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Antebellum Slavery Previous Next
Digital History ID 3039


During the early 19th century, slavery underwent a new boom, rapidly expanding in Brazil, Cuba, Trinidad, Guiana, the Windward Islands, and new territories southwest of the Appalachian mountains in the United States: into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, and Texas.

Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin gave slavery a new lease on life. Between 1792, when Whitney invented the cotton gin, and 1794, the price of slaves doubled. By 1825, field hands, who had brought $500 apiece in 1794, were worth $1,500. As the price of slaves grew, so, too, did their numbers. During the first decade of the 19th century, the number of slaves in the United States rose by 33 percent; during the following decade, the slave population grew another 29 percent.

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