"The South still lies about the Civil War", Does the North lie?

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jgoodguy

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Part of the problem, I think, is that many people confuse racism with being anti-slavery. Those two concepts are not the same. It is possible to be racist, and still feel that it is wrong to own another human being. But in many cases, people will deny the achievement of Northern Abolition, simply on the grounds that, well northerners were racist, so it doesn't matter that they ended slavery.
IMHO there is a lot of that. It is the inspiration of my sinner analogy. Abolition was flawed because there was an original sin. Changing does not count because slavery was everywhere. It is immoral to praise an abolitionist because his grandfather owned slaves. And so on.

Meanwhile, the idea of economic determinism - the everything we do must have an economic reason - closes us to the possibility that ideas really do matter. Again: even if slavery had a small economic footprint in the North, that does not explain why northern states sought to end slavery, to the detriment of those who did own slaves, or the the disadvantage of those who believed the institution was beneficial and useful, even if only for a minority of people. In the above, people actually state that the end of slavery was based on ideas and ideals of freedom and liberty.
However, we do have free white laborers objecting to slavery because of competition and of course free land, free labor free men for whites opposing slavery. There was economic pressure against slavery.

IMHO slavery has to have political influence to survive, fewer slave owners, less influence and slavery is at a disadvantage to its moral opponents and its free labor opponents. This is most dramatically illustrated by secession. Secession was more or less in order of percentage slave in a States population and at one percentage point stopped dead.

*Vermont - immediate abolition in 1777
*Pennsylvania - gradual abolition in 1780
*Massachusetts - immediate abolition in 1783
*New Hampshire - gradual abolition in 1783
*Connecticut - gradual abolition in 1784
*Rhode Island - gradual abolition in 1784
*New York - gradual abolition in 1799
*New Jersey - gradual abolition in 1804

Slavery was also banned in the Northwest Territory as of 1787. So Ohio (1803) was a free state.
If we want to compare lies simply compare the above list to the corresponding list for the Southern States which happens to be empty.
Pictures
The Spread of U.S. Slavery, 1790–1860

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ForeverFree

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Alan,

My only reason for asking if you would go on the record to say that Northern Slavery was cruel, evil, vile, wrong, and immoral, was only due to the fact that I have, as of yet, seen you or other's describe it in that way, with those words, the same words that are freely and correctly used about Southern Slavery. We all know that Northern Slavery was cruel, evil, vile, wrong, and immoral. We all also know it was in the South as well, but it appears that no one, including myself has an issue with coming out and calling Southern Slavery what it was, and in those terms. While I see a hesitance to use those same terms for Northern Slavery. Which gives the appearance that perhaps that person views Northern Slavery as "better" or "good".......................I can only state what I see, and what I think.

You are right, there is not reason to bang heads on this subject, for yes, we do agree that slavery in the North could use more coverage. I think that Northern Abolition needs to be discussed more also, but it is attempts by a few to go, as I stated, from bread to toast with jelly, while not speaking of the in between, that presents to me, those who do that, wish to sugarcoat it, or it appears that way. As I said, perhaps my opinion is incorrect.

Thank you, as always Alan, for a civil and informative discussion.

Respectfully,

William

One Nation,
Two countries
View attachment 293984
I guess I'm getting an education in how one's words can be interpreted, which are not what one wanted to say.

The thing is, I don't know that I have ever gone out of my way to say "Southern slavery" is wrong. I almost always refer to slavery, not "Southern slavery." I don't see them as being separate things, it's all slavery to me.

Sometimes I or others will use the words, to the effect of, "slavery in the South." But this is reference to the fact that when the war began, slavery was in the South. The term is not meant to indicate that there was some kind of difference between "Northern" slavery and "Southern" slavery.

(Having said that, most scholars do say that the harshness of slavery varied from place to place. The consensus seems to be that in the South, rice farming was brutal, and tobacco farming much less so. I have not really studied how these variance worked in terms of slavery in northern geographies vs slavery in southern geographies.)

Bottom line is, I haven't felt a need to say Northern slavery was as bad as Southern slavery, because I do not differentiate between the two. I just say slavery is bad. I think that's how the vast majority of people see it... I think.

- Alan
 

jgoodguy

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Northern abolition, & finger pointing at the South, is most commonly used to declare the North as morally superior on the subject. Occasionally it is said but, mostly it is inferred.
Freeing slaves seems to be morally superior to not freeing slaves. The South did not free slaves.
Many times when we get into discussions of secession, we are told WHY Southerners desired Independence, regardless of any & all other evidence. WHY becomes the topic. WHY is the "key" from the Yankee narrative. Slavery, Slavery, Slavery being the desired outcome.
Evidence answers why. What is your evidence?
When it comes to Northern abolition, rarely do we here the, WHY. Is it as so many pretend, a moral crusade for equality, rainbows, & unicorns...? Or does it come down to the same why, as most other major political issues. Money, & political power. Many common folk have been sacrificed throughout history for the political, & financial gains of politicians, & wealthy power brokers.
Unremarkable comment. Evidence on how it affects the Civil War would be nice, because of the fact that war upsets businessmen because of uncertainty. Looking for evidence.
It's no secret that politicians often claim moral high ground, or motivations, for positions that are of great financial significance. I have no doubt that people like Frederick Douglas, had moral reasons. However, the politicians, & power brokers of the day, are more driven by finance, & power, than feelings.
Them power brokers are not evidence.
The wealth generated by the Southern system..... was it no longer reliant on Northern finance..? With the slave trade outlawed, how much were the Northern Slave traders making now..? How about Northern Shipping..? Had the Southern system grown to a point of financial Independence, & now no longer was willing to share profits with Northern Bankers..?
Slave trading was outlawed up North, even RI outlawed it. Slave Trading, however, was VA's prime source of income and wealth. Instead of vague them Yankees, there were real slave breeding farms in VA.
I'm of the opinion, that the Northern position for abolition, had way more to do with power, & profits, than it did a moral superiority. The virtuous act was driven, like most political actions, by money.
Unremarkable. Free Labor, an economic power, abhors slavery because of competition. Is Free Labor somehow evil?
 
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Greywolf

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IMHO there is a lot of that. It is the inspiration of my sinner analogy. Abolition was flawed because there was an original sin. Changing does not count because slavery was everywhere. It is immoral to praise an abolitionist because his grandfather owned slaves. And so on.



However, we do have free white laborers objecting to slavery because of competition and of course free land, free labor free men for whites opposing slavery. There was economic pressure against slavery.

IMHO slavery has to have political influence to survive, fewer slave owners, less influence and slavery is at a disadvantage to its moral opponents and its free labor opponents. This is most dramatically illustrated by secession. Secession was more or less in order of percentage slave in a States population and at one percentage point stopped dead.



If we want to compare lies simply compare the above list to the corresponding list for the Southern States which happens to be empty.
Pictures
The Spread of U.S. Slavery, 1790–1860

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How about put the actual date slavery ended for New York and New Jersey. That "list" puts the ending of northern slavery in the best light possible, when in reality still thousands of northern slaves well into the 1800s
 

jgoodguy

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How about put the actual date slavery ended for New York and New Jersey. That "list" puts the ending of northern slavery in the best light possible, when in reality still thousands of northern slaves well into the 1800s
Is that not like comparing a fellow that starts his path to redemption to one that ignores redemption and continues to wallows in inequity?

Pictures whose granularity is by county. I have by county census results if needed. Let me know if y'all nee furthuurr help.
The Spread of U.S. Slavery, 1790–1860



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jgoodguy

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“Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.”
That is why I blog. Discuss, debate and learn. Ancient wisdom says "As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." Even when I 'lose' a debate I gain knowledge.
 
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ForeverFree

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This was posted in another thread, but it deserves it's own.

https://www.salon.com/2013/03/16/the_south_still_lies_about_the_civil_war/

The above article is from Salon.com. It is a standard fare article complaining about the United Daughters of the Confederacy and their role in glamorizing the South's role in the Civil War. It particularly focuses on keeping the "proper" story in schools. The article speaks of a specific UDC member named Milly.

I'm using this article as a launchpad to discuss some modern university historians practice of glamorizing the North's role in the War while vilifying the South. For example, James McPherson and his heavy emphasis on slavery and race in the War which is a weakness for the South and somewhat of a strength for the North. McPherson tends to shy away from the North's guilt in slavery and racism, but is heavy handed with the South. There are many more examples possible, McPherson is not alone in this practice. Even the Salon article is mostly focused on race more-so than the War itself.

My question is are some modern historians trying to glorify the North, teaching their own "correct" (Northern) version of history while preventing "incorrect" (Southern) versions. Isn't this exactly what Milly is accused of doing for the South?

Are we being taught correctly? Or, are our current history books/lectures just another "Milly" version of history to exalt some people as heroes and make others out to be the villains and no other thought is allowed to be taught?
RE: For example, James McPherson and his heavy emphasis on slavery and race in the War which is a weakness for the South and somewhat of a strength for the North. McPherson tends to shy away from the North's guilt in slavery and racism, but is heavy handed with the South.

McPherson's book The Negro's Civil War: How American Negroes Felt and Acted During the War for the Union deals extensively with the subject of Northern racism. He does touch on the subject in Battle Cry of Freedom, along with a million other things. One notable excerpt from BCF:

Sometimes their welcome was less then friendly. While northern soldiers had no love for slavery, most of them had no love for slaves either. They fought for Union and against treason; only a minority in 1862 felt any interest in fighting for black freedom. Rare was the soldier who shared the sentiments of a Wisconsin private: "I have no heart in this war if the slaves cannot be free." More common was the conviction of a New York soldier that "we must first conquer & then it's time enough to talk about the **** ni*****. While some Yanks treated contrabands with a degree of equity or benevolence, the more typical response was in difference, content, or cruelty.​
Soon after Union forces captured Port Royal, South Carolina, in November 1861, a private described an incident that made him "ashamed of America": "About 8-10 soldiers from the New York 47th chased some Negro women but they escaped, so they took a Negro girl about seven nine-years old and raped her." From Virginia a Connecticut soldier wrote that some men of his regiment had taken "two ni*** wenches... turn them upon their heads & put tobacco, chips, sticks, lighted cigars & Sand behind​
Even when Billy Yank welcomed the contrabands, he often did so from utilitarian then humanitarian motives. "Officers & men are having an easy time," wrote a main soldier from occupied Louisiana in 1862." We have Negroes to do all fatigue work, cooking and washing clothes."​

My general feeling about McPherson is that he was cognizant that there was a "Negro's side of things", to use an expression, whether that meant talking about racism in the North or the South. His effectiveness at this is something that can be critiqued.

- Alan
 

leftyhunter

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Alan,

My only reason for asking if you would go on the record to say that Northern Slavery was cruel, evil, vile, wrong, and immoral, was only due to the fact that I have, as of yet, seen you or other's describe it in that way, with those words, the same words that are freely and correctly used about Southern Slavery. We all know that Northern Slavery was cruel, evil, vile, wrong, and immoral. We all also know it was in the South as well, but it appears that no one, including myself has an issue with coming out and calling Southern Slavery what it was, and in those terms. While I see a hesitance to use those same terms for Northern Slavery. Which gives the appearance that perhaps that person views Northern Slavery as "better" or "good".......................I can only state what I see, and what I think.

You are right, there is not reason to bang heads on this subject, for yes, we do agree that slavery in the North could use more coverage. I think that Northern Abolition needs to be discussed more also, but it is attempts by a few to go, as I stated, from bread to toast with jelly, while not speaking of the in between, that presents to me, those who do that, wish to sugarcoat it, or it appears that way. As I said, perhaps my opinion is incorrect.

Thank you, as always Alan, for a civil and informative discussion.

Respectfully,

William

One Nation,
Two countries
View attachment 293984
By 1860no Northern state had slavery but for New Jersey where it was already mostly faded out other then a few elderly slaves. The border states did have slavery but they were not Northern states. We need to bear in mind no Southern state abolished slavery on its own accord.
Leftyhunter
 

jgoodguy

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By 1860no Northern state had slavery but for New Jersey where it was already mostly faded out other then a few elderly slaves. The border states did have slavery but they were not Northern states. We need to bear in mind no Southern state abolished slavery on its own accord.
Leftyhunter
And we have pictures.
 
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ForeverFree

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How about put the actual date slavery ended for New York and New Jersey. That "list" puts the ending of northern slavery in the best light possible, when in reality still thousands of northern slaves well into the 1800s
For info purposes:

?format=2500w.png


The North had 36,379 slaves in 1790. By 1840, the North had less than 800 1200 slaves.

- Alan
 
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jgoodguy

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For those who want detailed info for slavery by county: Data Link
Data by county is in the .csv AKA spreadsheets.
The associated .txt is the decoder ring for the spreadsheet.
Have fun yall.
 

Cavalry Charger

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Abolition was flawed because there was an original sin. Changing does not count because slavery was everywhere. It is immoral to praise an abolitionist because his grandfather owned slaves. And so on.
I'm just wondering if this is the same 'argument' that has been turned back on the South in so many ways. None of the progress you've made counts because it all rests on this original 'sin'. The original sin was slavery. You may never gain redemption because you took too long, forced a terrible war, didn't do it of your own volition, etc, etc, etc. When will the South be considered 'redeemed'?
 
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jgoodguy

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I'm just wondering if this is the same 'argument' that has been turned back on the South in so many ways. None of the progress you've made counts because it all rests on this original 'sin'. The original sin was slavery. You may never gain redemption because you took too long, forced a terrible war, didn't do it of your own volition, etc, etc, etc. When will the South be considered 'redeemed'?
It was redeemed with Elvis.
 

Cavalry Charger

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he was cognizant that there was a "Negro's side of things"
I read only recently in Hurst's biography on Forrest that black Union troops, at least in certain companies, were not allowed to drink from the same water sources as white troops. For some reason this surprised me. Sometimes we can assume an immediate equality based on the fact these men fought together for the Union, and I think at times this can be another hidden aspect of the war. Also the state of contrabands and their living circumstances as Forrest and his troops came across them at one stage while raiding Union stores. The response to these things as they are noticed can be to turn it back on those who notice them focusing on the 'questionable' circumstances in which they were noticed (e.g. Forrest being part of the equation). I just think there is much to uncover that often doesn't see the light of day. Not making judgements.
 
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Norm53

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Just to make it formal.
As Host

It is against forum rules to discuss time periods outside of the Civil War era in this forum.
I am confused. I started a thread on Congressman Lincoln's speech because it might have been relevant to the war. I received no reprimand. Also, the enormous non-CW book thread is by definition not related to the war. Help!
 

byron ed

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Does the amount of times a slave is beaten with a lash make one regions slavery better than another?
yes

...You seem to defend Northern Slave Trade by saying "everyone else did it"
what I "seem to" say aside, I never said that. No one here, me especially, has ever defended Northern Slave Trade. That's just nuts. What are you doing?

I am shocked but not surprised that you believe Northern Slavery was "better" than slavery, not just the South, but in the world !!!!!
No one here, certainly not I, has indicated their belief in anything of the sort. What are you doing? Why create things just to rail against them? I don't get it.

...Sometimes I am not clear in my questions as I should be.
that's ok. we each have entered into that territory on occasion.

But think about what led you into that this time: It was supposing that equating Southern Slavery with Northern slavery would somehow lessen the culpability and blame of the white South for its slavery. What kind of a goal is that? Especially when to get there you had to ignore that in the South the practice of slavery lasted longer, that the setting of deep South plantations was meaner, that in the South the freeing of slaves was never conceded until forced, and that it was Southern slavery that was the primary cause of secession, the Confederacy, and the CW itself.

In anybody's honest book then Southern slavery was at least a bit worse than Northern slavery, but more to the point it's not even an either/or proposition, since the North continued to finance and profit from Southern slavery right into the CW. There's the point to hammer on! You don't have to exaggerate or make up anything about that.
 
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