Antebellum South Class System Analysis

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Prior to the Civil War the antebellum South was structured by a class system. The particular class system used by the south was a structure of social rankings. Typically, this system was dependent on how much land, as well as slaves one owned. Then based off of those requirements there were then six specific classes that one would fall into. For starters, the most elite and smallest of the classes containing less than five percent of the population were the aristocratic planters. The men of this group had large cotton plantations and they owned at least 20 or more slaves making them very wealthy figures. Due to their wealthy stance and the fact that they grew up with slavery they were able to become very influential, trusted figures to the…show more content…
The middle class was an important group because they often held important jobs that society could not function without. For example, some of the middle class were doctors and lawyers. This group was similar to the aristocrats because they too had similar beliefs and ideas. They too also owned slaves, but only a few each and they were well off because they had decent income. Furthermore, both the aristocrats and middle class were able to afford luxuries and could educate their children. Women of these classes were also not required to work but often watched over the affairs of the families plantations since the men were busy in government or other…show more content…
The Yeoman farmers looked up to these wealthy, trusted men even though they did not necessarily nor fully agree with their influences on the government they just wished they could be this successful too. This was for the main reason that the main goal of most southern class groups was to become cotton kings. However, the people of this group owned land but only a small portion of land. Therefore, they were fairly self-sufficient and they did not need to require heavily on slave labor like the aristocrats or the middle class. However, just because they did not need slaves does not mean that they were not pro-slavery. Just about everyone in the typical Yeoman farmer family had a job or chores they were required to do to help out on the land and they often dreaded it. For example, men had to tend to the plantations while women tended the house. Children even had to help gather and collect items and food necessary to keep the family going. Yeoman farmers were also craftsman skilled in carpentry and blacksmithing therefore they were able to produce some income. Due to their abilities to make money and own land the men of this class were able to vote. This proved to be helpful since they did not fully back the aristocrats and their government
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