6.2 Deep South: The Early Republican Era (1803-1831)



 

1800

(16 states)

1820

(24 states)

South Carolina

345,591

6th

502,341

8th

Georgia

162,686

12th

340,989

11th

Florida

 

-

 

-

Alabama

1,250

-

127,901

19th

Mississippi

7,600

-

75,448

21st

Louisiana

 

 

153,407

17th

Percent of U.S. population

9.7%

 

12.5%

 


Key events that shaped law and society:

Three great events shaped Deep South history during this era:

  • Birth of the cotton belt.  Because cotton grew well in the Deep South and could be grown most of the year, it was well-suited to slave labor.   But prior to the 1790s, cotton could not be grown profitably:  too much labor was required to pick and clean it.  Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin in 1793 enabled planters to clean cotton quickly and easily.  After that, cotton transformed the Deep South economy and spurred rapid settlement of the new southwestern states of Alabama and Mississippi.  The rise of cotton also revived slavery, which had begun to languish in parts of the South where tobacco and other crops suited to slave labor had declined in the mid-18th century (see §§ ____).
  • The Louisiana Purchase.  In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana territory from France.  The territory included what is now the state of Louisiana and the coastal portions of Mississippi and Alabama.  The purchase also added the great port of New Orleans to the Union and secured both banks of the Mississippi River for the United States, thus transforming Southern trade. 
  • Jackson’s conquest of the southeastern Indian tribes and Florida.  Between 1815 and 1821, General Andrew Jackson and his forces cemented American control of the Gulf coast and its tributary inland region.  Jackson defeated the British at New Orleans at the end of the War of 1812, thus permanently securing control of the Louisiana territory.  Between 1815 and 1821 his troops waged a series of brutal wars with the Creek, Choctaw and Chickasaw tribes, thus securing full control of Alabama and Mississippi and enabling their early admission as new states.  In 1819, Jackson carried the Indian wars into Florida and forced Spain to cede that region to the United States.

New states:

  • Louisiana (1812)
  • Mississippi (1817)
  • Alabama (1819)