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What were the justifications for slavery between 1820 to 1860? |

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The justifications for slavery were as numerous as the justifications for abolishing it. However, the key reason slavery persisted in the United States was to provide a labor supply for labor-intensive agricultural efforts, chiefly tobacco, then cotton.  Whitney did not invent the cotton gin, but his machine increased quantity by sacrificing quality; the cotton fibers were damaged somewhat in the process, but it fulfilled the demand for a cheaper grade of cotton, and subsequently the demand to produce cotton increased the demand for slaves. However, as mechanization of agriculture continued, human labor became relatively more expensive -- machines could do it more efficiently, and the wise planter would put his money in machines than slaves. That alone would have ended slavery.

When slavery was extant, it was legal for an owner to kill slaves.  Although wager earners in the North would not be cared for when old or sick, slaves wouldn't get the chance to be old or sick.

The Bible has been used by many groups throughout history to argue opposing opinions.  Perhaps God's on both sides.

Social stratification was not only necessary to insure slavery, it was legally encoded in Virginia after Bacon's Rebellion in 1676.

The South did not secede from the United States over the issue of slavery.  The Southern States and their people perceived that their agrarian way of life was constantly undermined by the North, engaging in unfair business practices within shippping and banking.  However, before the shooting war started, the South had already lost the culture war; contrary to Jeffersonian thinking, the US became more Federalized or centralized, Central banking, which favored the North, became the standard, and the country was becoming more industrial.  The war only added the dimension of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, when the war was well underway.

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