Restricted Debate Juneteenth and Slavery as the Primary Cause of the American Civil War

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JohnJW

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The difference between those previous times and 1860 was that the Republican Party was an anti-slavery party, and one of that party was now the President.
And not only that, but the Democrat Party had split into three factions - generally a pro-slavery, an anti-slavery and a "peace" faction.

The national political process had broken down completely as far as the South was concerned.
 

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JohnJW

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. The same facts outlined at length in my last reply. And common sense based on directly opposed facts in plain evidence back then. . . . Why did slavers ignore hard-core facts in plain view right before them as direct contradiction of fiction that Blacks were "natural inferiors" fit for no task but serving white men? . . . . The list of self-contradictions never ends but plainly evident back then, so there is no excuse for those who chose to ignore it in the 18th Century or any historical moment.
You keep repeating the same argument which is totally based on a 21st Century spin.

You argue that the desire of a South Carolina rice grower for slaves familiar with rice growing should have been enough evidence for them to consider the slave their equal. Or that the fact that a white woman allowed her children to be breast fed should have constituted sufficient evidence for her to consider the slave an equal. Or that the act of a slave owner creating children with a slave should be sufficient evidence for them to . . . . etc.

As you say

. Direct contradiction could go on ad infinitum, ad nauseum but any example given is ample to prove correct historical context of an 18th Century slaveholder’s view.
But you are not proving the correct historical context.

A true historical context of a slave owner would include the fact that he was born into and grew up in a slave-holding society and was taught his beliefs from birth. His education promoted slavery. He read a Bible with promoted slavery. He encountered Africans with such bizarre physical features that they bore no resemblance to what he considered "people." The African did not speak any language he understood, did not behave as whites behaved, etc.

The fact that one could train an African to grow rice . . . or breast feed a child . . . or procreate . . . did not make the African a "person" anymore than a trained horse or cow could become a "person."

That is the true and complete historical context of a slave holder. Is it fair in a 21st Century perspective? Of course not. And it wasn't considered fair by many whites prior to 1860 either.

But to go back and say "they were hypocrytes and should have known better" is simply not a productive argument.

Whites were never slaves at any time in US history.


That's simply not true.

The indentured servant was as close to slavery as a slave could get. Many were treated even more brutally than Africans. Terms of indenture were often reinstated. The servants often died before the indenture finished.

The Irish and Scots literally were enslaved and brought to America by royal proclamation.

But the bigger point is that when you ask why slave owners couldn't recognize the various contradictions in slavery . . . . I say . . . . why couldn't slave owners at any time in history recognize the contradictions in slavery? What you imply yo be "hypocritical" is simply a factor of slavery.

In fact . . . . African slaves were captured by other Africans. Why didn't these captors recognize that their captives were their equal?

And don’t forget that slavery has never been universally accepted at any time or place in human history. In fact, history tells us that practice inevitably fails one way or another.
Again, simply not true. One look at the Bible proves it. In fact, the opposite is true. Most empires were based on slavery. Even Marx made that point.

You appear to me to be trying to make the case that

1) Slavery was unfair

2) Slave masters failed to recognize inherent contradictions

3) Africans were the equal of . . . or superior to . . . . European whites

And I would just say, with all due respect to you, that the question of slavery in America was resolved.

cemeter-antietam-P.jpeg
 

JohnJW

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Why does unity imply compromise if all are on one accord? Compromise is give & take by all sides; UNIted implies cohesive togetherness. So, giving or taking mean no unity exists between units that comprise some whole.
What???

I don't know how to even answer this. "Why does unity imply compromise?" Because people have different ideas and if unity is seen as a valuable thing for the common good, then they have to resolve those different ideas. This applies in a marriage, family, tribe or nation.

The original thirteen colonies were divided on the issue of slavery, public debt, taxation, westward expansion, indians, foreign treaties, coinage, central banking . . . they were even divided on where the state boundaries were.

The genius of America was in being able to compromise to achieve unity.
 

WJC

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The indentured servant was as close to slavery as a slave could get. Many were treated even more brutally than Africans. Terms of indenture were often reinstated. The servants often died before the indenture finished.

The Irish and Scots literally were enslaved and brought to America by royal proclamation.
Theses assertions only serve to lessen the evil of chattel slavery. Indentured servants were not slaves: they voluntarily agreed by contract to a term of service to learn a trade or pay for transportation to the New World- sometimes both.
Similarly, it is a mistake to confuse punishment by the Crown for enslavement. Irish and Scots were dispossessed and shipped to America in punishment for rebellion against the Crown or other crimes. Once here, they met some bias- particularly those who were Catholic- but in general soon became a part of the general population.
Were there White slaves? Most certainly. In the seventeenth century, being sold into slavery was among the penalties for those prosecuted by the Crown. As I have mentioned elsewhere, one of my ancestors, Provided Southwick and her brother, Daniel, both Quaker children, were tried for refusing to attend Puritan services in Salem, Massachusetts after their parents were arrested for the same 'crime'. They were tried and ordered sold into slavery to Virginia or Barbados, but the sea captains refused to transport the children, so the sentence could not be carried out. Provided's story (although under her mother's name) is the subject of John Greenleaf Whittier's, "Cassandra Southwick".
 

JohnJW

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Theses assertions only serve to lessen the evil of chattel slavery.
I don't agree, with all due respect, since I'm not here to defend the practice of either indentured servitude or chattel slavery.

Plenty of indentured servants never left servitude because of death. And a case could be made that those who entered into indenture had little economic choice on the matter. And regardless of whether one went willingly or unwillingly . . . . a few months later there was little difference between the conditions of the indentured servant versus the black slave.

As far as the Irish and Scot . . . I'm sorry but I don't see how punishment for life as a slave is any different than being taken as a slave in war in Africa or because you belonged to a different tribe.

How one loses his freedom is not the issue. The treatment one receives seems to me to be the important point.

Were there White slaves? Most certainly.
Which is all I'm saying. The OP is trying to argue that at the time, there were plenty of contradictions that should have told the white slave owners that black slavery was wrong.

To which I respond that slavery has been practiced all around the earth since recorded times and one could easily ask the same question of any slave master regardless of his color. To hold up the colonial and early American slave master as being particularly evil, illogical, inconsistent or whatever . . . . seems more about making a modern political point than it does about trying to understand history.
 

W. Richardson

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Not quite. "Slavery ends 70 years later or 66 years sooner right after Civil War" is more apt for white southern rebel positions.

(See my post here if you wonder why slavery's demise was predestined by zero eco viability).

If the seceded southern states had agree to rejoin the Union due to Corwin's amendment being ratified and accepted, with Lincoln's support, slavery would have been Constitutionally perpetual. In "hopes" that slavery would end on it's own. The Confederacy chose to remain a separate nation, fought a 4 year war and lost. Slavery ended.

Respectfully,
William

One Nation,
Two countries
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WJC

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I'm not here to defend the practice of either indentured servitude or chattel slavery.
Thanks for your response.
No one has claimed that you or anyone else here is trying to defend slavery.
 

WJC

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Plenty of indentured servants never left servitude because of death. And a case could be made that those who entered into indenture had little economic choice on the matter. And regardless of whether one went willingly or unwillingly . . . . a few months later there was little difference between the conditions of the indentured servant versus the black slave.
Thanks for your response.
Certainly, many indentured servants, like other immigrants at the time, died early. That in no way changes the fact that with an indenture, the end date was agreed upon by both parties. More importantly, unlike slavery, there was an end date. Beyond that, unlike slaves, indentured servants could freely travel in the community, could marry and had the right to participate in church and government as they chose. In some colonies, such as Maryland, when the indenture expired, the person would himself contract with others in the 'old country' bringing them over and earning a 'head right' for each new indentured colonist. Unlike the 'dead end' of slavery, indentured servitude provided a path for upward economic and social mobility.
Conditions among all of the new immigrants lacked comfort and convenience. Yet something has to be said about the merits of going to bed unchained versus spending one's life in chains.
 

WJC

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As far as the Irish and Scot . . . I'm sorry but I don't see how punishment for life as a slave is any different than being taken as a slave in war in Africa or because you belonged to a different tribe.
Thanks for your response.
There is a distinct difference between being 'transported' to a colony where upon arrival one is a free man, able to participate fully in the community, marry and raise a family and being shipped in in chains, to be stripped of clothes and dignity, inspected and sold to the highest bidder, never allowed to leave the plantation, frequently whipped or otherwise punished at the whim of the 'Master- treated like an animal'.
 

WJC

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slavery has been practiced all around the earth since recorded times and one could easily ask the same question of any slave master regardless of his color. To hold up the colonial and early American slave master as being particularly evil, illogical, inconsistent or whatever . . . . seems more about making a modern political point than it does about trying to understand history.
Thanks for your response.
I have made the point often here that slavery is an ancient practice. So, for that matter, is cannibalism. Both are evil, both have been condemned by society with the passage of time.
I can certainly understand why a young man growing up in South Carolina, say, in the antebellum would consider slavery 'natural'. But the fact is, others at the same time, in all regions understood that slavery was wrong and were taking action to end the practice. Instead of excusing slaveholders for ignoring or at least not recognizing the evil of slavery, we might do well to try to understand why they didn't reach the same conclusion others among their contemporaries reached: that slavery was evil.
Why did so many of the new States begin to free slaves beginning with the end of the Revolution? Why did others 'double down' on the practice? Questions worthy of thoughtful answers.
 

JohnJW

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I can certainly understand why a young man growing up in South Carolina, say, in the antebellum would consider slavery 'natural'. But the fact is, others at the same time, in all regions understood that slavery was wrong and were taking action to end the practice.
Instead of excusing slaveholders for ignoring or at least not recognizing the evil of slavery, we might do well to try to understand why they didn't reach the same conclusion others among their contemporaries reached: that slavery was evil.
Why did so many of the new States begin to free slaves beginning with the end of the Revolution? Why did others 'double down' on the practice? Questions worthy of thoughtful answers.
I think it's impossible to understand without being there, in their time, in their shoes.

Many simply did not agree with you. They did not think slavery was "evil" and could quote the Old and New Testament to explain why. Jesus, for example, never spoke about slavery or tried to end it.

By 1860, slavery had been a fact in the Americas for over 360 years. Grandad had slaves and pappy had slaves. My neighbors have slaves. That's a pretty massive fact to overcome.

To unsophisticated eyes in the 1800s, many Africans simple looked alien . . . . not quite animals . . . . not quite humans.

They believed slavery improved the life of blacks.

I could go listing my speculations but they are just that. You might as well ask why anyone ever took slaves. That answer would represent why the South kept slaves.

As to Northern states being somehow morally superior because they freed slaves . . . I think we have to be careful with that conclusion.
Agricultural slavery only made sense where human labor was necessary . . . . places where one could grow sugar cane, cotton, rice, etc.
Elsewhere, slave labor competed with white labor and served to depress the economy. If a railroad company planned to build tracks, for example, a slave master could hire out his slaves for a much lower price than a white man would ask for.

Slavery made it impossible to compete agriculturally. The simple scale of product meant that a plantation owner could sell his product much cheaper than the small white farmer.

Slavery destroyed competition in the trades. For example, a plantation would train certain blacks to run machinery, be a blacksmith, a shoe maker, a tailor, etc. These blacks were often allowed to perform their services for townsfolk when not busy with plantation work. They would charge little and undercut white tradesmen.

So slavery was a great ECONOMIC evil and probably (in my opinion) why northern states and many new states outlawed it.

It wasn't for love of the blacks themselves because we know from history that most Northern people couldn't have cared less about the black. Even Lincoln . . . . while personally desiring all men to be free . . . would have continued slavery:

The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.
I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men every where could be free. Yours, A. Lincoln.​
 

JohnJW

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Thanks for your response.
No one has claimed that you or anyone else here is trying to defend slavery.
I understand that you're not. But to properly respond to your post stating that indentured servitude could not be compared to slavery, I have to make comparisons which some may consider as me defending the practice.

I just wanted to make clear that I'm not defending chattel slavery. LOL
 

WJC

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They did not think slavery was "evil" and could quote the Old and New Testament to explain why.
Thanks for your response.
Of course! It would be foolish to claim that most slaveholders did not believe in the practice. These were intelligent, rational people. Even among those who thought the practice wrong, there was a belief that it was a problem to be solved by God in His own time.
That was enough reason to justify continuing the practice, but it did not make slavery any less evil.
 

WJC

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As to Northern states being somehow morally superior because they freed slaves
Thanks for your response.
They weren't "morally superior". Nobody said they were. However, they did come to realize that slavery was incompatible with their beliefs and had to end. That is a fact that cannot be dismissed.
 

WJC

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They believed slavery improved the life of blacks.
Thanks for your response.
Interestingly, this was not a widespread rationale supporting slavery until John C. Calhoun introduced the idea that Slavery was a positive good in 1837.
 

JohnJW

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They weren't "morally superior". Nobody said they were. However, they did come to realize that slavery was incompatible with their beliefs and had to end. That is a fact that cannot be dismissed.
Sure they did. A couple of quotes from John Brown, for example . . .

Abolitionists were convinced of their own moral superiority, which de facto, inferred that slave owners were not moral people.

We see the same language in America today when one side disagrees with another. We've seen it throughout history.

Political disagreements ALWAYS become moral disagreements just before the shooting begins.

*Edited*

In fact, I wrote an article years ago about the indicators of civil war. One of the major ones was the formation of armed militias. Somewhere on the list was the conversion of political discourse into mutual claims of morality . . . . "We're good but you're evil."
 
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JohnJW

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but it did not make slavery any less evil.
And there, in a nutshell is why the ability to compromise ended and we went to war in 1861.

One side became convinced of its own moral superiority and saw the other side as "evil" . . . not just different . . . . but "evil."

Psalm 119

Joyful are people of integrity,
who follow the instructions of the Lord.
2 Joyful are those who obey his laws
and search for him with all their hearts.
3 They do not compromise with evil,
and they walk only in his paths.
 

WJC

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Sure they did. A couple of quotes from John Brown, for example . . .
Thanks for your response.
I misunderstood: I thought you meant attitudes of some of our members.
 
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