The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854

jgoodguy

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#21
Slavery died in the North due to the spirit of the American Revolution.

"By 1772, as the revolutionary crisis deepened and the Rights of Man became the subject of increased study, [Anthony] Benezet [a Philadelphia Quaker schoolmaster and abolitionist] noted a gradual change in the colonists' attitude towards slavery. His correspondents had told him that Massachusetts was considering a bill to end the slave trade." [Arthur Zilversmit, The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North, p. 88]

"An anonymous Tory (probably Richard Wells) turned the arguments of the patriots against them. After quoting numerous Revolutionary resolutions, he asked Americans whether they could 'reconcile the exercise of SLAVERY with our professions of freedom.' Could the colonists expect the English to believe the sincerity of their love of liberty when the whole world knew that there were slaves in every colony? 'In vain shall we contend for liberty . . . 'till this barbarous inhuman custom is driven from our borders.' He challenged those who claimed 'an exemption from the controul of Parliamentary power' to show by right they held their slaves. If, as the patriots maintained, the colonists had all the rights of Englishmen, then, since a Negro was held to be free the instant he landed on English soil (this was an interpretation of the decision in Somerset's case), all slaves could claim they were free when they landed on American soil." [Ibid., p. 97]

"The First Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia in the fall of 1774, took up this challenge. The Continental Association adopted by the delegates required the cessation of all slave imports and authorized a boycott of merchants who refused to cooperate. Anthony Benezet, seeing a magnificent opportunity to strike a blow for liberty, had worked tirelessly to secure the adoption of this policy, relentlessly pursuing individual delegates to argue in support of the plan. Congressional approval of a ban on the slave trade clearly tied the fight against Negro slavery to the struggle against British tyranny in the manner that many antislavery writers had long been urging." [Ibid., pp. 97-98]

"Men who opposed the continued slavery of the Negroes could argue convincingly that American liberty and the freedom of Negro slaves were not only compatible but were inseparable goals.

"The War of Independence brought with it a direct challenge to the patriot party on the slavery issue. All the talk of liberty and the Rights of Man, designed to bring a hesitant population to join in the fight against Great Britain, could be applied with equal force to the plight of the slaves." [Ibid., p. 109]

"The Revolutionary era also saw an increasing gap between the South as a whole, where slavery survived the challenge to its legitimacy and remained firmly entrenched, and the North, where slavery gradually gave way to freedom, albeit a severely restrictive freedom. Because the Revolution was waged for 'liberty,' and generated an enormous amount of rhetoric about despotism, tyranny, justice, equality, and natural rights, it inevitably raised questions about slavery, questions that seemed all the more pertinent in view of the determined efforts of slaves to gain their own freedom, and it is no accident that the United States was the first country to take significant (although ultimately limited) action against the peculiar institution." [Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, 1619-1877, p. 76]

"As more free labor became available, slavery in the North became less necessary, although it is doubtful that the increased European immigration made slavery unprofitable. At the same time that slavery became less essential, there was a more significant development. The Society of Friends, a powerful sect in Pennsylvania and West Jersey, became increasingly dedicated to eliminating slavery from its own members and throughout American society, and the struggle with Great Britain brought a spirit of idealism and a belief in the Rights of Man that was incompatible with the continuance of human bondage." [Arthur Zilversmit, The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North, p. 53]

In January of 1784, Connecticut adopted statutes providing for the gradual abolition of slavery. [Ibid., pp. 123-124]

"The action of Connecticut and Rhode Island meant that within a year of the conclusion of the Revolutionary War provision had been made for the abolition of slavery in all the New England states. As a result, the 1790 federal census reported only 3,763 slaves in New England, out of a total of 16,882 Negroes. Ten years later, there were only 1,339 slaves in New England, and by 1810 the total was reduced to 418--108 in Rhode Island and 310 in Connecticut." [Ibid., p. 124]

Vermont abolished slavery outright before it ratified the Constitution, and Massachusetts abolished slavery immediately by judicial decree--neither used gradual emancipation.





In the absence of evidence, I notice no such thing.




Citation needed in the Wikipedia article, meaning right now it's an unsupported assertion.
Thanks for your observations. This is way too much off topic text and argumentation for this thread. If you are serious about this, please start a new thread with a precise debatable proposition and I will be happy to participate.
 
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Hunter

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#22
We know the average price per pound for the sale of cotton. To determine profitability, we must also know the average production cost per pound. Have you found any studies on that component of the equation?
 
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#23
None of the compromises or acts did much to slow the gradual slide towards war. They were made to appease both sides, but in the end they did little and they did not seem to please anyone in the end. This goes back to the Missouri Compromise of 1820, slowly led to the Compromise of 1850, which seemed to please many in the country and it was thought to have relieved sectional tensions, but it also brought in the Fugitive Slaw Law, which while pleasing the South, it had provisions which made people on both sides unhappy. This led to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854, again little was solved, and did little or nothing despite it's promises and it divided the country even further, other than lighting the fuse of war. All of these acts of legislation sought to appease or otherwise alieve tensions in the country. Much promised and little was given. In the short term there was some success, but in the long run it did not ease the real tensions in the country and led to war.
 
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#24
An assumption I've seen before, but history in the North shows it to not be the case. Additionally, slavery in California and Utah in their early years also argues against it.

"Those who maintain that slavery was unprofitable or less profitable than white labor base their arguments on the mental incapacity or ignorance of Negroes and their inability to do the skilled work required in a diversified economy. It is clear, however, that northern Negroes received the requisite training and eventually became highly skilled in a great number of divers trades. Although it is true that newly imported Negroes suffered in their first northern winter, once they became acclimated, they could tolerate the rigors of a northern climate." [Arthur Zilversmit, The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North, p. 52]



Did they?

Mexico had abolished slavery while California was still part of Mexico. The 1849 Gold Rush brought a large number of slave owners with their slaves into California. A large number of slave owners settled in Southern California, but California was brought into the Union as a free state by the Compromise of 1850, an act of the US Congress. That meant that many slave owners had to have slavery surreptitiously. Also, slave owners in Southern California had a short-lived movement to break the state into two states, with Southern California becoming a slave state. It was actually the interaction of free blacks with enslaved blacks, telling the enslaved blacks California was a free state and therefore they were free automatically, that undermined slavery in the state far more than miners afraid of competition.

https://www.c-span.org/video/?328894-6/african-american-slavery-california

https://www.jstor.org/stable/2713792?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Miners don't seem to have had any problems with Chinese worker competition.

Indians were enslaved in California as well.

https://www.kcet.org/shows/lost-la/...arket-is-now-the-site-of-a-federal-courthouse



This analysis is lacking. Slavery was profitable wherever it was tried. One doesn't need to pay off politicians who are proslavery.

In the years between 1850 and 1860, in the thirteen slaveholding states (excluding Missouri and Delaware), the total cash value of farms rose from $1,035,544,075 to $2,288,179,125; the average cash value of farms rose from $2,035.75 to $3,438.71; the number of slaveholders grew from 326,054 to 358,728; and the average number of slaves per slaveholders rose from 9.54 to 10.69. [Thomas P. Govan, "Was Plantation Slavery Profitable?" Journal of Southern History, Vol VIII, No. 4, Nov., 1942, p. 518] Does that sound unprofitable?

In perhaps the classic study of the economics of slavery, Alfred Conrad and John Meyer concluded, "Slavery was profitable to the whole South, the continuing demand for labor in the Cotton Belt insuring returns to the breeding operation on the less productive land in the seaboard and border states. The breeding returns were necessary, however, to make the plantation operations on the poorer lands as profitable as alternative contemporary economic activities in the United States. . . . Continued expansion of slave territory was both possible and, to some extent, necessary. The maintenance of profits in the Old South depended upon the expansion, extensive or intensive, of slave agriculture into the Southwest. [Alfred H. Contrad and John R. Meyer, "The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South," The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. LXVI, No. 2, April, 1958, p. 121]

"On both large and small estates, none but the most hopelessly inefficient masters failed to profit from the ownership of slaves." [Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South, p. 414]

You can also see the Dec. 1967 issue of the Journal of Economic History [Vol XXVII, No. 4] for a panel discussion held at the 27th Annual Meeting of the Economic History Association on Slavery and Economic Growth. The panelists included Alfred H. Conrad (City University of New York), Douglas Dowd (Cornell University), Stanley Engerman (University of Rochester), Charles Kelso (Harvard University), John R. Meyer (Harvard University), Harry N. Scheiber (Dartmouth College), and Richard Sutch (M.I.T.).

Sutch has calculated the value of slaves appreciated at a rate of about 7.56% annually [p. 520]. Conrad quotes Douglas North, another economic historian, as saying, "there is no possibility that slavery was economically not viable." [p. 523] Conrad and Meyer say, "Although profitability cannot be offered as a sufficient guarantee of the continuity of southern slavery, the converse argument that slavery must have destroyed itself can no longer rest upon allegations of unprofitability or upon assumptions about the impossibility of maintaining and allocating a slave labor force. To the extent, moreover, that profitability is a necessary condition for the continuation of a private business institution in a free-enterprise society, slavery was not untenable in the ante-bellum American South." [p. 527] Dowd says, "For the American South, it surely was good business sense that led planters to emphasize cotton cultivation, slaveholding, and slave breeding." [p. 532] Dowd further says, "Of course slavery was profitable." [p. 536] and "If one looks at the history of the American South, one finds that it was a very prosperous region relative to the rest of the world in the pre-Civil War period, and that it was at that time reasonably prosperous relative to the rest of the United States." [p. 552]
Robert Fogel, of the University of Chicago, said, "It turns out therelative profitability of slavery [had there not been a Civil War and emancipation] between 1860 and 1890 would have increased. Whether we like it or not, the demand for American cotton continued to grow down to the early 1920s more rapidly than the South was able to respond and supply. It is quite wrong to say the price of cotton fell. The real price of cotton rose over time. It is clear, then, that cotton over this period faced a booming market." [p. 553]

Engerman said, "The white population [of the South] probably had a per capita income which exceeded that of the North and the West averaged together; even if you include the Negro population, per capita income in the South was reasonably high in comparison to the West." [p. 558]

You can also see Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery by Robert Fogel and Stanley Engerman, which concludes that slavery was "a commercially vigorous and highly efficient mode of agricultural production, and the slave plantations formed the leading sector in the rapidly developing regional economy of the antebellum South." [Paul A. David, "Slavery: The Progressive Institution? A Review of Time on the Cross, The Journal of Economic History, Vol XXXIV, No. 3, Sep 1974, p. 739]

Not only was it profitable, it was also a status symbol to be a slave owner.

"No other profession gave a Southerner such dignity and importance as the cultivation of the soil with slave labor. The ownership of slaves, affirmed Cairnes, had become 'a fashionable taste, a social passion'; it had become a symbol of success like 'the possession of a horse among the Arabs: it brings the owner into connexion [sic] with the privileged class; it forms the presumption that he has attained a certain social position.' Slaves, therefore, were 'coveted with an eagerness far beyond what the intrinsic utility of their services would explain.' Cairnes concluded that it would be futile to propose compensated emancipation, for this would be asking slaveholders to renounce their power and prestige 'for a sum of money which, if well invested, might perhaps enable them and their descendants to vegetate in peaceful obscurity.' " [Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution, pp. 385-386]

Another reason was perhaps the most powerful of all. Slavery was a means to ensure white supremacy, especially in areas of the south where the black population actually outnumbered the white population.

"If the policy of the Republicans is carried out, according to the programme indicated by the leaders of the party, and the South submits, degradation and ruin must overwhelm alike all classes of citizens in the Southern States. The slave-holder and non-slave-holder must ultimately share the same fate-- all be degraded to a position of equality with free negroes, stand side by side with them at the polls, and fraternize in all the social relations of life; or else there will be an eternal war of races, desolating the land with blood, and utterly wasting and destroying all the resources of the country.

"Who can look upon such a picture without a shudder? What Southern man, be he slave-holder or non-slave-holder, can without indignation and horror contemplate the triumph of negro equality, and see his own sons and daughters, in the not distant future, associating with free negroes upon terms of political and social equality, and the white man stripped, by the Heaven-daring hand of fanaticism of that title to superiority over the black race which God himself has bestowed? In the Northern States, where free negroes are so few as to form no appreciable part of the community, in spite of all the legislation for their protection, they still remain a degraded caste, excluded by the ban of society from social association with all but the lowest and most degraded of the white race. But in the South, where in many places the African race largely predominates, and, as a consequence, the two races would be continually pressing together, amalgamation, or the extermination of the one or the other, would be inevitable. Can Southern men submit to such degradation and ruin? God forbid that they should." [Stephen F. Hale, Secession Commissioner of Alabama, to Gov. Beriah Magoffin of Kentucky, 27 Dec 1860]

As to the idea that it cost more to own slaves than it cost to pay free labor, that's another misconception.

"The average wage of a free laborer exceeded considerably the investment and maintenance costs of a slave. . . . masters exploited women and children more fully than did the employers of free labor. . .. the average bondsman worked longer hours and was subjected to a more rigid discipline." [Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution, p. 400]

It only cost the average slaveholder about $20 a year to maintain a slave. [Conrad & Meyer, "The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South," The Journal of Political Economy, Vol LXVI, No. 2, April, 1958, p. 104.]

As to taking care of slaves in their old age, relatively few slaves made it to old age. In 1850 the life expectancy of a black person from birth in Louisiana was 28.89 years. In Maryland it was 38.47 years. [Alfred H. Conrad and John R. Meyer, "The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South," The Journal of Political Economy, Vol. LXVI, No. 2, April, 1958, p. 98]

Regarding slave children, "Children began to be productive in field labor at age six, with the males becoming self-sustaining by age nine (that is, they then earned the adult maintenance charge of $20 per year), while females became self-sustaining by age thirteen." [Alfred H. Conrad and John R. Meyer, "The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South," The Journal of Political Economy, Vol LXVI, No. 2, April, 1958, p. 107]

"The annual maintenance cost per child was assessed at the rate of $10 per year for one-six-year-olds, $15 per year for seven-twelve-year-olds and $20 per year, the full adult maintenance cost, for those age thirteen and over." [Ibid., p. 109]

So it was pretty cheap to the slaveowner to bring up a slave child. The male child began earning as much for the slaveowner as the slaveowner spent on the child by age nine.

"The master, not the parents, decided at what age slave children should be put to work in the fields. Until they were five or six years old children were 'useless articles on a plantation.' Then many received 'their first lessons in the elementary part of their education' through serving as 'water-toters' or going into the fields alongside their mothers. Between the ages of ten and twelve the children became fractional hands, with a regular routine of field labor. By the time they were eighteen they had reached the age when they could be classified as 'prime field hands.'" [Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante-Bellum South, pp. 57-58]

"Children were hadly untouched by slavery. In a variety of ways, masters interfered extensively in their lives, bringing some to the 'big house' to serve as domestics and assigning others 'light' chores that became increasingly onerous until they were put to regular field work, usually between the ages of eight and twelve. ... Slave children learned at an early age that they had to conform to the wishes of two sets of authorities--their parents and their owners--both of whom were involved in their upbringing. Such competing claims on their loyalty could be confusing. Evidence of the masters' authority were readily apparent in their dealings with adult slaves; children who saw their parents verbally or physically abused without resisting could not fail to draw the appropriate lesson about where real power lay." [Peter Kolchin, American Slavery, 1619-1877, pp. 141-142]

The simple economics is that slavery was economically more efficient than free labor.

"Both southern farms using free labor and southern farms using slave labor were more efficient than northern farms. Compared with each other, however, southern slave farms were 28 percent more efficient than southern free farms. Compared with northern farms, southern free farms were 9 percent more efficient, while slave farms were 40 percent more efficient." [Robert W. Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery, p. 192]

Why is that?

First of all:
"There were economies of scale in southern agriculture. This means that a single large farm using given quantities of inputs could produce more output than a group of small farms which together used the same quantities of input. Not all of the superior efficiency of slave farms was due to economies of scale. And not all economies of scale were in production." [Ibid., pp. 192-194]

"Economies of scale were achieved only with slave labor. There were no large-scale southern farms based on free wage labor. Small free farms did not combine into large enterprises in order to achieve the benefits of scale. The larger the farm, the larger the percentage of persons who were slaves." [Ibid., p. 194]

Secondly, they used slave labor in ways free labor could never be used.
A slave's labor belonged to their owner for the entire working life of the slave, which was essentially their entire life since the slave became productive early in life [recall they became productive in the field at age 6].

"To be sure, the slave's customary attitude of indifference toward his work, together with the numerous methods he devised to resist his enslavement, sharply reduced the master's potential profits. It does not follow, however, that a slaveholder who was a reasonably efficient manager would have found free labor cheaper to employ. Slavery's economic critics overlooked the fact that physical coercion, or the threat of it, proved to be a rather effective incentive, and that the system did not prevent masters from offering tempting rewards for the satisfactory performance of assigned tasks.

"Besides, slave labor had several competitive advantages over free white labor. In the first place, it was paid less: the average wage of a free laborer exceeded considerably the investment and maintenance costs of a slave. In the second place, masters exploited women and children more fully than did the employers of free labor. Finally, the average bondsman worked longer hours and was subjected to a more rigid discipline. Slaveholders were less troubled with labor 'agitators' and less obligated to bargain with their workers. The crucial significance of this fact was dramatically demonstrated by a Louisiana sugar planter who once experimented with free labor, only to have his gang strike for double pay during the grinding season. 'Slave labor is the most constant form of labor,' argued a Southerner. 'The details of cotton and rice culture could not be carried on with one less constant.' No conviction was more firmly embedded in the mind of the planter than this. Many employers 'hire slaves in preference to other laborers,' explained a southern judge, 'because they believe the contract confers an absolute right to their services during its continuation.' These advantages more than compensated for whatever superiority free labor had in efficiency.

"Indeed, some southern landowners who employed Irish immigrants or native whites even doubted that they were more diligent than slaves. One employer complained that no matter how well white workers were treated, 'except when your eyes are on them they cheat you out of the labor due you, by lounging under the shade of the trees in your field.' A Maryland planter assured Olmsted that 'at hoeing and any steady field-work' his slaves accomplished twice as much, and with less personal supervision, than the Irish laborers he had used." [Kenneth M. Stampp, The Peculiar Institution: Slavery in the Ante Bellum South, pp. 399-401]

Finally,
"Still another argument of the economic critics was that owners of slaves had to bear certain costs that employers of free labor did not bear. In a free labor system workers were hired and fired as they were needed; in a slave labor system workers had to be supported whether or not they were needed. In a free labor system the employer had no obligation to support the worker's dependents, or the worker himself during illness and in old age; in a slave labor system the employer was legally and morally obligaged to meet these costs. Thus, presumably, slavery was at once more humane and more expensive.

"This, too, is a myth. Employers of free labor, through wage payments, did in fact bear most of the cost of supporting the children of their workers, as well as the aged and infirm. Government and private charities assumed only a small part of this burden. Moreover, the amount that slaveholders spent to maintain these unproductive groups was not a substantial addition to their annual operating costs. The maintenance of disabled and senile slaves was a trivial charge upon the average master; and the market value of a young slave far exceeded the small expense of raising him." [Ibid., pp. 401-402]

Perhaps the best evidence we have is the practice of these hardened businessmen.
"But as we have seen, small free southern farmers were not bunglers. Nor were they lacking in enterprise. Many small free farmers became the masters of large slave plantations. If there had been no special advantage to slave labor, one would expect at least some of these enterprising individuals to have based their plantations on free labor. The fact that economies of scale were achieved exclusively with slave labor clearly indicates that in large-scale production some special advantage attached to the use of slaves." [Fogel and Engerman, op. cit., p. 234]

"Furthermore, the American experience clearly suggests that slavery is not, from the strict economic standpoint, a deterrent to industrial development and that its elimination may take more than the workings of 'inexorable economic forces.' Although profitability cannot be offered as a sufficient guaranty of the continuity of southern slavery, the converse argument that slavery must have destroyed itself can no longer rest upon allegations of unprofitability or upon assumptions about the impossibility of maintaining and allocating a slave labor force. To the extent, moreover, that profitability is a necessary condition for the continuation of a private business, institution in a free-enterprise society, slavery was not untenable in the ante bellum American South. Indeed, economic forces often may work toward the continuation of a slave system, so that the elimination of slavery may depend upon the adoption of harsh political measures. Certainly that was the American experience." [Alfred H. Conrad and John R. Meyer, "The Economics of Slavery in the Ante Bellum South," The Journal of Political Economy, Vol LXVI, No. 2, April, 1958, p. 134]

The most current scholarship bears out the fact that slave labor was significantly more efficient than free labor.

“There would be no mechanical cotton picker until the late 1930s. In fact, between 1790 and 1860, there was no mechanical innovation of any kind to speed up the harvesting of cotton. There was nothing like the change from scythe to mechanical reaper, for instance, that by the 1850s began to reshape the Chesapeake wheat fields [Charles] Ball had left behind. Even slave-operated Louisiana sugar mills were more factory-like than the cotton labor camps were. And the nature of human bodies, the only ‘machine’ that worked in the cotton fields, did not change between 1805 and 1860. Still, the possibility that enslaved people might have picked more cotton because they picked faster, harder, and with more efficient technique does not come readily to our minds. In fact, during the late antebellum years, northern travelers insisted that slave labor was less efficient than free labor, a point of dogma that most historians and economists have accepted. The same northern observers who proclaimed that slave labor was inefficient had great faith in the idea that free people who were motivated by a cash wage would work harder and smarter than coerced workers. Occasionally, under special circumstances, some enslavers did pay people a wage. In 1828, Edward Barnes paid eight of the twenty-seven people enslaved on his Mississippi cotton labor camp a total of $28.32 for picking on Sundays, the day of the week when it was technically illegal for enslavers to force field labor. These positive incentives, however, accounted for only 3 to 5 percent of the raw cotton that Barnes’s hands harvested in 1828, a year in which he sold eighty-one bales. In fact, enslavers typically only paid for Sunday picking, if they ever used wages. Most enslavers never used positive incentives at all. And perhaps most conclusively, after the Civil War, when many cotton planters would pay pickers by the pound at the end of a day’s work, free labor motivated by a wage did not produce the same amount of cotton per hour of picking as slave labor had. What enslavers used was a system of measurement and negative incentives. Actually, one should avoid such euphemisms. Enslavers used measurement to calibrate torture in order to force cotton pickers to figure out how to increase their own productivity and thus push through the picking bottleneck. The continuous process of innovation thus generated was the ultimate cause of the massive increase in the production of high-quality, cheap cotton: an absolute necessary increase if the Western world was to burst out of the 10,000-year Malthusian cycle of agriculture. This system confounds our expectations, because, like abolitionists, we want to believe that the free labor system is not only more moral than systems of coercion, but more efficient.” [Edward E. Baptist, The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, pp. 128-130] But that data show they are not more efficient. The data show the torture applied to those who didn’t make their quota worked to make enslaved labor much more efficient than free labor.

See also: https://studycivilwar.wordpress.com/2013/05/12/was-slavery-on-the-way-out/
A well thought out argument. Keeping in mind that due to lack of water, Cotton (until the 20th Century) and sugar simply could not be grown in the western states it is your contention that slave labor would still have been more profitable for ranching and seasonal crops vs seasonal free labor?
Leftyhunter
 
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jgoodguy

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#25
A well thought out argument. Keeping in mind that due to lack of water, Cotton (until the 20th Century) and sugar simply could not be grown in the western states it is your contention that slave labor would still have been more profitable for ranching and seasonal crops vs seasonal free labor.
Leftyhunter
We can agree that slavery in the Slave South would be profitable for decades forward in a hypothetical future without the Civil War, but does that indicate profitability in hostile political environments.

The experience of slavery in Kansas and Nebraska is illustrative. Slavery was profitable, but its nature requires a favorable political environment. The South was demanding federal protection for slavery in territories and nationwide. If slavery was so profitable, then such protections would not be needed. In the case of Kansas, free labor simply squashed slave labor by numbers of immigrants. Calfornia is an interesting case. Slavery existed in California until the Gold Rush.

The California Gold Rush, Slavery, and the Civil War
Helper also took up another hot-button national issue: slavery. He advocated the expansion of slavery to California, scolding the “meddling abolitionists” who interfered with whites’ ability to exploit blacks to work the mines. Racism ran deep in California, and one would think that Helper was not alone in his pro-slavery sentiment. Such was not the case; the issue was much more complicated. White southerners had first brought slaves to California mines in 1849, but that practice wasn’t popular. However, no laws banned slavery in the early days of the Gold Rush.

After the US won California, a bitter dispute ensued over whether the state should be a free or slave state. There were fifteen states in each category, and California would tip the scales. By September 1849,

California delegates were tired of waiting. They gathered in Monterey and voted to enter the Union as a free state. This wasn’t because they supported the abolition of slavery. On the contrary, many delegates were miners who hailed from the South. The majority felt that slaves actually had an unfair advantage in mining work because they were more accustomed to heavy labor. Thus, they voted against slavery for their own financial gain.
Another good question is if slavery was so profitable outside the South, why is it that no slave state was admitted after Texas in 1845 noting that Texas was a slave nation before admission.
 
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#27
Southerners felt they got screwed by Congress refusing to accept the Lecompton constitution.
True I think that point gets overlooked and is under appreciated. Also the abolitionists militarily defeated the Missouri Border Ruffians. John Brown had more then a little to do with that. The slave owners saw,the writing on the wall with Kansas and it was not good.
Leftyhunter
 

jgoodguy

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#28
Southerners felt they got screwed by Congress refusing to accept the Lecompton constitution.
True I think that point gets overlooked and is under appreciated. Also the abolitionists militarily defeated the Missouri Border Ruffians. John Brown had more then a little to do with that. The slave owners saw,the writing on the wall with Kansas and it was not good.
Leftyhunter
Then there are those pesky free state voters.
James Buchanan - Key Events | Miller Center
The federal government submits the Lecompton Constitution to the people of Kansas for the third time. It again fails to win approval, with a vote of 11,300-1,788 against, turning Kansas into a non-slaveholding state when it enters the Union officially in 1861.​
 

OpnCoronet

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#29
The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was meant to slave the nation from sectional conflict over slavery. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 did opened up much of the western United States to slavery. However, would have most of the territories entered the union as slave states?

If all twelve of these new states plus Arizona and New Mexico, would have adopted slavery could the Civil War could have been avoided. The slave states could have dominated the US government for the next 100 to 150 years but would have the Northern States at some point have seceded?


I believe it was during his debates with Douglas that Lincoln noted that slave states resulted from the existence of Slavery, as an institution, during its territorial phase. If the territory was slave, it became a slave state, if it did not exist, it became a Free State.

If Lincoln were right, then the introduction of Slavery during the territorial phase of the Kansas and possibly Nebraska, was of vital concern to southern leaders.

In the interest of comity and internal political peace, it became customary for Congress to admit States on a one for one basis, for every slave state one Free State would be admitted into the Union or vice versa. By 1850 the political stress of the debates over further expansion of slavery caused the sense of comity and the feelings for accommodation of custom to break down.

Technically it was possible, for Kansas to be admitted as a Slave State and Nebraska, as Free as had been usual. But, it would require the abrogation of the Compromise of 1820, which many American's, including Lincoln, had come to regard as a sacred trust, or, promise, to restrict Slavery from those places where slavery did not exist already.
 

jgoodguy

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#30
Technically it was possible, for Kansas to be admitted as a Slave State and Nebraska, as Free as had been usual. But, it would require the abrogation of the Compromise of 1820, which many American's, including Lincoln, had come to regard as a sacred trust, or, promise, to restrict Slavery from those places where slavery did not exist already.
IMHO also opening a Pandora's box of political conflict. The vast majority of the occupants of Kansas opposed slavery.
 

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A well thought out argument. Keeping in mind that due to lack of water, Cotton (until the 20th Century) and sugar simply could not be grown in the western states it is your contention that slave labor would still have been more profitable for ranching and seasonal crops vs seasonal free labor?
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It is my contention that enslave labor is more efficient than free labor because the slavers torture their laborers to force them to be more efficient.

It is also my contention that enslaved labor can be used in any labor situation, not just in agriculture.
 

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#34
It is my contention that enslave labor is more efficient than free labor because the slavers torture their laborers to force them to be more efficient.

It is also my contention that enslaved labor can be used in any labor situation, not just in agriculture.
Well most labor situations. In some labor situations the cost of controlling the slave labors would exceed the profit made. For example slave over the road truckers would be very hard to control and probably expensive. This in no way should be taken to indicate that slaves could not make efficient semi drives, just properly controlling them would be expensive.
 

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Well most labor situations. In some labor situations the cost of controlling the slave labors would exceed the profit made. For example slave over the road truckers would be very hard to control and probably expensive. This in no way should be taken to indicate that slaves could not make efficient semi drives, just properly controlling them would be expensive.
I would think slave over-the-road truckers would be generally easy to control if one had their family members hostage to their good behavior. Plus, there are always those who would love to patrol with guns looking for escapees. Add to that with technology one can track the trucks very cheaply.
 

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#36
Well most labor situations. In some labor situations the cost of controlling the slave labors would exceed the profit made. For example slave over the road truckers would be very hard to control and probably expensive. This in no way should be taken to indicate that slaves could not make efficient semi drives, just properly controlling them would be expensive.
IMHO slave labor is incredibly profitable where politics and society are proslavery. Everywhere else it is horribly unprofitable as the capital loss overwhelms and profits. In your example, an unhappy over the road trucker could simply abandon his rig and disappear into a sympathetic population and without positive law supporting slavery with popular support, there is no recovery of capital.
 

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#37
Now days a tracking device could be surgically implanted that would Greatly aid slave tracking. However in 1960 tracking devices were less effective.
 

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#38
Everywhere else it is horribly unprofitable as the capital loss overwhelms and profits.
I've seen no evidence to support this claim.

In your example, an unhappy over the road trucker could simply abandon his rig and disappear into a sympathetic population and without positive law supporting slavery with popular support, there is no recovery of capital.
The Civil War provides a number of examples of the opposite happening. Enslaved people who had the opportunity to escape to their freedom chose to remain enslaved and return to their families back on the plantation.
 

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#40
Now days a tracking device could be surgically implanted that would Greatly aid slave tracking. However in 1960 tracking devices were less effective.
Mandatory reporting requirements and ensuring the enslaved person understood his family's well-being depended on his faithfulness solves much of this.
 

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