Was Slavery Dying in 1860?

Pat Young

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Or could the differences be found somewhere in the immigration stats..?

The 31% WP could easily be the result of natural increase, plus immigration. The 23% slave increase is easily deduced from natural reproduction. How many "free non-whites" immigrated to the US 1850-1860..? How about 1790-1800..?
I think that the white population increased due to natural increase and immigration. The enslaved grew due to natural reproduction. The fact that the free non-white population grew at its lowest rate in the decade before the war, at half the rate of enslaved blacks, indicates lack of a transition to free labor.
 

Viper21

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I think that the white population increased due to natural increase and immigration. The enslaved grew due to natural reproduction. The fact that the free non-white population grew at its lowest rate in the decade before the war, at half the rate of enslaved blacks, indicates lack of a transition to free labor.
So...... no data for immigration of "free non-whites" 1850-1860 vs. 1790-1800...?
 

jgoodguy

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So...... no data for immigration of "free non-whites" 1850-1860 vs. 1790-1800...?
Asking me?

OK looks like zero to me.
https://eh.net/encyclopedia/immigration-to-the-united-states/
p4.jpg
 

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Or could the differences be found somewhere in the immigration stats..?

The 31% WP could easily be the result of natural increase, plus immigration. The 23% slave increase is easily deduced from natural reproduction. How many "free non-whites" immigrated to the US 1850-1860..? How about 1790-1800..?

In 1851, 379,466 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 369,510 came from Europe, 2 from Asia [specifically India], 9,703 from other countries in North and South America, and 3 from Africa. 248 were US people who were returning to the United States.

In 1852, 371,603 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 362,484 came from Europe, 4 from Asia [specifically India], 7,695 from other countries in North and South America, and 0 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1853, 368,645 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 361576 came from Europe, 47 from Asia [42 from China, 5 from India], 6,030 from other countries in North and South America, and 8 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1854, 427,833 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 405,542 came from Europe, 13,100 from Asia [all from China], 8,533 from other countries in North and South America, and 0 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1855, 200,877 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 187,729 came from Europe, 3,540 from Asia [3,526 from China, 6 from India, and 8 from other Asian nations], 9,260 from other countries in North and South America, and 14 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1856, 200,436 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 186,083 came from Europe, 4,747 from Asia [4,733 from China, 13 from India, and 1 from another Asian nation], 9,058 from other countries in North and South America, and 6 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1857, 251,306 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 216,224 came from Europe, 5,945 from Asia [5,944 from China, 1 from India], 6,811 from other countries in North and South America, and 25 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1858, 123,126 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 111,354 came from Europe, 5,133 from Asia [5,128 from China, 5 from India], 5,821 from other countries in North and South America, and 17 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1859, 121,282 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 110,949 came from Europe, 3,461 from Asia [3,457 from China, 2 from India, and 2 from other Asian nations], 5,466 from other countries in North and South America, and 11 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1860, 153,640 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 141,209 came from Europe, 5,476 from Asia [5,467 from China, 5 from India, and 4 from other Asian nations], 6,343 from other countries in North and South America, and 126 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

Source: Historical Statistics of the United States from Colonial Times to 1970, pages 105-109.

In 1870 [no data listed prior to that year], only 9 African Americans were born abroad or at sea.

Source: Historical Statistics of the United States from Colonial Times to 1970, page 89.
 

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I note that from 1850 to 1860, while the white population increased by 31% and the enslaved increased by 23%, free non-whites only increased by 10%. This also demonstrates a lack of a transition to free labor or a dying out of slavery.

It is interesting that between 1790 and 1800, the free non-white population increased by 90%. The Revolutionary generation clearly saw slavery as a precarious institution. Their grandsons did not.

Free nonwhites or free blacks? Would nonwhites include Asians?
 

jgoodguy

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In 1851, 379,466 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 369,510 came from Europe, 2 from Asia [specifically India], 9,703 from other countries in North and South America, and 3 from Africa. 248 were US people who were returning to the United States.

In 1852, 371,603 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 362,484 came from Europe, 4 from Asia [specifically India], 7,695 from other countries in North and South America, and 0 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1853, 368,645 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 361576 came from Europe, 47 from Asia [42 from China, 5 from India], 6,030 from other countries in North and South America, and 8 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1854, 427,833 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 405,542 came from Europe, 13,100 from Asia [all from China], 8,533 from other countries in North and South America, and 0 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1855, 200,877 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 187,729 came from Europe, 3,540 from Asia [3,526 from China, 6 from India, and 8 from other Asian nations], 9,260 from other countries in North and South America, and 14 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1856, 200,436 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 186,083 came from Europe, 4,747 from Asia [4,733 from China, 13 from India, and 1 from another Asian nation], 9,058 from other countries in North and South America, and 6 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1857, 251,306 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 216,224 came from Europe, 5,945 from Asia [5,944 from China, 1 from India], 6,811 from other countries in North and South America, and 25 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1858, 123,126 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 111,354 came from Europe, 5,133 from Asia [5,128 from China, 5 from India], 5,821 from other countries in North and South America, and 17 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1859, 121,282 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 110,949 came from Europe, 3,461 from Asia [3,457 from China, 2 from India, and 2 from other Asian nations], 5,466 from other countries in North and South America, and 11 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

In 1860, 153,640 people immigrated into the US. Of these, 141,209 came from Europe, 5,476 from Asia [5,467 from China, 5 from India, and 4 from other Asian nations], 6,343 from other countries in North and South America, and 126 from Africa. The remainder were US people returning to the United States.

Source: Historical Statistics of the United States from Colonial Times to 1970, pages 105-109.

In 1870 [no data listed prior to that year], only 9 African Americans were born abroad or at sea.

Source: Historical Statistics of the United States from Colonial Times to 1970, page 89.
Data :dance:
 

WilliamH

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You can't prove slavery would have faded away without the ACW nor can you prove that it would have spread or strengthen.

My observation/theory is that yes slavery was dying. The ideas progressing in Western Civilization were incompatible with slavery. Thus the leading nations of Western Civilization at that time, the United Kingdom and France, both ended slavery in all their territories in the mid 1800s, and other European countries followed suit.

Even if slavery had remained economically profitable in the Southern US. Then the social/political pressure from the free States plus from the European countries means slavery was still doomed to die even if the Slave owners didn't realize it.

But I think the Slave owners did sense the growing pressure both domestic and foreign against slavery and that's why they reacted so passionately against the election of President Lincoln. After all if slavery was not dying and under no threat then why secede to protect it?
 

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I have not seen the claim that slavery "would not have died" without the Civil War. I heard Eric Foner say that agricultural-based slavery was viable until the 1920s. Whether the leap to urban slavery could have been made is tough to say, but it is possible.

If slavery was dying out, we would expect to see it decline during the years leading up to the Civil War, yet as this table indicates, the number of slaves was steadily increasing:

View attachment 198891
From 1850 to 1860 there was a 23% increase in the number of slaves in the South. That is without anyone being added to the slave population through import or immigration!

I don't see where they got those numbers. I have the Historical Statistics of the United States, and I cannot find how that information is broken out.
 

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You can't prove slavery would have faded away without the ACW nor can you prove that it would have spread or strengthen.

My observation/theory is that yes slavery was dying. The ideas progressing in Western Civilization were incompatible with slavery. Thus the leading nations of Western Civilization at that time, the United Kingdom and France, both ended slavery in all their territories in the mid 1800s, and other European countries followed suit.

Even if slavery had remained economically profitable in the Southern US. Then the social/political pressure from the free States plus from the European countries means slavery was still doomed to die even if the Slave owners didn't realize it.

Is there any historical evidence of this happening?

Edited; modern politics

But I think the Slave owners did sense the growing pressure both domestic and foreign against slavery and that's why they reacted so passionately against the election of President Lincoln. After all if slavery was not dying and under no threat then why secede to protect it?

There was a threat to it, but it wasn't dying. They seceded to remove the threat and thus it would continue to strengthen.
 
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WilliamH

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Is there any historical evidence of this happening? North Korea and Eritrea have slavery today. Is there social/political pressure on them to stop it?

You mean Europe ending slavery? UK 1844, France 1848, Denmark 1848, Portuguese colonies in 1869, Spainish Puerto Rico 1873 and Cuba 1886...

Or the UK putting pressure on countries to end/limit slavery like the move to end the slave trade (seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard)
-wiki

Edited; modern politics

There was a threat to it, but it wasn't dying. They seceded to remove the threat and thus it would continue to strengthen.

We will just have to disagree. I believe if you look at the bigger picture of Western Civilization in the 1800s then you see a clear pattern of slavery dying out. Evidence of this is can be seen in the above mentioned dates of European powers ending slavery in their colonies.
 
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You mean Europe ending slavery? UK 1844, France 1848, Denmark 1848, Portuguese colonies in 1869, Spainish Puerto Rico 1873 and Cuba 1886...

Which of those was due to international pressure?

Or the UK putting pressure on countries to end/limit slavery like the move to end the slave trade (seized approximately 1,600 slave ships and freed 150,000 Africans who were aboard)
-wiki

The United States ended the slave trade in 1807. That doesn't seem to have ended or limited slavery.


Edited; modern politics

We will just have to disagree. I believe if you look at the bigger picture of Western Civilization in the 1800s then you see a clear pattern of slavery dying out. Evidence of this is can be seen in the above mentioned dates of European powers ending slavery in their colonies.

Which of them fought a war to keep it?
 
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tony_gunter

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There was talk in the thread James Robertson Speaks which indicates that modern scholarship has proven that slavery was not dying or would not have died in due course without the war.

Kevin Levin mentions it here: http://cwmemory.com/2018/07/31/james-i-robertsons-monument-rant/

I'm curious as to what has, in fact, been proven. Would slavery have died without the war?
Given that slavery didn’t die until the 1960’s, and only then after federal intervention was threatened, I’d say it still had quite a bit of life left in it.
 

JPK Huson 1863

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It's the motive behind these theories that freezes my marrow. Implication seems once again those pesky northerners made a big mess just when things were going along swimmingly. No harm, no foul, what's all the fuss when everyone knows enslaved humans would have just stopped being so gosh darn useful. Well, maybe a little useful in Kansas.

Worst feature is, that it's a topic all these years later. Also freezes my marrow.
 
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We can speculate until the cows come home. But I can't identify anyone who thought slavery was decaying in 1860, or was going to end. So the decision makers of the time, unless someone can contradict me, did not act as if it was a fading or unviable.

People made have thought it wasn't a good idea, or thought political steps should be taken to limit it, and so forth, but that's not the same thing. Lincoln thought restricting slavery from the West would lead to the states gradually abolishing slavery, but he thought it would last until the 20th century even with those restrictions in place.
 

Viper21

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I am not sure what you want. There is data available in the 1860 census for foreign born.
I was just looking for something to confirm your claim in this post.

I note that from 1850 to 1860, while the white population increased by 31% and the enslaved increased by 23%, free non-whites only increased by 10%. This also demonstrates a lack of a transition to free labor or a dying out of slavery.

It is interesting that between 1790 and 1800, the free non-white population increased by 90%. The Revolutionary generation clearly saw slavery as a precarious institution. Their grandsons did not.

My initial response...
Or could the differences be found somewhere in the immigration stats..?

The 31% WP could easily be the result of natural increase, plus immigration. The 23% slave increase is easily deduced from natural reproduction. How many "free non-whites" immigrated to the US 1850-1860..? How about 1790-1800..?

The fact that the free non-white population grew at its lowest rate in the decade before the war, at half the rate of enslaved blacks, indicates lack of a transition to free labor.

My question is specifically about the immigration of "free non-whites" in the periods mentioned earlier. I had wondered if the differences were explained through immigration stats, or culture. ie: lower natural reproduction via cultural norms.

I had wondered if your conclusion was reasonable, or if there was another explanation for lower population increase amongst "free non-whites" 1850-1860. You referenced the increase in "free non-white" population from 1790-1800 as an increase of 90%, & came to a conclusion about slavery as a result. I was again, looking for something to back up your statement, or not. I wondered if the immigration numbers of those two periods, for those distinctly mentioned groups, might shed light on the difference in % increase.

*edited to add quoted posts*
 
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Joined
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It's the motive behind these theories that freezes my marrow. Implication seems once again those pesky northerners made a big mess just when things were going along swimmingly. No harm, no foul, what's all the fuss when everyone knows enslaved humans would have just stopped being so gosh darn useful. Well, maybe a little useful in Kansas.

Worst feature is, that it's a topic all these years later. Also freezes my marrow.

I agree. Its an ideologically driven belief. The war was unnecessary because slavery was about to collapse. You can blame the secessionists for going nuts for a dying institution, or you can blame the abolitionists for being "pests" as you say, for starting all the trouble when slavery was about to go the way of the hulu hoop.

But no one thought it was dying, in 1860.
 
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