For this blog post, I decided to analyze how population contrasted between slaves and white men and women in 1820. To do this, I used data from 1820 that showed the amount of people living in certain counties in 1820. This data was mainly divided into slave men, slave women, white women, and white men. For my graph, I used a column chart to show how many of each population group (slave men and women and white men and women) were in 27 territories and states.
What I found most interesting in this data was the fact that South Carolina had way more slaves than white people in the whole state. For instance, as seen on the graph there were 28,571 slave women and 28,560 slave men forced to work in South Carolina in 1820. However, at this time, there were only 11,109 white women and 11,301 white men living in South Carolina. That information is shocking to me because if every single man, woman, and child in South Carolina owned a slave, there would still be over 26,000 slaves forced to work in fields every day. This amount includes children born into slavery and children beaten to perform fieldwork. This pattern is also seen in Mississippi and a bit in Georgia and Alabama where the amount of slave men and amount of slave women individually outnumber white women and nearly white men.
Though this particular trend does not continue in most states, with this data, you can clearly see which states relied most on slavery. For example, most southern states have a total slave population that equates to about a half of the white population (thousands of slaves) while most northern states have a very low amount (hundreds of slaves) or none at all.
Overall, I learned that many southern states had a slave population that was very close to the population of whites and that sometimes the number of slaves outnumbered the amount of white children, women, or men. Additionally, I believe that other charts could be used to interpret this data, but this column chart worked best because it divided each population group by color (blue, purple, green, and yellow) and clearly showed how many thousands of each population group resided in a particular state.
One thought on “Blog Post 9 :)”
This is a fantastic visualization that represents the data you chose very well, and I really enjoyed reading about your analysis of the graph. It is so interesting to see the trend of higher enslaved populations compared to white populations throughout key southern states. I agree with your interpretations that this reveals the places that relied the most on slavery for their economies. Another aspect of this that sparks my interest is how this data visualization could be corroborated with other historical sources that reflect how white enslavers 1. feared mass insurrection because they were outnumbered, and 2. formulated more laws and restrictions to keep enslaved people subjugated. I hypothesize that there might be a correlation between high enslaved population numbers and the increase in pro-slavery restrictions/laws– something to look into!
This is excellent work, thank you for this visual and your interpretations!