Wealth and Culture in the South

Review Questions

The largest group of whites in the South _______.

  1. owned no slaves
  2. owned between one and nine slaves each
  3. owned between ten and ninety-nine slaves each
  4. owned over one hundred slaves each



John C. Calhoun argued for greater rights for southerners with which idea?

  1. polygenism
  2. nullification
  3. concurrent majority
  4. paternalism



How did defenders of slavery use the concept of paternalism to structure their ideas?


Defenders of slavery, such as George Fitzhugh, argued that only the clever and the bright could truly benefit within a laissez-faire economy. Premising their argument on the notion that slaves were, by nature, intellectually inferior and less able to compete, such defenders maintained that slaves were better off in the care of paternalistic masters. While northern workers found themselves trapped in wage slavery, they argued, southern slaves’ needs—for food, clothing, and shelter, among other things—were met by their masters’ paternal benevolence.