enslaved Africans in the survey. The Slaveholders were taxed using the similar three-fifths principle; furthermore, the taxes paid on slaves did not sustain in any way the national treasury. Overall, the United States’ slavery system was a national system which touched the very central part of its political and economic life.
In 1793, the creation of the cotton gin presented slavery with a fresh life within the United States. Amid 1800 to 1860, cotton produced by the slaves extended from Georgia and South Carolina towards the recently colonized lands in western Mississippi. The reallocation of the slave market from the upper South, that is, from Maryland and Virginia, towards the lower South had been escorted by a similar shift from the enslaved African people towards the lower West and South (Howard 2).
Thus, we can conclude that slavery had been a cost-effectively efficient system of production, adjustable to tasks that vary from agriculture to construction, mining, as well as factory work. In addition, slavery was able to generate enormous quantities of wealth (The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 2).
Howard Dodson. How Slavery Helped Build a World Economy. National Geographic News, 3 February 2003. Web 12 November 2013.
The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History (GLIAH). Was slavery the engine of
American economic growth? Gilderlehrman.org. Web 13 November 2013.