They attempted to extend slavery into the new Western territories in order to keep their share of political power in the nation; Southern leaders dreamed of annexing Cuba to be used as a slave territory.
Slavery had been practiced in British North America from early colonial days, and was legal in all Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
By the time of the American Revolution (1775–83), the status of slave had been institutionalized as a racial caste associated with African ancestry.
When the United States Constitution was ratified (1789), a relatively small number of free people of color were among the voting citizens.
During and immediately following the Revolutionary War, abolitionist laws were passed in most Northern states and a movement developed to abolish slavery.
Most of these states had a higher proportion of free labor than in the South and economies based on different industries.
They abolished slavery by the end of the 18th century, some with gradual systems that kept adults as slaves for two decades.
But the rapid expansion of the cotton industry in the Deep South after the invention of the cotton gin, greatly increased demand for slave labor, and the Southern states continued as slave societies.
July 7, 2016 Keynote Speaker, 33rd Annual National Stuttering Association Conference with International Stuttering Association World Congress, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, 265 Peachtree St., NE, Atlanta, Georgia, May 21, 2016 Children's Festival of Reading, Sponsored by Knox County Public Library , World's Fair Park, Knoxville, Tennessee, July 19, 2015 60th Annual International Literacy Association Conference, New Authors Transforming Lives With Amazing Books: The 2015 IRA Children's and YA Book Awards, America's Center, St.
For slavery among Native Americans, see Slavery among Native Americans in the United States.
For slavery in the colonial period, see Slavery in the colonial United States.
For modern-day slavery, see Human trafficking in the United States.