What were the economic implications of the Erie Canal?
Erie Canal expanded and led to industrialization of cities along the Hudson Valley and the New York State. In Video 2, the author notes that towns along the canal developed.
New York State benefited most with the linkage to the West through connection on the Hudson River and the Great Lakes. This improved New York’s economy and eased transportation woes by enhancing ferrying of goods and people across New York. Thus, transport cost across the region reduced (The Erie Canal 2).
Trade also increased along the canal and New York state. The easy movement of people and goods down the canal spurred to life the New York City port.
In addition, the canal provided market for goods in the neighboring South states, which was a cotton plantation hub. As the writer states, the canal has over time continued to shape New York. (Video 2)
Discuss the implications of slavery in the U.S.
Slavery shaped the economy of the Southern states, especially with the patent of the cotton gin, which led to increased cotton production. This bred ground for slavery trade as provision of cheap labor was required in plantation farms. Slaves were cheap to acquire and maintain with no pay, as the writer notes; demand for cotton led to slavery trade. “But with the cotton explosion, slavery becomes critical to the Southern economy” (Video 2).
Slavery led to separation of families and increased starvation amongst colored people, as slaves were prohibited to start a family especially in South states compared to the Northern states like New York, which allowed free African Americans to marry. This led to family break ups as members were sold into slavery miles away (Video 5). “…to think of being separated from your mother and your father and sold, and you’ll never see them again” (Video).
Slavery also led to rise of abolitionists like Fredrick Douglas, John Brown, who called for the end of slavery, terming it cruel. Slaves were prohibited to learn (Video 6), and, as the writer notes, those sold in slavery were denied education and not paid.
Slavery increased economic dependence on slaves’ free labor that enriched most plantations’ owners and bolstered the South’s economy. This led to questions of morality and rights as North and South states locked horns over abuse and the mistreatment of slaves. This is considering that the South saw the North as sympathizers of colored people (Anderson and Gallman 24).
In the end, it led to the American civil war between the North, who had abolished the slave trade, and the south, who had embraced slavery as the basis of an economic boom. The Southern states split from the Union (Video 9). The passing of the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery and halted the South’s economy boom due to dependence on agriculture, with no more free labor to spur the economy. It meant that the North continued to prevail thanks to its revolutionized economy.
Erie Canalway National Heritage Center. ‘‘Learn: History and Culture,’’ 1825.
Anderson, Ralph, and Gallman, Robert.