The profits of the Southern tobacco industry were not without sacrifice however. The creation of the product needed a labor force that could keep up with the demands, and that force was found through slavery.
The Beginning of American Slavery
- Slavery was not a new concept to the early Americans, but the slaves that were in the colonies prior to the tobacco market were mainly house and subsistence farming workers.
- The very first slaves were imported to Virginia in 1619
- In 1680 slaves only made up about ten percent of the population, however by the mid 1700’s until slavery's abolishment in 1865, slaves accounted for a third of the Southern population
- Most slaves were concentrated in just a few states: The Carolinas, Virginia and Maryland all leading the way.
- Slavery was predominantly a Southern practice, as it was only necessary for states with an agriculture-based economy, and the northern states inferior soil prevented the same quality crops from being grown.