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Because cotton had become such a profitable institution, it made southerners very rich and slaves much more valuable.
the discovery of a means of making the cultivation of short-staple cotton profitable throughout the lower South and territories and the restriction on the supply of slaves needed to produce it--created the unique antebellum slave system of the South.
Several factors helped explain why slavery was not under serious threat of internal collapse from any moves for democratic change initiated from the South. First, given the opening of new territories in the West for white settlement, many non-slaveowners also perceived a possibility that they, too, might own slaves at some point in their life.
Second, small free farmers in the South often embraced hysterical racism, making them unlikely agents for internal democratic reforms in the South. The principle of white supremacy, accepted by almost all white southerners of all classes, made slavery seem legitimate, natural, and essential for a civilized society.
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