Counterpoint Why Non Slave holding Southerners Fought

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FedericoFCavada

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Agreed, disgust and fear are hardly exclusive and typically form a reinforcement of each other: fear, revulsion, shame, dread, horror, disgust, etc. And one does just have to read the rhetoric about the fears and concerns with "amalgamation" that would surely attend rule by the "Black Republicans" and their overturning of the social order in favor of the dreaded "social equality" that was utterly anathema to the prevailing white supremacist mores of the era.
 

Joshism

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But didn't all Southerners aspire to be slave holders and own large plantations some may argue. I have never bought into this argument. If this were the case why then did not great numbers of Northerners come streaming to the South to seek fame and fortune through the ownership of plantations.

The North, with industrialization and a more diverse economy, had lots of alternative options for wealth.

There were some Northerners who did go south - like the King family of Roswell, GA - and it's a subject I think has been understudied.

In the South, slaveowning went hand in hand with wealth and prestige. Not everyone aspired to wealth (especially in an era when most people were farmers and before Horatio Alger).

As I recall from a term paper I wrote almost decade ago, a bunch of early settlers in Alabama and Mississippi got rich from the cotton boom. The result was an influx of new money in the South, inexorably linked to cotton and slavery. It was a stark contrast to the old money of the South, which tended to be more reluctant on the slavery issue - not abolitionists but more likely to see slavery as something to eventually phase out if only a good way could be devised.
 

Joshism

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Yes, good point here. He makes a good case that important 'influencers' in Southern society tried to create a pro-slavery environment, but doesn't do much to prove that everyday people bought into it. Not in this article, anyway.

When essentially all the influencers have the same message and no influencers are allowed to offer the contrary message why wouldn't people buy it?

I think disgusted would be a better term than terrified.

Why not both?
 

OpnCoronet

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Just as the Union was fighting to restore a mythic concept of an ideal Union of a free people. So also, the South was fighting to restore a mythic concept of an ideal Slave South.

Whatever other reasons a person in the Suthern and Union armies have concerning their choice of sides to defend, in the end they were all fighting for the Visions of Lincoln and Davis.

P.S. In the visions of Lincoln and Davis, there was no longer room enough for the others vision.
 

Will Carry

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Where does one leave & the other take up? The speeches of the Secession Commissioners that were sent by the seceding states to explain why they acted are replete with dire warning of impending social equality. The meeting of white daughters & black men was unthinkable. When you consider the ubiquitous sexual abuse of slave women by Southern white men, you have to agree that they knew what they were talking about.

I have heard all of my life about the sexual abuse of black women by their white overseers but I don't think I have read one factual account of this happening. Being that the "Bible Belt" runs through the South too, the theory that black women were all sexually abused
seems diametrically opposed to the "Bible Belt". It's hard to wrap my head around this but I think it is very important. I am not trying to deny it happened because I am sure it did but was it on a grand scale or were they isolated and rare. Me thinks it is somewhere in between. This is probably a discussion for a dedicated post.....but I am not gonna do it.
 

leftyhunter

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I have heard all of my life about the sexual abuse of black women by their white overseers but I don't think I have read one factual account of this happening. Being that the "Bible Belt" runs through the South too, the theory that black women were all sexually abused
seems diametrically opposed to the "Bible Belt". It's hard to wrap my head around this but I think it is very important. I am not trying to deny it happened because I am sure it did but was it on a grand scale or were they isolated and rare. Me thinks it is somewhere in between. This is probably a discussion for a dedicated post.....but I am not gonna do it.
Think of it this way since African American women at the time were property who exactly who could they complain to if sexually abused? As been pointed out in previous threads DNA studies showed that mixed racial births peaked during slavery and then virtually stopped until rather recently.
Leftyhunter
 
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lupaglupa

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There have been many great points made in this thread and lots of well-supported arguments for how people felt about joining the Confederate Army. It strikes me that all these arguments could well be true. After all, we are talking about thousands of men from a diverse area with varied personal backgrounds. Did some believe in the moral right of slavery? Probably. Did some join because their pals did? Probably. Did others get conscripted? We know they did. Did they desert? We know that too. As many men as there were there were likely more reasons for joining the fight - each man likely had more than one cause he fought for an those may well have shifted during the war.

I do think the importance of arguments in favor of slavery that were heard by Southerners in the years before the war can't be understated. Being told by religious authorities on a regular basis that your behavior is Godly did have a profound impact on Southern society. That belief in the moral nature of slavery may have inspired some to fight. In others it may simply have made arguments against slavery unpersuasive and thus the Northern opposition to the expansion of slavery incomprehensible.
 

leftyhunter

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Wasn't the North?
Not as strident. Some Northern states never had Miscegenation laws and some got rid of them well before the ACW. Take a wild guess when Southern states got rid of Miscegenation laws and why. Hint the Beatles were no longer a new band.
There were African American voting long before it occurred in the South.
Yes there was discrimination but the South didn't Grant equal rights to people of color on their own accord.
Leftyhunter
 

Rhea Cole

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I have heard all of my life about the sexual abuse of black women by their white overseers but I don't think I have read one factual account of this happening. Being that the "Bible Belt" runs through the South too, the theory that black women were all sexually abused
seems diametrically opposed to the "Bible Belt". It's hard to wrap my head around this but I think it is very important. I am not trying to deny it happened because I am sure it did but was it on a grand scale or were they isolated and rare. Me thinks it is somewhere in between. This is probably a discussion for a dedicated post.....but I am not gonna do it.
Edited Fanny Kimball, Mary Chestnut, & a host of other women document that, ‘Our men live like patriarchs of old, surrounded by their offspring & their mother’s.’ (paraphrased)
I am away from home, but can cite the letter written by a man who advises his son that “slaves of the family” should never be sold. The women he refers to are a woman that both he & his son had children with. The son fathered children with his 1/2 sisters. Some slave breeders advertised that their stock sold at a premium price because he fathered them all, this insuring superior specimens. The principals of the largest slave dealers Franklin & Armfield that purchased extra slaves from VA, MD & DE & shipped them to LA had regularly rated the females. After having sex with them, they would write each other what amounted to a review. Those that received high ratings were sold at premium prices. The fancy girl market in New Orleans was literally a sex slave market. Comely pale skinned young women could sell for fantastic sums. In one instance the price at auction was $200,000 in 2020 dollars. I have a folder filled with citations on my Mac at home. A google search will produce a hundred thousand citations. So, the simple answer is yes, slave women were routinely exploited sexually.
 
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Will Carry

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Think of it this way since African American women at the time were property who exactly who they complain to if sexually abused? As been pointed out in previous threads DNA studies showed that mixed racial births peaked during slavery and then virtually stopped until rather recently.
Leftyhunter

Lefty, your logic is irrefutable. This is something I have been struggling to understand. The planation was kind of a society within itself. A closed society.
 

leftyhunter

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Lefty, your logic is irrefutable. This is something I have been struggling to understand. The planation was kind of a society within itself. A closed society.
Very much so. Some of our posters have claimed that slaves were treated very kindly and that's why there were so few slave revolts . There were certainly less slave revolts then in contemporary Jamaica and present day Hatti.
On the other hand the areas outside the plantations were patrolled by Slave Patrolers and finding good and shelter was difficult at best if a slave ran away which some did. Also of course slaves had no money so optaining food was even more difficult.
Leftyhunter
 

A. Roy

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I have a folder filled with citations on my Mac at home. A google search will produce a hundred thousand citations. So, the simple answer is yes, slave women were routinely exploited sexually.

I was going to reply with a quotation from Harriet Jacobs's memoir, but then I wondered whether it would take things too far away from the topic of the thread. But yes, I think there's plenty of documentation of sexual abuse of enslaved women.

Roy B.
 
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