During the ‘Market Revolution’ the economy of the northern states changed drastically with the creation of factories to mass produce articles made from raw materials that were grown in the south. “Massive northern textile mills turned southern cotton into cheap cloth. And although northern states washed their hands of slavery, the factories fueled the demand for slave-grown southern cotton that ensured the profitability and continued existence of the American slave system” (Arehart).

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Thus, both the economies of the north and the south benefited from southern slavery. Thus, one defense that southerners could use to defend slavery is that the economy of the north was built in large part on the continuance of slavery; I believe that this defense is a viable argument and that the northern states did not do enough to disentangle their economy from slavery.

Furthermore, the economic changes of the North gave southerners a means to defend slavery because southerners could argue that the end of slavery would cause an economic collapse in the south. In the South, slave labor was at the center of the economy and the abolition of slave would cause widespread chaos according those in the south that defended slavery for economic reasons. The cotton, tobacco, and rice economies would no longer be profitable in the south if slavery were eliminated (Independence Hall Association).

Those in the south who defended the continuance of slavery argued that freeing the salves would cause widespread unemployment and chaos in the south; “this would lead to uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy” (Independence Hall Association). The slaves were considered an important part of the labor force in the south just as factory workers were in the north; freeing the slaves would disrupt this labor force and the surrounding economy along with it. The northern economy would also be affected by the shortage of cotton and other raw materials; however, the north would be able to blame the south for underproduction.