Chapter 12: Cotton is King: The Antebellum South, 1800–1860

Key Terms

a term meaning “before the war” and used to describe the decades before the American Civil War began in 1861
cash crop
a crop grown to be sold for profit instead of consumption by the farmer’s family
concurrent majority
a majority of a separate region (that would otherwise be in the minority of the nation) with the power to veto or disallow legislation put forward by a hostile majority
cotton boom
the upswing in American cotton production during the nineteenth century
cotton gin
a device, patented by Eli Whitney in 1794, that separated the seeds from raw cotton quickly and easily
domestic slave trade
the trading of enslaved people within the borders of the United States
Ostend Manifesto
the secret diplomatic memo stating that if Spain refused to sell Cuba to the United States, the United States was justified in taking the island as a national security measure
the premise that southern White slaveholders acted in the best interests of those they enslaved
the idea that Black and White people come from different origins
second middle passage
the internal forced migration of enslaved people to the South and West in the United States


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