Restricted Debate Land for plantations versus land for small farms.

Mosby

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#1
My view is that the American Revolution and Indian wars were driven to a large extent by the desire of many ordinary people for cheap or free land to farm and the desire of some wealthy people for land for plantations. The conflict between those two groups was a major cause of the Civil War.
 

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Cavalry Charger

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#2
The conflict between those two groups was a major cause of the Civil War.
Just want to ascertain for the sake of this 'debate' which two groups you are specifically referring to here.

I'm assuming you mean small land owners/farmers (ordinary people seeking cheap/free land to farm) and wealthy planters/slave owners?

And these two groups being in conflict being a major cause of the Civil War.

It's a good question and area for debate. I've no doubt these two groups did come into conflict in terms of power and privilege.

And I know for a fact there's a whole political arena attached to this as well. I'm afraid it's far too extensive for me to make any further useful contribution, but I'm sure there are others here who have studied this aspect of possible causation in relation to the CW.
 
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#3
My view is that the American Revolution and Indian wars were driven to a large extent by the desire of many ordinary people for cheap or free land to farm and the desire of some wealthy people for land for plantations. The conflict between those two groups was a major cause of the Civil War.
Perhaps in Kansas but by 1861 almost all of the best farm land in what was to become the Confederacy was already in the hands of the slave owners.
The real land conflict in the Confederacy is many small subsistence farmers did not want to fight for " the Low Lander's" who owned the large plantations.
Leftyhunter
 
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#4
I don't see the American Revolution as being a land dispute. Closing off western lands was viewed as a concern, but the more immediate issue was the British actively closing off Boston and imposing rule over Massachusetts.

I don't view the Civil War as being a land dispute, except to the extent the Republican plan to close off the West to slavery was viewed as an attempt to undermine and destroy slavery and a reason to secede and start a war.
 

archieclement

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#5
Perhaps in Kansas but by 1861 almost all of the best farm land in what was to become the Confederacy was already in the hands of the slave owners.
The real land conflict in the Confederacy is many small subsistence farmers did not want to fight for " the Low Lander's" who owned the large plantations.
Leftyhunter
I disagree a bit, the reason the south desired and needed more land was its middle class. A good example of this would be Sterling Price.

He came from Virginia a fairly well to do, but not wealthy family. In the east any land worth anything had already been improved, as there was no more the good improved land, it brought higher and higher prices, and the wealthiest plantations would win the bidding. which in effect left the lower/middle class where they were.

Now the poor would for the most part stay poor even going west...….but it was the middle class who going west could sell its existing land back east high, then buy large tracts out west, improve the land, and in effect become the new elite out west in size and wealth. So really the south was no different then any other part of the country in needing land for expansion for economic opportunity, The ones who made the most off expansion, north or south, logically were those who had money to invest in cheaper land, whether for their own use farming/plantations or merely speculation and resale. Its the old but often true saying "It takes money to make money"
 
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#6
I disagree a bit, the reason the south desired and needed more land was its middle class. A good example of this would be Sterling Price.

He came from Virginia a fairly well to do, but not wealthy family. In the east any land worth anything had already been improved, as there was no more the good improved land, it brought higher and higher prices, and the wealthiest plantations would win the bidding. which in effect left the lower/middle class where they were.

Now the poor would for the most part stay poor even going west...….but it was the middle class who going west could sell its existing land back east high, then buy large tracts out west, improve the land, and in effect become the new elite out west in size and wealth. So really the south was no different then any other part of the country in needing land for expansion for economic opportunity, The ones who made the most off expansion, north or south, logically were those who had money to invest in cheaper land, whether for their own use farming/plantations or merely speculation and resale. Its the old but often true saying "It takes money to make money"
Perhaps so. My point was that in the South there was no land dispute in terms of the fact that all the best land was already in the hands of the slave owners had been so for a few generations.
There was certainly a class dispute between the poorer subsistence farmers in the mountains who had thin relatively poor soil that could not grow cash crops vs the low landers who had much better land to support monoculture cash crops.
Kansas is a good example of a land dispute between potential slave owners and free Soilers.
Leftyhunter
 

uaskme

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#7
I don't see the American Revolution as being a land dispute. Closing off western lands was viewed as a concern, but the more immediate issue was the British actively closing off Boston and imposing rule over Massachusetts.

I don't view the Civil War as being a land dispute, except to the extent the Republican plan to close off the West to slavery was viewed as an attempt to undermine and destroy slavery and a reason to secede and start a war.
After the French and Indian War. British closed off settlement at the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. They continued their Fur Trade with the Indians thru Canada. So Americans were restricted from the western expansion and the importance Fur Trade from the West. It was an Issue.
 

archieclement

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#8
Perhaps so. My point was that in the South there was no land dispute in terms of the fact that all the best land was already in the hands of the slave owners had been so for a few generations.
There was certainly a class dispute between the poorer subsistence farmers in the mountains who had thin relatively poor soil that could not grow cash crops vs the low landers who had much better land to support monoculture cash crops.
Kansas is a good example of a land dispute between potential slave owners and free Soilers.
Leftyhunter
Not sure how Kansas would be a good example of a land dispute between potential slave owners and free Soilers from an economic standpoint. As slavery was never proven viable or established in Kansas, not aware of any plantation like farms that were established there. If talking economic expansion Missouri would be better example as cotton and tobacco were least viable in parts, and the Missouri river valley adopted to hemp.
In economic expansion , the viability and success of the economics behind it play a huge factor, and there really wasnt any for Kansas. The dispute in Kansas was more political then economic. If it had been more viable imagine the outcome would have different, as big business and $ usually will always win out, there never was big $ in Kansas from slavery or plantations however, so it didnt
 
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CSA Today

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#9
After the French and Indian War. British closed off settlement at the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. They continued their Fur Trade with the Indians thru Canada. So Americans were restricted from the western expansion and the importance Fur Trade from the West. It was an Issue.
It was a big issue and not just the fur trade, a number of the leading colonials, including George Washington, had invested heavily in companies that wanted to settle the Ohio Valley.
 
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#11
Not sure how Kansas would be a good example of a land dispute between potential slave owners and free Soilers from an economic standpoint. As slavery was never proven viable or established in Kansas, not aware of any plantation like farms that were established there. If talking economic expansion Missouri would be better example as cotton and tobacco were least viable in parts, and the Missouri river valley adopted to hemp.
In economic expansion , the viability and success of the economics behind it play a huge factor, and there really wasnt any for Kansas. The dispute in Kansas was more political then economic. If it had been more viable imagine the outcome would have different, as big business and $ usually will always win out, there never was big $ in Kansas from slavery or plantations however, so it didnt
The Border Ruffians evidently saw great promise for a slave based economy in Kansas as they certainly fought for it. In no other state or Territory was there an antebellum slave vs non slave armed conflict.
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#12
After the French and Indian War. British closed off settlement at the crest of the Appalachian Mountains. They continued their Fur Trade with the Indians thru Canada. So Americans were restricted from the western expansion and the importance Fur Trade from the West. It was an Issue.
An issue. Maybe an issue strong enough to get some people onboard. I still maintain it is a stretch to call a war that began when the British literally tried to abolish democracy in Massachusetts over a tax dispute a war fought over land.
 

uaskme

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#13
Westward expansion was limited, in part, because colonists continued to encroach on Native land, which continued to cause conflict.
The Brits used the Cherokee as a buffer to keep the Americans East of the Appalachian. They had a Fort at Loudon, TN. English marched from Charleston to Loudon. Traded with the Cherokee, Furs for trade goods. Trade they didn’t want the Americans to have.
 
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#14
The Brits used the Cherokee as a buffer to keep the Americans East of the Appalachian. They had a Fort at Loudon, TN. English marched from Charleston to Loudon. Traded with the Cherokee, Furs for trade goods. Trade they didn’t want the Americans to have.
I think it was more that they were concerned that the Colonists would try to settle and otherwise encroach on Native lands, and the British didn't want another war.
 

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#16
The Border Ruffians evidently saw great promise for a slave based economy in Kansas as they certainly fought for it. In no other state or Territory was there an antebellum slave vs non slave armed conflict.
Leftyhunter
Your statement makes no sense.....Border ruffians were Missourians who resided in Missouri, they saw no opportunity in Kansas economically or they would have immigrated, bought land and lived there. From what I have seen most of the pro-slavery settlers who did immigrate to Kansas viewed it merely as a political issue, not an economic one, as most owned no slaves at all, it was just their political view.

The main reason for border ruffians wasnt opposition to free soilers, but to abolitionists who were agitating there, they aren't the same thing. If someone is publicly advocating stealing your property and doing so, you'd probally take measures to try to protect your property. Which to many western Missourians evidently meant opposing abolitionists politically, even if it meant voting in another states election....
 
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Patrick H

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#17
Not sure how Kansas would be a good example of a land dispute between potential slave owners and free Soilers from an economic standpoint. As slavery was never proven viable or established in Kansas, not aware of any plantation like farms that were established there. If talking economic expansion Missouri would be better example as cotton and tobacco were least viable in parts, and the Missouri river valley adopted to hemp.
In economic expansion , the viability and success of the economics behind it play a huge factor, and there really wasnt any for Kansas. The dispute in Kansas was more political then economic. If it had been more viable imagine the outcome would have different, as big business and $ usually will always win out, there never was big $ in Kansas from slavery or plantations however, so it didnt
This is a complicated example, but an interesting one. There were certainly land disputes in Kansas, and there's no doubt that Missourians saw Kansas as their natural pathway to westward expansion. As far as Kansas factors into the Civil War (and events leading up to it), I think most of the disputes were political in nature. In other words, pro-slavery versus free state. I'm not sure the desire for larger land holdings played much of a role. I think it was case of which political point of view would have the most resident voters when Kansas applied for statehood.
 

John S. Carter

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#18
My view is that the American Revolution and Indian wars were driven to a large extent by the desire of many ordinary people for cheap or free land to farm and the desire of some wealthy people for land for plantations. The conflict between those two groups was a major cause of the Civil War.
The better issue is the different sections in some states which were of mostly small farm verses the prosperous sections of that state.The small farmer did not have slaves ,and maintain a self operated farm.They wanted to remain in the Union or just did not have any investment in the war as with the other sections.Sections of Georgia,Alabama,Mississippi.and Virginia,aka West Virginia vs the Tidewater.The small farms which where near the Plantations shared a political,social agenda along with the merchant class of the area.This can be found in certain sections of some Union stats,Illinois where the southern part was more Southern than Union.
 



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