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The American South - Referat

The Old South

King Cotton
In the 19th century the amount of cotton in the American South increased because the cotton gin enabled farmers to separate the wool from the fibre quickly. Because of the rising demand for cotton in Europe, especially in Britain, prices went up and so did the income of farmers rise so that some of them could afford a life of leisure and pleasure.

The Myth of the South
According to the myth, the Old South (= The South before the America Civil War) was a land of wealthy plantations and happy slaves, large white houses with window glass, cultured people who could read and write, music and literature, and a stable economy based on cotton.

The triangular trade
Slaves were transported from Africa to America and West Indies.
Cotton, tobacco and sugar were exported from North America to Britain, where the Britains had factories. Cotton cloth and metal goods were imported to Africa.


Slaves had to work very hard and they were beaten, were treated bad or were punished by the drivers, if they didnít work. Also they or their children and babes were sold to farmers or plantation owners. And the worst is, that they couldnít do anything against. Sometimes when a slave did anything they didnít like, they put them a bull pen and let him nearly die. Slaves were used as cheap and unpaid workers in the cotton plantations and on rice farms. They werenít allowed to ho to school, because their owners didnít want them to became clever.

The Underground Railroad
Abolitionists, people who were in favour of abolishing slavery, helped the slaves to become free. They had their secret routes and safe houses. Also they worked secretly and nobody knew the whole schema only their part of the operation. One report estimates that up to 100.000 people escaped slavery via the underground railroad. The fugitives were bought by the conductors from station to station by night traveling.
Money was given by many people to help buy tickets.

The American Civil War

The North and the South of the United States had strong political, economic and social differences. The agricultural system of the South was based on cotton and on cheap slave labour. In contrast to the South, the North founded his steady increase on an immigrant labour force. A source of conflicts was the question of whether to extend slavery in the west.

Statesí rights - Union(=federal) law
The South considered the right to continue slavery and the right to leave the Union as Statesí rights.

The Confederate States of America
When Abraham Lincoln, an opponent of slavery, became president eleven states
in the south decided to secede from the Union and to establish ďthe Confederate States of AmericaĒ.

The outcome
[The bombardment and surrender of Fort Summer marked the beginning of the war.]
When the North won the civil war, slavery was abolished all over the country. The war ended in 1865 with the defeat and devastation of vast areas and the deaths of more than 600.000 people. Although equal rights were founded, many southern made segregation and made them use separated schools, buses, ...


Situation of African Americans and of former plantation owners
Soon after the freed slaves were settled in Georgia and South Carolina, the land was returned to its original owners. But the problem was that a lot of the freed slaves, who worked as cotton pickers on plantations, didnít get enough money to sustain their families, no matter how hard they worked.

Feelings of white southerners towards people from the north and towards former slaves
Of course they were
upset, because the North won the civil war and they had to admit a defeat. Whatís more that their schema of making economy didnít work anymore, because they had no slaves, who work for them. By now the South was firmly in the hands of people who had made their money with plantations or through business.

Civil rights
Civil rights to every person born in the USA, so all people are equal and have the same rights. The right to vote could not be denied because of race, color, or others.

State law - federal law
The Southern states wanted African Americans to be restricted, so they made the so-called Jim Crow laws, which stipulated segregation. Through the state legislation they complicated the election procedures for example with poll taxes and literacy tests.

Segregation (Jim Crow laws)
African Americans were restrict in their freedom of action. Laws (the so-called the Jim Crow laws - laws, which stipulated segregation) were made to keep blacks out of first class, railroad,...and they had to use separate schools, churches, hospitals, swimming pools, bus section, ...In 1896 it was decided that facilities for African Americans had to be equal, but they could be separated, so segregation became legal.

Civil Right Movement

Montgomery Bus Boycott
The Montgomery Bus Boycott was a political and social protest campaign in Montgomery, Alabama. Blacks were not allowed to sit everywhere in the bus, only in certain seat rows. A woman, called Rosa Parks, started this bus boycott, because she didnít want to give up her sit for a white man. She has been arrested, but this arrest created sensation in the whole country. People closed together to travel on foot, car pools, ...
It lasted eleven month. The organizations were led by Martin Luther King. Anyway they had success, because it ended with desegregate buses in Montgomery.

Martin Luther Kingís role
Martin Luther King leader of the campaign ď Montgomery Improvement AssociationĒ. At the beginning he was a unknown man and so he hadnít any enemies. With this campaign he had success, because it ended with desegregate buses in Montgomery.
But later in Albany, where he organized a protest without violence against segregation, they had no success. Protesters were carried away by police without violence.
In Birmingham he continued his actions with sit-ins and economic boycott. Martin Luther King orated to motivate the Protesters. (ďI have a dreamĒ)
[Stylistic devices (like antithesis) help to create emotion and to get across the message. With the introduces each paragraph, it draws attention to each aspect of the dream
and it produces rhythm => structure of a song]

Civil Right Act (1964)
This Civil Right Act is a american law, which makes discriminating elections and segregation in public buildings illegally.

Voting Right Act (1965)
This Voting Act is a american law, which bans every discrimination of black voters (or other minorities.

Dieses Referat wurde eingesandt vom User: Lady05

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