If... When would slavery have ended?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by imported_J.R. Graves, Sep 2, 2005.

  1. imported_J.R. Graves

    imported_J.R. Graves
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    If the South had of won the Civil War (That's another thread I know) when would slavery have ended there? Would it have existed a few more years after 1865 and then be done away with as it was in Brazil or would it have existed into the 1900's. What do you think?
     
  2. Johnv

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    I personally think slavery would have continued to the early part of the 20th century. It likely would have become a movement similar to the women's sufragette movement that ended up giving women the right to vote, and probably would have ended by the late 20's or early 30's. Worst case scenario, slavery would have been abolished by the end of WW2.

    Admittedly, thats based more on personal subjectivity and on anything concrete (in other words, it's just my two cents). Any discussion on this topic is highly speculative. Interesting, but speculative nonetheless.
     
  3. JGrubbs

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    Social critic H.L. Mencken held that had the South won the war, slavery would still have been substantially ended by the late 1880s. Also, he pointed out that a Southern victory would have negated the harsh Reconstruction measures that created the Ku Klux Klan. Mencken‘s theories appear reasonable because the practice of slavery in the South was being phased out in the decades before the war. The 1860 U.S. Census indicated that the slave states had 259,078 free Negroes while the "free states" had 222,745. Thousands of property owning free persons of color flourished throughout the South. Charleston, in 1861, had approximately 3,500 free persons of color – almost 8% of the city’s population.

    The Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in the four slave states; Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland and Delaware, that fought on the side of the Union. Nor did it free household slaves in other Northern states. It also allowed slavery in areas of the South that remained loyal to the Union, i.e., West Virginia and nine counties and cities in Virginia, New Orleans, and 13 parishes in Louisiana – areas that contained large thriving slave plantations.

    And, finally, it gave Southern states the right to maintain the institution of slavery in exchange for discontinuing their war efforts. In Lincoln’s own words, the Proclamation was simply a "necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion." So, Abraham Lincoln, the sainted lord of emancipation, was actually a Machiavellian prince of hypocrisy.

    Source: Gail Jarvis
     
  4. Phillip

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    It may be true that in reality slavery would have ended, but who in the 19th century would believe that we would be aborting thousands of babies every year in 2005?

    My point is, obviously some very big moral issues continue today, would it have been possible slavery would have just been one of those?
     
  5. Jim1999

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    In my mind, "slavery" did not end before 1960 and the King marches. The Blackman was still calling the Whiteman "master" then and being hanged just for being black. You may call it segregation, but all that went away was the auction block.

    And Phillip: Those fetuses were still being aborted, but in unsafe back alleys, and far more women paid the price of abortion with their lives.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  6. rsr

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    From JGrubbs:

    "Mencken‘s theories appear reasonable because the practice of slavery in the South was being phased out in the decades before the war."

    In what sense was it being "phased out?" Certainly slavery accounted for a lower proportion of the population in the upper South than previously, but the same cannot be said elsewhere.

    A few examples: In Georgia, from 1850 to 1860, the slave population rose 21 percent while total population rose only 16.7 percent.

    In Alabama, the slave population rose 26.9 percent while total population rose 24.5 percent. In Texas, the growth of population of slaves outpaced the general population by 214 percent to 184 percent.

    The price of slaves showed no decline, either.

    "Even controlling for inflation, the prices of U.S. slaves rose significantly in the six decades before South Carolina seceded from the Union. By 1860, Southerners owned close to $4 billion worth of slaves. Slavery remained a thriving business on the eve of the Civil War: Fogel and Engerman (1974) projected that by 1890 slave prices would have increased on average more than 50 percent over their 1860 levels."

    — Jenny Wahl, Carleton College, http://www.eh.net/encyclopedia/?article=wahl.slavery.us

    I would not rely too much upon Mencken as a critic and analyst of the caste system, since he firmly believed in it.

    "The chief evils in the Federal victory lay in the fact, from which we still suffer abominably, that it was a victory of what we now call Babbitts over what used to be called gentlemen. I am not arguing here, of course, that the whole Confederate army was composed of gentlemen; on the contrary, it was chiefly made up, like the Federal army, of innocent and unwashed peasants, and not a few of them got into its corps of officers. But the impulse behind it, as everyone knows, was essentially aristocratic, and that aristocratic impulse would have fashioned the Confederacy if the fortunes of war had run the other way. Whatever the defects of the new commonwealth below the Potomac, it would have at least been a commonwealth founded upon a concept of human inequality, and with a superior minority at the helm."
     
  7. billwald

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    Slavery would have ended in the following 10 years because it is inefficient. It is cheaper to hire free peons and let them starve in the off season as was done in the northern states.

    The Confederacy was stupid. The govt should have imported slaved and freed them. We would have ended up with a caste system and they would have had their cheap labor.
     
  8. rsr

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    To quote Wahl again:

    "Fogel's and Engerman's research led them to conclude that investments in slaves generated high rates of return, masters held slaves for profit motives rather than for prestige, and slavery thrived in cities and rural areas alike. They also found that antebellum Southern farms were 35 percent more efficient overall than Northern ones and that slave farms in the New South were 53 percent more efficient than free farms in either North or South. This would mean that a slave farm that is otherwise identical to a free farm (in terms of the amount of land, livestock, machinery and labor used) would produce output worth 53 percent more than the free. On the eve of the Civil War, slavery flourished in the South and generated a rate of economic growth comparable to that of many European countries, according to Fogel and Engerman."

    Emphasis added
     
  9. freedom's cause

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    unfortunately there are still slaves in Sudan and they are christian may God free them all
    while we pretend to have problems here just think of the terrible persecutions going on in
    Sudan I have heard very few ministers speak of it and alarmingly so no Black ministers what is
    going on with American Christians we are so materialistic that we have lost our souls and are
    not even seeing the demise of our christian brothers overseas May God open our eyes and may we help our brothers who desperately need our help we may not be able to do anything about our past but we can do something about Sudan
     
  10. rsr

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  11. billwald

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    How was efficiency measured? I suspect southern farms were more efficient because of weather and growing conditions. Compare California and Washington State. Cal can double crop and WA can't. California is harvesting before WA is planting.
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    And that kind of abolitionist illogic, Jim (in my mind) only inflames racism and pushes the evil "entitlement" mentality deeper into the Black psyche.

    There were no slaves in ANY sense of the word in 1960. None. Now they didn't have some rights, could be attacked by KKK types, etc, but "slaves"? Laughable.

    And if one plays the card that "low wages, prejudice, segregation, etc" is really "slavery", then we had WAY MORE SLAVES among the Irish and German in New York and Boston than in blacks in Charleston or New Orleans.
     
  13. Bunyon

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    Dr. Bob, well said.

    Jim1999- "In my mind, "slavery" did not end before 1960 and the King marches. The Blackman was still calling the Whiteman "master" then and being hanged just for being black. You may call it segregation, but all that went away was the auction block."

    Jim1999. I think you had good motives, but you are a foriegner who came and went and thought you knew everything about the South. That is very offensive. As far as I know, I have not a single ancestor that owned a slave in South Carolina. What you just said an incredable insult on many white southerners.

    In England, slavery was peacfully ended by the efforts of the Christian William Wilburforce. The same thing would have happened here. The aftermath of the war and reconstruction in this nation, undully complicated things for whites and blacks, but the "truth is the first casualty of war."
     
  14. Alcott

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    I don't think there is anything to indicate that slavery was a dying institution as late as the outbreak of the Civil War. I remember a thread on this subject about 2 years ago, and my position was that the CSA would have later faced its own secession among states that wanted to abolish slavery before the others. I doubt if it would have been another "civil war" because that would have made those states too vulnerable to foreign invaders, particularly from 'that country up north,' but also Europeans who wanted to regain control over American land and resources. Probably the CSA's 'friendliest' ally in the Americas would have been Brazil, which also continued slavery until the later 19th century.

    But western opinion, sooner or later, would have forced the final abolition in a similar way that world opinion forced South Africa to abolish apartheid. Brazil abolished slavery in 1888, but I think the CSA would have retained it later, perhaps while trying to change the 'face' of it, with laws nominally protecting slaves from severe beatings and mutilations.

    But this speculation comes secondary to the question of, if somehow Confederate forces had captured Gettysburg and the North knew it would take months to gather forces to retake Gettysburg in order to reinvade and win the war, would they have thought the cost insurmountable? This question coupled with how the South was to retake the Mississippi Valley. Both these accomplishments would have been necessary for the South to prevail to make the original question relevant in the first place. Defeating the blockades was another step needed to keep the effort alive. Had these things been accomplished in an additional 2 or 3 years, even if the South did prevail, it would have largely been reduced to black slaves and white women, which may have made it a very different kind of country with a already-different perspective about slavery and survival.

    But there is no real time machine, so we only know what did happen.
     
  15. billwald

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    We Americans think we are free because our owners permit us to dispose of 50% of our income as we choose.

    We Americans think we are free because we "elect" the people who raise our taxes and send us off to foreign wars.

    Doesn't matter who or which party is in power, nothing reverses the flow of assets from the working class to our owners who put it in Swiss banks.
     
  16. rsr

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    Bunyon said:

    "In England, slavery was peacfully ended by the efforts of the Christian William Wilburforce. The same thing would have happened here."

    Apples and oranges. British slavery was very profitable, but it was not solidly established within the U.K. proper. The entirety of British society was not built around a defense of slavery as was Southern soceity; its abolition, therefore, affected a small minority of plutocrats, mainly those who made their fortunes in the West Indies.

    Alcott said:

    "I remember a thread on this subject about 2 years ago, and my position was that the CSA would have later faced its own secession among states that wanted to abolish slavery before the others."

    Possibly; more likely over other factors. Once the principle of secession was accepted, there would be nothing to hold the Confederacy together other than fear of the North. You will remember that Toombs made a good deal of noise about having Georgia secede from the Confederacy.

    "But this speculation comes secondary to the question of, if somehow Confederate forces had captured Gettysburg and the North knew it would take months to gather forces to retake Gettysburg in order to reinvade and win the war, would they have thought the cost insurmountable?"

    The North would have no reason to retake Gettysburg. Lee couldn't have stayed there. The object (as Grant realized) was not to capture territory but to destroy Lee's army.

    Lee's invasion was primarily a political move: to strike fear into the North and (as you said) make the North wonder if all the blood was worth the cost. A Southern victory at Gettysburg might have badly affected Northern morale, although the simultaneous fall of Vicksburg would have soothed the wounds. Besides, the Army of the Potomac was accustomed to losing and coming back for more.

    Still, it might have been enough to deny Lincoln re-election, although Meade and Grant might have turned the tables on Lee in time.
     
  17. Bunyon

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    RSR-" Apples and oranges. British slavery was very profitable, but it was not solidly established within the U.K. proper. The entirety of British society was not built around a defense of slavery as was Southern soceity; its abolition, therefore, affected a small minority of plutocrats, mainly those who made their fortunes in the West Indies"

    So what you are telling me, rsr, is that God is strong enough to use a Christian like Wilburforce to end slavery when it is a weaker form(as you assert) but it would have been to diffecult for him to end the American form. Well if you are a Christian, I don't know where you are comming from? Do you see the folly of you logic. Was it Wilburforce or his God? Is anything impossable for God?
     
  18. JGrubbs

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    The secession wasn't over slavery, if it were, then why did the Northern states own slaves, many in the North owned and supported slavery longer than many in the South.
     
  19. rsr

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    Bunyon said:

    "Well if you are a Christian, I don't know where you are comming from?"

    That's OK. I don't understand where a lot of folks here are coming from.

    "Do you see the folly of you logic. Was it Wilburforce or his God? Is anything impossable for God?"

    I see no folly. Wilberforce had a receptive audience that grew through the years. That was also true in the North — it created increasing friction with the South, which more and more stamped out abolitionist sentiment until even entertaining such thoughts was considered treasonous in the South.

    God can do whatever is His sovereign will. It appears that God, in the case of the United States, chose a civil war to accomplish His purpose.
     
  20. JGrubbs

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    God is not a puppet master, He didn't choose a Civil War, he allowed a Civil War.
     

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