Slavery and the Early American Economy

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leftyhunter

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There's too much to quote in this, but it's an hour well spent. Edward Ayers talking about our National history...

It may indeed be a great book. On the other hand by 1861 most of the American states had transitioned away from slavery. Yes slavery was still important but if it could not expand the top pro slavery politicians knew its time was ticking. Brass Napoleoan has provided us with quotes about that.
Leftyhunter
 
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Drew

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It may indeed be a great book. On the other hand by 1861 most of the American states had transitioned away from slavery. Yes slavery was still important but if it could not expand the top pro slavery politicians knew its time was ticking. Brass Napoleoan has provided us with quotes about that.
Leftyhunter
Watch and listen (listen) to the lecture. Worth the hour.
 

jgoodguy

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It may indeed be a great book. On the other hand by 1861 most of the American states had transitioned away from slavery. Yes slavery was still important but if it could not expand the top pro slavery politicians knew its time was ticking. Brass Napoleon has provided us with quotes about that.
Leftyhunter

All depends on what you want to prove. Slavery could have ticked on 50-100 more years.
 

leftyhunter

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All depends on what you want to prove. Slavery could have ticked on 50-100 more years.
I guess we will never know. Brazil was the last Christian country to end slavery in 1888 or their about's. Muaratania it was legal until 30 or 40 years ago. Alternative history is has Ole says a slippery slope. My point was that by 1861 the US economy was making a transition away from it and slavery had a limited time span . The proof is that slave prices where going down in the border states since slaves where escaping via the underground RR to Canada not by the thousands but enough to drive down prices. In the long term once the border states no longer had slavery then the slaves in the deep South would work their way North. Unless all the states strictly enforced the FSA slavery was doomed.
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rhettbutler1865

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It certainly is worth the time...He had me right away when talking about slavery "changing"-I wanted more. Thanks for the experience, Drew.:thumbsup:
 
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jgoodguy

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I guess we will never know. Brazil was the last Christian country to end slavery in 1888 or their about's. Muaratania it was legal until 30 or 40 years ago. Alternative history is has Ole says a slippery slope. My point was that by 1861 the US economy was making a transition away from it and slavery had a limited time span . The proof is that slave prices where going down in the border states since slaves where escaping via the underground RR to Canada not by the thousands but enough to drive down prices. In the long term once the border states no longer had slavery then the slaves in the deep South would work their way North. Unless all the states strictly enforced the FSA slavery was doomed.
Leftyhunter
It is slippery all right, but prices were rising in the Cotton producing South. How long did it take for those border states to flip? 60 years or more. Long term is a long time. Had the secessionists not panicked and remained in the US, there would be no Free the Slaves Constitution amendment for a very long time. Figuring the 13 CSA States, just when would Kentucky, Missouri and Virginia flip without the ACW?
 
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cash

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My point was that by 1861 the US economy was making a transition away from it and slavery had a limited time span . The proof is that slave prices where going down in the border states since slaves where escaping via the underground RR to Canada not by the thousands but enough to drive down prices.
I'd like to see the source for this.

In the long term once the border states no longer had slavery then the slaves in the deep South would work their way North. Unless all the states strictly enforced the FSA slavery was doomed.
Leftyhunter
How many slaves actually escaped to free states per year?
 
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jgoodguy

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The economics of slavery is only half the issue. The other half is that white men did not want black people - who in some locations outnumbered them - to become citizens and vote.
Also slavery allowed all white men to feel superior to someone. An entire society based on a particular institution's labor ideology.
 

Georgia Sixth

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There's too much to quote in this, but it's an hour well spent. Edward Ayers talking about our National history...

Drew,
Thanks for posting this, as Ayers is on my very short list of favorite historians. However, I can't get the file to play past the halfway mark. Even downloaded it and had the same issue. Can you share with me what the main points are from the second half of the lecture?
Thanks.
- Terry
 

Georgia Sixth

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The economics of slavery is only half the issue. The other half is that white men did not want black people - who in some locations outnumbered them - to become citizens and vote.
Racism was unreal during this period, but in my estimation, ideas of racial superiority were more a form of apology for slavery, not the reason for it. Racism tends toward second class status of the "out" race, but it doesn't require slavery, as witnessed by the Jim Crow/segregation regimes.

Capitalism thrives most profitably when there is a trapped labor pool. Slavery was a sure way to guarantee just that. However, with enough unemployed "free" people, a system based on "free" labor is even more profitable as there are no birth to grave financial obligations toward labor on the part of the capitalist.
 
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Drew

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Drew,
Thanks for posting this, as Ayers is on my very short list of favorite historians. However, I can't get the file to play past the halfway mark. Even downloaded it and had the same issue. Can you share with me what the main points are from the second half of the lecture?
Thanks.
- Terry
If you punch the thread title into a Youtube search engine you may get it to work. He talks about a lot of things in the second half, but these are the salient points:

  • Expansion of cotton economy was purposeful; Not an accident based upon Eli Whitney's gin invention
  • Technological innovation was harnessed in the South before the North (steam power, used both to compress cotton into uniform bales and to transport it on the rivers)
  • Native American history central to the history of the South; Indian removal a result of effort to expand cotton empire
  • Rapid change during the period; Forget about notions of the "good old slow days"
  • Fantastic profitability of large scale cotton production for those with the capital to engage in it
  • Slavery implicated in larger American story
  • Condition of the South in 1860; Railroads aplenty; Among the world's most literate white societies; Fourth wealthiest economy in the world, by itself
  • Changing nature off slavery
He's good at getting twelve pounds of dirt into a ten pound bag, that's for sure!
 

leftyhunter

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I'd like to see the source for this.



How many slaves actually escaped to free states per year?
Good questions. per the book"The South vs the South how anti-Confederate Southerners shaped the course of the war by William W. Freeling Singletary Professor of the Humanities University of Kentucky, Lexington Oxford University Press
p.27 "Of the more the 5,000 runaways a year who made it to the North border slaves where the vast majority. "If border slaves escapes to the North increased ,prudent borderland capitalists would increase their slave sales to the lower south. The Freeling talks about how that would decrease the amount of sales and give momentum to Casius Clay and Frank Blair who wanted to relocate slaves out of their states. If all this occurs has t was eventually the border South states (and Dl was just about their) would have few slaves and slaves from other states would use it has a transition way to the North. Freeling also points out their was no national police force to capture runaway slaves. Has slavery became more unpopular in the North their would be in effect a snowball effect where slaves would eventually make their way North. The only solution is more slave states has a buffer. Lincoln pointed out that a nation can not be half slave and half free. he may be right.
Leftyhunter
 

major bill

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I guess we will never know. Brazil was the last Christian country to end slavery in 1888 or their about's. Muaratania it was legal until 30 or 40 years ago. Alternative history is has Ole says a slippery slope. My point was that by 1861 the US economy was making a transition away from it and slavery had a limited time span . The proof is that slave prices where going down in the border states since slaves where escaping via the underground RR to Canada not by the thousands but enough to drive down prices. In the long term once the border states no longer had slavery then the slaves in the deep South would work their way North. Unless all the states strictly enforced the FSA slavery was doomed.
Leftyhunter
I thought Ethiopia was the last Christian county to out law slavery. Emperor Halie Selassie officially ended slavery in 1942. Slavery in Ethiopia did take another 20 years or so to end there.
 
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cash

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Good questions. per the book"The South vs the South how anti-Confederate Southerners shaped the course of the war by William W. Freeling Singletary Professor of the Humanities University of Kentucky, Lexington Oxford University Press
p.27 "Of the more the 5,000 runaways a year who made it to the North border slaves where the vast majority. "If border slaves escapes to the North increased ,prudent borderland capitalists would increase their slave sales to the lower south. The Freeling talks about how that would decrease the amount of sales and give momentum to Casius Clay and Frank Blair who wanted to relocate slaves out of their states. If all this occurs has t was eventually the border South states (and Dl was just about their) would have few slaves and slaves from other states would use it has a transition way to the North. Freeling also points out their was no national police force to capture runaway slaves. Has slavery became more unpopular in the North their would be in effect a snowball effect where slaves would eventually make their way North. The only solution is more slave states has a buffer. Lincoln pointed out that a nation can not be half slave and half free. he may be right.
Leftyhunter
Thanks. Is there a source for slave prices in the border states declining?

Professor Freehling doesn't source his 5,000 per year number. The footnote goes to his treatment of Frederick Douglass in Road to Disunion Vol 1 and there's no mention of number of runaway slaves per year there. Stanley Campbell, in The Slave Cathers: Enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, 1850-1860, cites the US Census for his statement that in 1850 only a total of 1,011 slaves escaped to the free states in 1850, and that figure would include deep south as well as border state slaves. I've seen nothing that shows a huge spike in slaves escaping between 1850 and 1860, so the 5,000 per year number is suspect, in my opinion.
 

major bill

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The number of new slaves born each year almost certainly out numbered the number of slaves who managed to escape. Waiting for all the southern slaves to find a way to escape to Canada would have resulted in the United States still having millions of slaves today.
 
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