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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Could Slavery Have Survived?

    Could slavery have survived if the US civil war had gone differently? Or was it a doomed institution anyway?

    I'm not aware of the global trends in relation to slavery anyway, apart from the fact that the UK had abolished white slavery and then afterward slavery per se and been hunting ships and ports engaged in the slave trade around the world.

    Its difficult to find a history of slavery which isnt also connected to heritage, ancestory or a particular ethnicity's "race consciousness", if anyone could recommend me a book or two I'd be interested.

    Its possibly more gendered now but I think it has survived in some ways, as has indentured labour and wage slavery in the form of sweated labour, I'm not talking about that so much as the full blown variety upon which entire economies where once dependent.

  2. #2
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    they could have bought the slaves instead :P

  3. #3
    Oberon
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    Chattel slavery was not likely to have survived except as a political symbol, if then. Why do I believe this? Most of the northern states had been slave states prior to the war at one time or other. All of the original colonies had at one time had legal slavery, with the exception of Pennsylvania. In fact, there were still slaves in the north even after the Emancipation Proclamation. The purchase of slaves was illegal in New Jersey, but at the time the Civil War opened there was still a handful of slaves who were "grandfathered in," as it were. I believe that the wave of abolition that had started in the North would have continued to progress eventually throughout the South, especially because...

    ...it was discovered on the big Southern plantations after the war that having free black tenant farmers ("sharecroppers") working for you was cheaper than owning slaves, and only provided a marginally greater degree of actual freedom for the workers in question.

    So I wouldn't give the South any credit for altruism. I believe the South would simply have discovered that slavery wasn't the best way to manage labor.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oberon View Post
    So I wouldn't give the South any credit for altruism. I believe the South would simply have discovered that slavery wasn't the best way to manage labor.
    I believe so too, hence the question, would there have been enough of a will to keep it alive do you think?

    I think perhaps it would have endured as indentured labour or something akin to the conditions in some of the factories in China.

  5. #5
    Oberon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    I believe so too, hence the question, would there have been enough of a will to keep it alive do you think?

    I think perhaps it would have endured as indentured labour or something akin to the conditions in some of the factories in China.
    Honestly, being a sharecropper was very much like working in those Chinese factories. It wasn't much different from being a slave, except that 1. You were technically free to leave and go where you wished, and 2. You were responsible for providing your own food and clothing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Willfrey's Avatar
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    "Questions that don't need to be pondered or asked."

    If anything, you should ask why it took us so long.
    ...Then I ducked my head and the lights went out, and two guns blazed in the dark;
    And a woman screamed, and the lights went up, and two men lay stiff and stark...

  7. #7
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    Not sure if it could, but it definitely should have. Goddamn I want some slaves, or be one. Anyhow... life would have been easier.

  8. #8
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    I mentioned this to my uncle today who's a big civil war fanatic and he hit me with a "fun fact". apparently around the time of the war, Delaware, which was a "border state" and endorsed slavery, had roughly 20,000 african american laborers, only 2,000 of which were slaves. so 90 % of them were already making wages, more or less, and it was perfectly legal for them to do so. Just something interesting to think about, but I think it lends itself to the idea that slavery was on its way out, one way or another.

  9. #9
    RETIRED CzeCze's Avatar
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    Yes particularly considering it was only when in US history that segregation was criminilized? in the US? There are still people alive today who remember and experienced it. Systemic oppression is clever and insidious it will find ways to camoflouge itself and be more palatable to "modern sensibilities" (adapt) but never go away.

    I answer like this because I think people are quick to congratulate themselves on how enlightened they are and how backwards or barbaric previous generations are. People take comfort in their individual moral superiority but don't realize how we're very much a product of an molded by our larger generation and simply when (and to whom) we were born.
    “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you.” ― Oscar Wilde

    "I'm outtie 5000" ― Romulux

    Johari/Nohari

  10. #10
    Courage is immortality Valiant's Avatar
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    Uuuh... Yeah!
    I've got slaves, for God's sake.
    Not black ones, though.

    Mightier than the tread of marching armies is the power of an idea whose time has come

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