Would The Issue of Slavery Have Resolved Itself Even If The Civil War Hadn't Been Fought?


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#2
Yes. It would have ended sooner or later, for a variety of possible reasons.
- the more the Republicans and Northern States pushed against the Southern States, the more the South would have clung to slavery, refusing to be forced to give it up or restrict it, but in the end they're simply going to be outnumbered too badly, as they themselves recognized.
- economic pressure would have been another factor. Other sources of cotton and less reliance on Southern cotton exports by Europe and elsewhere weakens the value of the institution. There may well have been trade boycotts at some point.
- The great recession of the 1870s would also be a factor.
- related to this is outside social pressure. All other western countries were gradually phasing slavery out, and it's doubtful that the South could have held out long term against that trend.

I think in the end either the South is too weak in terms of political power to resist the rest of the US, or falling monetary value of the slave labor force combined with international pressure puts an end to slavery. What comes next is the question.
 
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#3
Yes. It would have ended sooner or later, for a variety of possible reasons.
- the more the Republicans and Northern States pushed against the Southern States, the more the South would have clung to slavery, refusing to be forced to give it up or restrict it, but in the end they're simply going to be outnumbered too badly, as they themselves recognized.
- economic pressure would have been another factor. Other sources of cotton and less reliance on Southern cotton exports by Europe and elsewhere weakens the value of the institution. There may well have been trade boycotts at some point.
- The great recession of the 1870s would also be a factor.
- related to this is outside social pressure. All other western countries were gradually phasing slavery out, and it's doubtful that the South could have held out long term against that trend.

I think in the end either the South is too weak in terms of political power to resist the rest of the US, or falling monetary value of the slave labor force combined with international pressure puts an end to slavery. What comes next is the question.
Exellent points. Thanks for responding.
I know I always think of the industrial revolution that occured after the war and think that farm mechanization would make more economic sense as well.
 

matthew mckeon

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#8
Simple - Farm mechanization would allow more work to be done more efficiently, and more cheaply than slave labor.
Why couldn't slaves be repurposed as factory workers? It was already being done. Making people work without paying them can happen in many settings.

My question however is what group would gain political power with the agenda of abolishing slavery? The topic could not even be discussed
 

dlofting

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#9
Being that every other country in the western hemisphere ended slavery by the late 1800s, it's safe to say it would have been similar in the American south.
Maybe, maybe not. Eric Foner suggests that slavery would have lasted until the great depression. No way of knowing what would have happened.
 

Carronade

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#10
It isn't just a question of labor. The people in charge in the south didn't want to share their communities with vast numbers of free blacks. Historically they kept Jim Crow in place until the federal government imposed change in the 1960s, in order to keep blacks under control. If these same people had the even tighter control of slavery, at what point would they voluntarily give it up?
 

Viper21

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#11
Why couldn't slaves be repurposed as factory workers? It was already being done. Making people work without paying them can happen in many settings.
Women, & children were cheaper. Work em 10-12 hrs a day, pay em next to nothing, send em home, no benefits. A slave had to be "purchased", housed, fed, clothed, & medically cared for. It was more economically beneficial to the early industrial bean counters to exploit the poor, women, & children. Slaves required an investment. Women, & children were expendable.
 

major bill

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#13
I still have seen no evidence, or even any real dispute, that slaves would not make good factory workers.

I am unsure when slavery might have ended. If slaves could be repurposed as industrial workers and used in other setting, slavery could well have survived until the mid 1900s.
 

trice

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#14
When was agriculture mechanized? How much mechanization before the tipping point was reached?

This also does not take into account the use of slaves in other work environments.

In the end we can not know when or how slavery would have ended. There are too many variables to predict with any certainty.
Cotton
  • Rust Cotton Picker Company demonstrated their first picker in 1936
  • International Harvester introduced the first commercially successful picker in 1944
  • Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company introduces their picker after WWII
Tobacco
  • seems to have come into use after WWII
Sugar
  • sugarcane harvesters were developed in the 1920s
Rice
  • still involves very large amounts of hand labor around the world
 
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#15
Being that every other country in the western hemisphere ended slavery by the late 1800s, it's safe to say it would have been similar in the American south.
Not safe to predict at all. Slaves earned their freedom in Spanish Cuba and independent Brazil not as passive spectators dependent on the good will of white folks but by rebellion including armed rebellion.
Slaves in the American South we're more isolated from each other and Southern whites had efficient paramilitaries known has "Patroller's" to squash a rebellion. No reason to think slavery would of magically disappeared in the South.
Leftyhunter
 
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#16
Cotton
  • Rust Cotton Picker Company demonstrated their first picker in 1936
  • International Harvester introduced the first commercially successful picker in 1944
  • Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company introduces their picker after WWII
Tobacco
  • seems to have come into use after WWII
Sugar
  • sugarcane harvesters were developed in the 1920s
Rice
  • still involves very large amounts of hand labor around the world
Also @Tom Hughes ,
Slavery is very much with us in the 21st Century. No reason to believe the South could not sustain slavery to the present day.
Leftyhunter
 

uaskme

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#17
Cotton
  • Rust Cotton Picker Company demonstrated their first picker in 1936
  • International Harvester introduced the first commercially successful picker in 1944
  • Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company introduces their picker after WWII
Tobacco
  • seems to have come into use after WWII
Sugar
  • sugarcane harvesters were developed in the 1920s
Rice
  • still involves very large amounts of hand labor around the world
Immigrants, Hispanics and Coolies came much earlier.
 
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#19
It isn't just a question of labor. The people in charge in the south didn't want to share their communities with vast numbers of free blacks. Historically they kept Jim Crow in place until the federal government imposed change in the 1960s, in order to keep blacks under control. If these same people had the even tighter control of slavery, at what point would they voluntarily give it up?
There are two considerations here: the economic issues and the social issues. If slavery became unprofitable, it would have ended. Social control could be effected in other ways, if that was a societal goal, as we saw in actual history. But like real history, that would still afford the black population a chance to work for rights and equality.
 
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
151
#20
Cotton
  • Rust Cotton Picker Company demonstrated their first picker in 1936
  • International Harvester introduced the first commercially successful picker in 1944
  • Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Company introduces their picker after WWII
Tobacco
  • seems to have come into use after WWII
Sugar
  • sugarcane harvesters were developed in the 1920s
Rice
  • still involves very large amounts of hand labor around the world
Mechanized farm equipment like the tractor could do the work of many men. My grandfather, who lived in Meridian, MS, was one of the first tractor salesmen in Mississippi back in 1920. Of course, back then, lots of people were still using mules and the idea of a tractor was foreign to many of them. He had to educate them as to its efficiency. Now look at us. The tractors have GPS and steer themselves.
 



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