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Slavery is the South Essay 3 Slavery played a dominating and critical role in much of Southern life In the struggle for control in America slavery was the Souths stronghold and the hidden motive behind many political actions and economic statistics By dominating Southern life slavery also dominated the economic and political aspects of life in the South from 1840 to 1860 By the 1840s and 50s the Southern economy had almost completely become slave and cash crop agriculture based Without slaves in the south a person was left either landless and penniless or struggling to get by on a small farm However even though slaves dominated the southern economy slaveholders only included about 2 to 3 percent of the population This small percentage was the amount of people successful in a slave based cash crop agricultural Southern economy Therefore the Southern economy was controlled and dominated by those who did and did not have slaves Furthermore with the high demand for Southern items in Europe and Northern America more slaves were needed in the South to produce these cash crops Without slaves there would be no cotton tobacco or sugar production and without these integral items the Southern economy would absolutely fail The South depended on slaves to fuel their economy and therefore slavery dominated their economy Between 1840 and 1860 many political issues debates and actions were inflamed by slavery As America grew the South wanted more slave states and the North wanted more free states to increase their hold in politics One important act that fueled the slavery dominated political world of 1840 to 1860 was the Kansas and Nebraska act written by Stephen Douglas This act repealed the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and called for popular sovereignty in Kansas and Nebraska which under the Missouri Compromise had been free The Missouri Compromise was originally an act to settle disputes about free states and slave states entering the Union
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