While it helped the United States ecnonomically in general, it was especially a boon in the Southern states where cotton was a main output. Like most agriculture, cotton requires alot of labor in a crop year. Slaves did all the work our modern day equipment does. They prepped the soil, planted, cultivated, and harvested. Then they baled the cotton and prepared it for export. They did this all for a nominal amount of food, clothing and shelter - none of which they had a choice about. Imagine building auto mobiles without paying the auto workers. GM would certainly NOT be in bankruptcy. Then, in my opinion, the issue of slavery and the Civil War solidified the US as a people who were willing to go to great lengths to assure basic human rights. It began the developement of our country as a world leader. It took many years to culminate in the election of a partially African American president, but we did it. Slavery was an odious institution which concerned even the Founding fathers and caused much strife in the creation of our country. In order to help you answer your question, ask yourself what would have happened if "slaves" had been given the right to vote from the beginning??? Or what if the Founding Fathers had abolished slavery from the start???