Antebellum Charleston

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Throughout the history of the American South, Charleston has played a crucial role in the economics and politics of this proud region. It was the largest port city in the Southern United States and was a place of businesses that nearly every exporting company relied on to ship goods to the Old World. The largest export “King Cotton” was shipped to Europe and Asia en masse and played a role in the life of nearly every businessman in the city. Followed closely behind cotton was the equally profitable, but more labor intensive cash crop of rice.

This economic prowess led to Charleston becoming a haven for the men that used politics to prolong the region’s “peculiar institution”; slave driven plantations. Great southern politicians such as John C. Calhoun that verbally sparred with Northern representatives like Andrew Jackson did so on the behalf of the proud city of Charleston and the Southern values she represented.

 

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