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Life in

Antebellum
South Carolina
Miss Burke
3rd grade

Essential Question
What was life like for
different classes of people
in antebellum South
Carolina?

Antebellum
Ante-: before
-bellum: war
Time period before the Civil War.

6 Classes of People
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)

The Elite Class


The Middle Class
The Lower Class
The Independent Farmers
Free African-Americans
Enslaved African-Americans

The Plantation Elite


Wealthy, upper class citizens

Plantation owners
Cash crops like cotton or tobacco

Usually owned 20 or more slaves


Tutoring or private schools

The Plantation Elite


Great political influence
Often held lavish balls
Moved from the coast to the
midlands and upstate.
Click the mansion for video slideshow
of some Antebellum mansions!

The Middle Class


Tradesmen
Merchants
Sold crops to larger plantations

Shopkeepers
Doctors
Lawyers
Leather Worker
Click for more photos!

The Middle Class


Earned a living during prosperous times.
Lived in cities and towns.
Many owned household slaves.
Worked with them.

Most children could read and write.


Same trades as their fathers.

The Lower Class


Unskilled
Uneducated
Often landless
Few job opportunities
Land squatting
Lived mostly in cities like Charleston.

Independent Farmers
Owned small family farms
Yeomen Farmers
Some owned a few slaves
Children often educated at home

Independent Farmers
Majority of farming in the Upstate
Cash crops
Prosperous
Bought more slaves
Joined the Elite Class

Note: Not all South Carolinians owned slaves!

Free African-Americans
Had a skill or trade.
Hired out by their masters.
Bought freedom with money earned.
Or freed by their master.

Lived in fear.

Free African-Americans
Freedom papers
Special tax
Some became farmers.
Grew just enough to live.

Stayed in same region (Charleston).


To earn freedom for families.
Margaret Palm, freed slave.

Free African-Americans

Slaves
Considered property
Worked long hours
Mostly on plantations
Unpaid
Illegal to read/write
Sometimes treated poorly
Click picture to read about Fannie Moore.

Slaves
Illegal to read or write
Often treated poorly
Lived and died on same plantation
One-room cabins

Sometimes sold, dividing families


Click picture to see slave life photo gallery.

Standard and Indicator


Standard 3-4: The student will demonstrate an understanding of life in the antebellum
period, the causes and effects of the Civil War, and the impact of Reconstruction in South
Carolina.
3-4.1 Compare the economic conditions for various classes of people in South Carolina,
including the elite, the middle class, the lower class, the independent farmers, and the
enslaved and free African Americans.

Resources:
www.schistorytrail.com
http://www.freewebs.com/sumterball/kunstler.jpg
en.wikipedia.org (picture source, not content)
http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Palm (picture source)
zmblackhistorymonth2012.blogspot.com
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_131dsm4xhS8/TQvmmPJTsbI/AAAAAAAADeM/TyaR4OerT8Y/s400/yeomanfarmer.jpg
http://www.conservapedia.com/Yeoman
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IKNEpJaqiJM/ThyDjTbgKXI/AAAAAAAAAcs/FcWJj3vIoqw/s640/North+Carolina+
Emigrants%252C+Poor+White+Folks+-+James+Henry+Beard+%255B2nd+copy+reduced%255D.jpg
http://questgarden.com/117/10/1/110119165805/process.htm
https://www.fsd1.org/schools/lester/kwilliams/Documents/Antebellum%20Period.pdf
www.gwu.edu
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/children.htm
http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/sites/default/files/styles/article-top/public/m-4123.jpg?itok=PddSKLHJ
http://www.history.com/photos/slavery-slave-life/photo4