NY Times Reviews "No Property in Man: Slavery and Anti-Slavery at the Nation's Founding" Wilentz

Pat Young

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From the review:

Wading into one of these debates, Sean Wilentz, the esteemed Princeton historian and author of a new book, “No Property in Man: Slavery and Antislavery at the Nation’s Founding,” provoked a storm of controversy three years ago when he wrote in this newspaper that it was a “myth” that the United States “was founded on racial slavery.” He was responding to a statement made by Bernie Sanders, who said the country was “created, and I’m sorry to have to say this, from way back, on racist principles.” Wilentz described such thinking as one of “the most destructive falsehoods in all of American history.” Wilentz’s words, at the time, struck a discordant note to the ears of many.
 

jgoodguy

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From the article.
"Wilentz writes, “they also deliberately excluded any validation of property in man.”' Had the founding fathers categorized slaves as property, the South would have lost considerable representation in the House of Representatives because property does not count, but people do. I simply do not see the South agreeing to the Constitution without slaves being counted as people. I do not see an antislavery motive in that.
 

Drew

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The Founders didn’t see the cotton gin coming or what that would mean to commerce.

Interesting post, though.
 

KLSDAD

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Look for programming related to it on CSPAN2 this weekend. Sorry I don't have further details... will come back with.
 

KLSDAD

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Look for programming related to it on CSPAN2 this weekend. Sorry I don't have further details... will come back with.
I have my dvr set to record it at 5am eastern on Sunday. Not sure if that is the only time it is being shown/
 

John S. Carter

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From the article.
"Wilentz writes, “they also deliberately excluded any validation of property in man.”' Had the founding fathers categorized slaves as property, the South would have lost considerable representation in the House of Representatives because property does not count, but people do. I simply do not see the South agreeing to the Constitution without slaves being counted as people. I do not see an antislavery motive in that.
Please to replay to the preface of the book.The total battle was to create a nation not to remove slavery .Slavery existed in the both sections of the country,granted more in the South because of the labor which was required to perform the manual agricultural labor ,in the north it was more of servitude labor,man servant or house.At the time of the Constitution there was even Southern owners who for saw the end of the system.Then with the unexpected growth of cotton with the assistance of Mr.Whitney's gin more slaves were required and with misuse of the land expansion followed.The debt that rose from operation of large plantations added to the demand for land and labor.May I suggest that the book which is very informative on this is "Major Butler's Legacy ;Five Generations of Slaveholding Family=Malefolm Bell.In the North they had a industrial /mercantile base of labor with smile farms to support their population thanks to the Northwest Ordinance which divided the country into blocks .The issue is that again do you surrender the primary goal of nation creation or to you compromise achieve the purpose for which one started out for,not knowing what factors in the future will alter the balance which you set out to establish.Other books would be on Richard Henry Lee,interesting man .If you like Joseph J. Ellis may I suggest '"American Creation,triumphs and tragedies of the Founding of the Republic".I know that these are not of the time we are concern with but to find reason the historian goes to the previous time when this issue began ,then work foreword with Wilentz. One can even return to the very foundings of the colonies. Apologize for going off on but as the ancient saying ;to explain the present and to learn for the future.





















































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Please to replay to the preface of the book.The total battle was to create a nation not to remove slavery .Slavery existed in the both sections of the country,granted more in the South because of the labor which was required to perform the manual agricultural labor ,in the north it was more of servitude labor,man servant or house.At the time of the Constitution there was even Southern owners who for saw the end of the system.Then with the unexpected growth of cotton with the assistance of Mr.Whitney's gin more slaves were required and with misuse of the land expansion followed.The debt that rose from operation of large plantations added to the demand for land and labor.May I suggest that the book which is very informative on this is "Major Butler's Legacy ;Five Generations of Slaveholding Family=Malefolm Bell.In the North they had a industrial /mercantile base of labor with smile farms to support their population thanks to the Northwest Ordinance which divided the country into blocks .The issue is that again do you surrender the primary goal of nation creation or to you compromise achieve the purpose for which one started out for,not knowing what factors in the future will alter the balance which you set out to establish.Other books would be on Richard Henry Lee,interesting man .If you like Joseph J. Ellis may I suggest '"American Creation,triumphs and tragedies of the Founding of the Republic".I know that these are not of the time we are concern with but to find reason the historian goes to the previous time when this issue began ,then work foreword with Wilentz. One can even return to the very foundings of the colonies. Apologize for going off on but as the ancient saying ;to explain the present and to learn for the future.


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One thing to note is that slavey was in fact larger during the foundation of the US in the North and the cotton gin in 1793 helped expand it in the South, we should be fully aware that as a relative percentage of the population it wasn't changed much. Basically people (including many Southerners like Madison) thought the Southern White population would grow and outstrip the slave population giving a greater White representation (as well as a greater representation in Congress and the electoral college). Here's a chart of the States that would remain with the US and those that would join the CSA.

Screen Shot 2018-10-23 at 3.04.35 AM.jpg


So we should not get too carried away with the story of the cotton gin and slavery changing in the South. Yes the total numbers of slaves grew greatly, but the portion of slaves as a percentage of population, the general hold slavery had on the population in 1790 vs 1860 in the states that would join the CSA just went from 36.47% to 38.12%. It did indeed lower much more as a percentage in the US States.

None of this is to refute the many other points you are making of course, just a reminder that the concept of slaves as a percentage of society really didn't change much in the South from 1790 to 1860. Even if many thought it would in fact decline.
 

John S. Carter

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One thing to note is that slavey was in fact larger during the foundation of the US in the North and the cotton gin in 1793 helped expand it in the South, we should be fully aware that as a relative percentage of the population it wasn't changed much. Basically people (including many Southerners like Madison) thought the Southern White population would grow and outstrip the slave population giving a greater White representation (as well as a greater representation in Congress and the electoral college). Here's a chart of the States that would remain with the US and those that would join the CSA.

View attachment 208082

So we should not get too carried away with the story of the cotton gin and slavery changing in the South. Yes the total numbers of slaves grew greatly, but the portion of slaves as a percentage of population, the general hold slavery had on the population in 1790 vs 1860 in the states that would join the CSA just went from 36.47% to 38.12%. It did indeed lower much more as a percentage in the US States.

None of this is to refute the many other points you are making of course, just a reminder that the concept of slaves as a percentage of society really didn't change much in the South from 1790 to 1860. Even if many thought it would in fact decline.
If you read the bio. on the Butler family you will find that the as each generation inherited and expanded the plantations .The debt became a major factor in having to hold on to a system in order not to enter into the bankrupt courts.They also sent large sums on their personal life style,as aristocrats of the South.Most of these finances were backed by heavy loans from Northern and European banks[,could be a good conspiracy as to why these people would want to depart the Union,same as with the certain colonist who where in heavy debt to English merchants ]{BOOK= MAJOR BUTLER'S LEGACY; Five Generations of A Slaveholding Family' author Malcolm Bell
 

MattL

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If you read the bio. on the Butler family you will find that the as each generation inherited and expanded the plantations .The debt became a major factor in having to hold on to a system in order not to enter into the bankrupt courts.They also sent large sums on their personal life style,as aristocrats of the South.Most of these finances were backed by heavy loans from Northern and European banks[,could be a good conspiracy as to why these people would want to depart the Union,same as with the certain colonist who where in heavy debt to English merchants ]{BOOK= MAJOR BUTLER'S LEGACY; Five Generations of A Slaveholding Family' author Malcolm Bell

I don't disagree... though planter debt during the Revolutionary times was a major issue too. A key reason why Jefferson and many other planters in debt wanted to cut ties with England in which their debt was held. Planter debt was a long running tradition.
 

John S. Carter

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I don't disagree... though planter debt during the Revolutionary times was a major issue too. A key reason why Jefferson and many other planters in debt wanted to cut ties with England in which their debt was held. Planter debt was a long running tradition.
There was a major issue the is taken up in the book by Sean Wilentz " NO PROPERTY in MAN-Slavery and Antislavery in the Nation's Founding".The issue of representation in Congress.The debate of the three fourths of the slave debate.which would give the South a increase in population there by control of the House where all bills of finance would originate . The South feared the North gaining control of the House thereby control of bills which would control export fees of South agriculture {Calhoun and the act of nullification was step one to secession).Debt may have been a small factor compared to the political battle for control of Congress ,very much political history of this country .Question;Would the first sight of division which would eventually lead to secession began in 1787 ,the Louisiana purchase ,whichwould increase the number of slave states increasing the hostilities between the parts of the country, the Congressional acts of the 1850s{the Compromise ,Kansas -Nebraska act,or Popular Sovereignty}and then the infamous Taney decision which was the fuse =THESE being political acts which lead to the Republican party which lead to Lincoln which after seventy three years lead to the war that could not been prevented cause each generation had failed to resolve the issue.Then maybe if was not the issue maybe it was the original development of the differences in the make up of the colonist ,one of a religious ,merchant groups the other of a aristocratic-agriculture .people.The differences overer generations fuled the antimosty
 

John S. Carter

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I don't disagree... though planter debt during the Revolutionary times was a major issue too. A key reason why Jefferson and many other planters in debt wanted to cut ties with England in which their debt was held. Planter debt was a long running tradition.
There is also another subtle reason which is overlooked as to why some slave owners could not rid themselves of slaves.The aristocratic plantation owner lived in a closed society which was established on key rules.One of the major was that slavery would be accepted and not questioned. Jefferson may have in his youth written against slavery but as he became older and more established in the Virginia governing society it would become difficult to risk isolation from this world. Slaves also allowed him to live in the life style which he had witnessed in France.In debt they served as property to sell .This was typical of the system thought out the South.Even in death ,this system would be a inheritance left for the next generation and continue on.The political for the South since the ratification of the Constitution was that dread of non expansion of the system,the fear that the central government would be able to quarantine the South and thus eventually slavery would die.This would happen if slavery could not expand into the terr. depraving the control of the political power which they held for the last forty years or such .For the North quarantine would maintain a mostly white population and in the territories a white only thus increasing their control politically in the capital.No one single event or election of certain person was responsible for the war or the hostility,IT WAS JUST POLITICS
 
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