Why did slavery need so much protection?

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#1
Why did slavery need so much protection from the federal government?
Why did secessionists assert that a government with abolitionist allies could eliminate slavery in the long run?
Why didn't they have confidence that the arrangement was so powerful and flexible that it would not only survive but spread and become national, regardless of any temporary political problems?

I think there are a few considerations.

The status of women was changing and changing rapidly. Elite women could read and write, and did so on a large scale. The productive power of working women, when equipped with power equipment was changing. The working conditions may have been bad, but the value was there.

That meant that slavery was in retreat in England, France, and the northern United States. Together with Belgium and some parts of German speaking world, slavery had disappeared and these were the areas that at least wealthy people were doing better than in any time in history.

The critical issue was in the northern United States. If slavery was so valuable and necessary, the economy in those areas would have suffered. There were some slumps, but the economy and the population were growing rapidly. Therefore slavery was not necessary in all circumstances, though it could still be necessary for southern agriculture. When all the states had some version of slavery, no special protection was needed. But when there were both paid labor businesses and coerced labor businesses in the same country, the potential for weakening of slavery was a problem.

The African-Americans were becoming American. Both their English skills and the cultural competence were improving. Outside the south, free Blacks did many things. Every free Black person was evidence that perhaps if people paid the African-Americans, they would work, just the same as other people. I've written before that the slaves became aware that they were enslaved, and no one else was enslaved. That meant that enforcement costs were escalating and that continuation of race based slavery created the need for a rationalization of the system.

Finally the country became bigger. The relative power of any individual state was smaller. Virginia was no longer dominant. It became harder for a slave owner to chase down a fugitive and a more favorable method of reclaiming a slave had to be created.

Basically, the rising standard of living, and the increasing need for literate labor that could do basic math was making coerced labor in agriculture more exceptional and noticeable, perhaps.

Why did slavery need so much protection that it competed with the emerging railroad industry for political power and influence?

Just a thought.
 

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#2
Why did slavery need so much protection from the federal government?
Why did secessionists assert that a government with abolitionist allies could eliminate slavery in the long run?
Why didn't they have confidence that the arrangement was so powerful and flexible that it would not only survive but spread and become national, regardless of any temporary political problems?

I think there are a few considerations.

The status of women was changing and changing rapidly. Elite women could read and write, and did so on a large scale. The productive power of working women, when equipped with power equipment was changing. The working conditions may have been bad, but the value was there.

That meant that slavery was in retreat in England, France, and the northern United States. Together with Belgium and some parts of German speaking world, slavery had disappeared and these were the areas that at least wealthy people were doing better than in any time in history.

The critical issue was in the northern United States. If slavery was so valuable and necessary, the economy in those areas would have suffered. There were some slumps, but the economy and the population were growing rapidly. Therefore slavery was not necessary in all circumstances, though it could still be necessary for southern agriculture. When all the states had some version of slavery, no special protection was needed. But when there were both paid labor businesses and coerced labor businesses in the same country, the potential for weakening of slavery was a problem.

The African-Americans were becoming American. Both their English skills and the cultural competence were improving. Outside the south, free Blacks did many things. Every free Black person was evidence that perhaps if people paid the African-Americans, they would work, just the same as other people. I've written before that the slaves became aware that they were enslaved, and no one else was enslaved. That meant that enforcement costs were escalating and that continuation of race based slavery created the need for a rationalization of the system.

Finally the country became bigger. The relative power of any individual state was smaller. Virginia was no longer dominant. It became harder for a slave owner to chase down a fugitive and a more favorable method of reclaiming a slave had to be created.

Basically, the rising standard of living, and the increasing need for literate labor that could do basic math was making coerced labor in agriculture more exceptional and noticeable, perhaps.

Why did slavery need so much protection that it competed with the emerging railroad industry for political power and influence?

Just a thought.
With the rise of the Underground Railroad the need grew for federal law enforcement to counteract it since only federal law enforcement can cross state lines. In a previous case @jgoodguy did cite a source that the United States Marshals Service did occasionally track down slaves. The slave owners wanted more federal involvement. If states don' t enforce the Fugitive Slave Act or condone violations then slavery will be very expensive to maintain in the border states.
Also while John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry failed it showed a terrifying possibility of what could occur in the future.
Also the federal government failed to stop the abolitionists in Kansas from defeating the pro slavery Border Ruffians.
Without vigorous federal support slavery would be imperiled.
Leftyhunter
 
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#3
With the rise of the Underground Railroad the need grew for federal law enforcement to counteract it since only federal law enforcement can cross state lines. In a previous case @jgoodguy did cite a source that the United States Marshals Service did occasionally track down slaves. The slave owners wanted more federal involvement. If states don' t enforce the Fugitive Slave Act or condone violations then slavery will be very expensive to maintain in the border states.
Also while John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry failed it showed a terrifying possibility of what could occur in the future.
Also the federal government failed to stop the abolitionists in Kansas from defeating the pro slavery Border Ruffians.
Without vigorous federal support slavery would be imperiled.
Leftyhunter
In a smaller country, Fugitive Slave issues are less pressing. Once Kentucky has a long border with 3 paid labor states and Missouri is bordered on 3 sides by paid labor states, the issue is constant. A sharp border did not exist in 1787, but it did exist by 1840.
 
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#4
The status of women was changing on a long term basis. jgoodguy might be able to state how long that trend was going on.
In my opinion the status of women in the Greek and Roman era was an aberration and Europe and United States were gradually shrugging off that imposition as frontier conditions faded.
 

Malingerer

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#6
Because it was a Constitutionally protected freedom like religion, press, right to bear arms, etc, ... .. Because if the Yankees erode our sacred right to own people next thing you know they'll be curtailing free speech, the press, searching the mails, you name it. Huge slippery slope.
 

uaskme

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#7
I think the Underground Rail Road was just a ruse. New England Slavers just brought more Slaves to the Southern Coasts. So, in the end, Just good for Business.
 
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#9
I think the Underground Rail Road was just a ruse. New England Slavers just brought more Slaves to the Southern Coasts. So, in the end, Just good for Business.
Any documentation that the Underground Railroad was a nefarious conspiracy by New England based slave smugglers or is this just a wild conspiracy theory?
Leftyhunter
 
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#11
I think the Underground Rail Road was just a ruse. New England Slavers just brought more Slaves to the Southern Coasts. So, in the end, Just good for Business.
Your focus on Northern complicity in general and New England slave shipping obscures a larger picture. There is no proof that I have seen which establishes that such shipping interests were a dominant or important part of the Northern economy by the time of the war. By 1860 the Northern section was a free labor society with a small but vocal and intimidating (to white Southerners) group of abolitionists, and that was key.

In its secession declaration, the state of South Carolina said that the incoming Lincoln administration was about to "wage a war against slavery":

But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them.

In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress.

In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

...We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
To the extent that Northern complicity existed, SC did not consider it a redeeming virtue. What SC saw was a Northern section that now seemed hellbent on destroying its vital institution. This was no ruse: they really did believe a war on slavery was coming. And when the United States finally destroyed that institution, SC surely felt that its concerns about Northern intentions were vindicated.

- Alan
 
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major bill

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#12
Because it was a Constitutionally protected freedom like religion, press, right to bear arms, etc, ... .. Because if the Yankees erode our sacred right to own people next thing you know they'll be curtailing free speech, the press, searching the mails, you name it. Huge slippery slope.
Was not Southerners searching mail, curtailing free speech, and curtailing the press to stop anti slavery discussion in the South?

The real reason slavery need so much protection was more and more people were starting to believe enslaving other people was morally wrong. Sadly by the mid 20th Century slavery would have needed even more protection as more and more people would have found the right for people to enslave others was some how wrong. I am half convicted that by 1950s/1960s no protection of the right to enslave other people in America could have been enough protection to keep slavery alive until the 21st Century.

Others may believe that slavery could have been protected much longer than the 1960s and I although I can understand their view even if I think they are mistaken.
 

uaskme

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#13
Your focus on Northern complicity in general and New England slave shipping obscures a larger picture. There is no proof that I have seen which establishes that such shipping interests were a dominant or important part of the Northern economy by the time of the war. By 1860 the Northern section was a free labor society with a small but vocal and intimidating (to white Southerners) group of abolitionists, and that was key.

In its secession declaration, the state of South Carolina said that the incoming Lincoln administration was about to "wage a war against slavery":

But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them.

In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress.

In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

...We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
To the extent that Northern complicity existed, SC did not consider it a redeeming virtue. What SC saw was a Northern section that now seemed hellbent on destroying its vital institution. This was no ruse: they really did believe a war on slavery was coming. And when the United States finally destroyed that institution, SC surely felt that its concerns about Northern intentions were vindicated.

- Alan
Laughable. The Slave Trade was centered in NYC during this time. There were probably as many Free Blacks kidnapped in NYC and Sold into Slavery that were recovered by the FSL.
 
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uaskme

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#16
Your focus on Northern complicity in general and New England slave shipping obscures a larger picture. There is no proof that I have seen which establishes that such shipping interests were a dominant or important part of the Northern economy by the time of the war. By 1860 the Northern section was a free labor society with a small but vocal and intimidating (to white Southerners) group of abolitionists, and that was key.

In its secession declaration, the state of South Carolina said that the incoming Lincoln administration was about to "wage a war against slavery":

But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them.

In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress.

In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

The ends for which the Constitution was framed are declared by itself to be "to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

...We affirm that these ends for which this Government was instituted have been defeated, and the Government itself has been made destructive of them by the action of the non-slaveholding States. Those States have assume the right of deciding upon the propriety of our domestic institutions; and have denied the rights of property established in fifteen of the States and recognized by the Constitution; they have denounced as sinful the institution of slavery; they have permitted open establishment among them of societies, whose avowed object is to disturb the peace and to eloign the property of the citizens of other States. They have encouraged and assisted thousands of our slaves to leave their homes; and those who remain, have been incited by emissaries, books and pictures to servile insurrection.

For twenty-five years this agitation has been steadily increasing, until it has now secured to its aid the power of the common Government. Observing the forms of the Constitution, a sectional party has found within that Article establishing the Executive Department, the means of subverting the Constitution itself. A geographical line has been drawn across the Union, and all the States north of that line have united in the election of a man to the high office of President of the United States, whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. He is to be entrusted with the administration of the common Government, because he has declared that that "Government cannot endure permanently half slave, half free," and that the public mind must rest in the belief that slavery is in the course of ultimate extinction.

This sectional combination for the submersion of the Constitution, has been aided in some of the States by elevating to citizenship, persons who, by the supreme law of the land, are incapable of becoming citizens; and their votes have been used to inaugurate a new policy, hostile to the South, and destructive of its beliefs and safety.

On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
To the extent that Northern complicity existed, SC did not consider it a redeeming virtue. What SC saw was a Northern section that now seemed hellbent on destroying its vital institution. This was no ruse: they really did believe a war on slavery was coming. And when the United States finally destroyed that institution, SC surely felt that its concerns about Northern intentions were vindicated.

- Alan
I wouldn't repeat this outside this Yankee Blog, you might look silly.

Yet, more than slick tactics, it was the migration of Wall Street tactics that was energizing the slave trade since "joint stock speculations engaging in the slave trade can never experience as loss. The greater the number of vessels dispatched for slaves, the greater the chance of success; for if two vessels out of twelve belonging to a company escape with cargoes of 600 each; the profit realized will amount to about 189,200 [pounds]," Thus, in 1867, "31 vessels . . .proceeded to the West Coast of Africa for slaves. . .capable of conveying 19,299 Negroes and . . . 19 were captured, while 11 or more than one-third escaped with 7400 slaves. The profit. . . must of been immense. . .ready distressed continent, as "slave hunts by the people of the King of Dahomey against the inhabitants of Abeokuta and vice versa, have of late been common occurrences. . . the King of Dahmey demands from 60 t0 170 dollars each for his slaves; the consequenceis, the majority of slavers proceed to the headquarters of the Slave Trade, the majority of slavers proceed to the headquarters of the Slave Trade, the South Coast," where Africans were cheaper. And yes, he concluded wearily, the Slave Trade is entirely under the American flag." pp137 The Deepest South by Horne

Anxieties were rising as the trial approached, New York, a stronghold of the African Slave Trade, was becoming suffused with the sentiment that this Civil War and the sacrifice it entailed was being done to assist despised U.S. Negroes: thus, as Gordon's fate was being decided, "innocent Negroes" were "hanged to lamp-posts by a New York mob." pp165 The Deepest South by Horne

Guess New Yorkers were afraid Hanging a Slave Ship Captain would hurt their Investments. NYC lamp post must of had Duel Purposes. Hanging Negroes seemed to be common!
 
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#17
Explain to us all of the Federal Assest used their enforce FSL? Haven’t saw that number.
Explain to us all of the Federal Assest used their enforce FSL? Haven’t saw that number.
Links sent.
I am patiently waiting for sourced evidence of the Underground Railroad was a nefarious conspiracy by New England based slave smugglers.
Thanks,
Leftyhunter
 
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#18
I wouldn't repeat this outside this Yankee Blog, you might look silly.

Yet, more than slick tactics, it was the migration of Wall Street tactics that was energizing the slave trade since "joint stock speculations engaging in the slave trade can never experience as loss. The greater the number of vessels dispatched for slaves, the greater the chance of success; for if two vessels out of twelve belonging to a company escape with cargoes of 600 each; the profit realized will amount to about 189,200 [pounds]," Thus, in 1867, "31 vessels . . .proceeded to the West Coast of Africa for slaves. . .capable of conveying 19,299 Negroes and . . . 19 were captured, while 11 or more than one-third escaped with 7400 slaves. The profit. . . must of been immense. . .ready distressed continent, as "slave hunts by the people of the King of Dahomey against the inhabitants of Abeokuta and vice versa, have of late been common occurrences. . . the King of Dahmey demands from 60 t0 170 dollars each for his slaves; the consequenceis, the majority of slavers proceed to the headquarters of the Slave Trade, the majority of slavers proceed to the headquarters of the Slave Trade, the South Coast," where Africans were cheaper. And yes, he concluded wearily, the Slave Trade is entirely under the American flag." pp137 The Deepest South by Horne

Anxieties were rising as the trial approached, New York, a stronghold of the African Slave Trade, was becoming suffused with the sentiment that this Civil War and the sacrifice it entailed was being done to assist despised U.S. Negroes: thus, as Gordon's fate was being decided, "innocent Negroes" were "hanged to lamp-posts by a New York mob." pp165 The Deepest South by Horne

Guess New Yorkers were afraid Hanging a Slave Ship Captain would hurt their Investments. NYC lamp post must of had Duel Purposes. Hanging Negroes seemed to be common!
How does this post prove that the Underground railroad was a nefarious conspiracy by New England based slave smugglers?
Leftyhunter
 
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Malingerer

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#19
Was not Southerners searching mail, curtailing free speech, and curtailing the press to stop anti slavery discussion in the South?

The real reason slavery need so much protection was more and more people were starting to believe enslaving other people was morally wrong. Sadly by the mid 20th Century slavery would have needed even more protection as more and more people would have found the right for people to enslave others was some how wrong. I am half convicted that by 1950s/1960s no protection of the right to enslave other people in America could have been enough protection to keep slavery alive until the 21st Century.

Others may believe that slavery could have been protected much longer than the 1960s and I although I can understand their view even if I think they are mistaken.
So you agree that the threat to a Constitutional right inevitably leads to the loss of other rights? And, that this is why Southerners might not feel safe within the old Union?
 



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