GDG- NPS, Slavery and Economies

Jack Lawrence jlawrence at kc.rr.com
Thu Jan 5 18:53:31 CST 2012


Sorry you feel tyat way.
As you wish.

Regards,
jack


----- Original Message ----- 
From: <joadx1 at netscape.net>
To: <gettysburg at arthes.com>
Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 4:22 PM
Subject: Re: GDG- NPS, Slavery and Economies


> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> I really don't understand you.  You said that there was "a lot more going 
> on."  I said exactly the same thing.  That is the meaning of the word 
> "overdetermined."  So to say that my second paragraph is "simply 
> incorrect" is to contradict yourself.
>
> To say that something is a "created racial undertone," as well, is simply 
> meaningless.  I suggest that you read Henry Louis Gates Jr. on the way 
> that race was integral to the development of African slavery.
>
> It's very strange: ideologically you and I are on the same side.  We are 
> both opponents of Lost Cause mythologies, especially the apotheosis of 
> Robert E. Lee.  But no matter what I write here, you respond rudely and 
> illogically.  I don't understand it.
>
>
>
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jack Lawrence <jlawrence at kc.rr.com>
> To: GDG <gettysburg at arthes.com>
> Sent: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 11:14 am
> Subject: Re: GDG- NPS, Slavery and Economies
>
>
> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
> Hello.
> There is, as you point out, a lot more going on here.
>
> The wealth generated by slavery was not only in the cotton, rice etc that
> they produced.
> It was also in the slaves themselves. A strong field hand was worth a
> thousand dollars in 1850's-60's dollars.
> So a man with a thousand slaves had a hundreds of thousands of dollars
> dollars in wealth out in the fields, no matter how well his crops fared. 
> He
> could also hire those slaves out, or let a skilled slave, like a 
> carpenter,
> take on work in town and pay (more likely split) what he earned. He could
> even hire out the women.
>
> The south understood that the influx of northern immigrants was producing 
> a
> body politic that wanted no part of slavery. Even so, the north was 
> willing
> to tolerate it, to preserve the union. So was Lincoln. In that regard, he
> was a manifestation of the body politic in it's purest form. What would 
> not
> be tolerated was the southern demand to allow slavery in territories prior
> to their admission into the union (bleeding Kansas was all about whether
> Kansas would be free or slave at admission.)  The Supreme Court was
> responsible for this when it overturned The Missouri Compromise, which
> required one slave state be admitted for every free state admitted So the
> south tried to circumvent this by allowing slavery in the territories 
> prior
> to admission. Trying to abolish slavery in a state that already had slaves
> would be difficult to say the least.
>
> Now, the reason the south wanted the territories to be open to slavery was
> purely economic. More slave territory meant that more slaves were needed.
> Which meant that if a man owned a thousand slaves worth a hundreds of
> thousand of dollars, they were worth hundreds of thousands of dollars 
> more.
>
> Succinctly stated, slavery as practiced in the United States at that place
> and time was a giant bubble. It was not slavery that was going to go away.
> It was the wealth of the slaves that was going to diminish.
>
>
> Your second paragraph, that the matter of slavery in the Civil War is over
> determined is simply incorrect. The only thing going on here is slavery.
> It is true that there was a racial undertone, but it was a created racial
> undertone. Throughout history, for the most part, slavery had been pretty
> much an economic institution.
> In the south, people were taught that Africans were an inferior people,
> somewhere between animals and people. They were too simple to function
> freely. Even the slaves were educated in their dependence on white people.
> Traveling minstrel shows toured the south. They always included three main
> characters, Jim Crow, the typical hard working, carefree negro who 
> prospered
> when he did his masters bidding, Tambo, the joyous musical negro, and Zip
> Coon, the sly negro who was always getting Jim in trouble (think King Fish
> Amos and Andy and ). Just another way to keep blacks in their place.
>
> Indoctrination was prevalent among white people too.
>
> Preachers preached it on Sunday (There was even a "Christian Way" to treat
> your slaves dogma), politician orated over the dangers of free negroes and
> civic leaders did the same.
> The message was always the need that slaves had for white masters. But the
> really chilling, insidious, vile message, the one that chilled the 
> populace
> and absolutely convinced them that they need to keep these people enslaved
> was that black slaves craved after, lusted for and, left unfettered, would
> unleash a depravity on white females unseen since the rape of the Sabine
> women. Can you imagine preaching this on Sunday?
> Which, IMHO, accounted for the fierce devotion to the south among southern
> women during the war. (Ok, Butler didn't help much).
>
> So, at the end of the day, there was no other cause for the war but 
> slavery,
> but slavery itself was a many faceted thing.
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: <joadx1 at netscape.net>
> To: <gettysburg at arthes.com>
> Sent: Thursday, January 05, 2012 11:59 AM
> Subject: Re: GDG- NPS, Slavery and Economies
>
>
>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>> This is not a simplistic view; in fact, a number of modern analyses of 
>> the
>> Civil War focus precisely on the economic aspects of the conflict.  One
>> that I have read indicates that one of the reasons why non-slave-owning
>> southerners fought to protect slavery was because so much of the southern
>> economy was founded upon it that everyone would suffer economically if it
>> disappeared.
>>
>> And while it would take us too far away from the parameters of this
>> discussion board, I would argue (and do argue in my own professional 
>> work)
>> that the peculiar institution of money has a particularly powerful role 
>> in
>> our history, past and present, that is often misunderstood or ignored.
>> But I will go no further on that.
>>
>> But I will add that the matter of slavery and the Civil War is
>> overdetermined--that is, there is more than one cause at work here.
>> Beyond the very real economic dimensions of the matter are the racial 
>> ones
>> (I do not want to dwell on this, but racial hatred and feelings racial
>> superiority are also involved); the social class ones (the plantation
>> aristocracy was able to paper over the class inequalities in the south by
>> telling southern yeomen that without slavery they would be part of a
>> menial class, but with it they were part of a ruling caste); and simple
>> fear: the southerners were very well aware that they had, in many 
>> regions,
>> established slave populations that were much larger than the white
>> populations, and they were terrified of a slave rebellion on the order of
>> the successful rebellion in Haiti.
>>
>> There are yet other parts to this ugly puzzle, but your own suggestion is
>> a very important part of it all.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Andy Mills <amills at jplcreative.com>
>> To: GDG <gettysburg at arthes.com>
>> Sent: Thu, Jan 5, 2012 9:44 am
>> Subject: GDG- NPS, Slavery and Economies
>>
>>
>> Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
>> My apologies as I am not the best at getting ideas and thoughts out of my
>> head
>> and rationalizing them so others can understand.
>>
>> Having made my disclaimer, I am curious as to why the war wasn't all 
>> about
>> money?
>>
>> Secession caused the war and slavery caused secession, I think based on
>> emails I
>> have read over the last couple days, everyone agrees with this statement.
>>
>> But what caused slavery?  The immediate cause was the need for cheap 
>> labor
>> centuries before the civil war, so the underlying cause of slavery was
>> money,
>> ergo money caused slavery and slavery caused secession so the root cause
>> was
>> money?
>>
>> I understand that by 1860, there was also a racial element to America's
>> slavery
>> and part of the reason for maintaining the system was this racial element
>> but I
>> don't think this was the major force in maintaining the "peculiar
>> institution",
>> as the major force was simply put:  money.
>>
>> So why wouldn't the root cause then be economics, that without allowing
>> slavery
>> into the territories, slavery would slowly die and as a result, so would
>> the way
>> of life for the slave holding aristocrats of the South and their desire 
>> to
>> maintain slavery was a desire to maintain their statuses, income, etc.
>>
>> One example would be Hampton Plantation outside Baltimore.  It was one of
>> the
>> largest and richest prior to the Civil War but slowly fell into a period
>> of
>> decline once slavery was banished from the country until the NPS saved 
>> the
>> mansion future generations (yes, I know other organizations originally
>> saved it
>> in 1948, but didn't want to go into all the history of it).  We can look
>> at many
>> of the James River plantations that had to open their doors to the public
>> to
>> preserve and protect their properties because they were no longer
>> sustainable
>> once slavery was abolished.
>>
>> I agree that the original south seceded to protect slavery, but 
>> underneath
>> that,
>> slavery was there to support their income / economies, so if you want to
>> say
>> slavery led to secession which lead to the war, why can't you further
>> define it
>> that money led to slavery which lead to secession which led to war and as
>> such,
>> the root cause is the all powerful dollar?
>>
>> I understand this is a simplistic view and possibly an incorrect view of
>> the
>> situation, but to me, secession caused the war and a desire to protect
>> slavery
>> led to secession (I understand that you can't separate slavery from 1860
>> South),
>> but the root cause of slavery was money.  American slavery / chattel
>> slavery
>> wasn't like the Native Americans that took slaves from rival tribes to
>> help
>> replenish their population, or Rome that took slaves from captured 
>> armies.
>> Slaves in those societies were not the basis of the economies as it was 
>> in
>> the
>> Antebellum South.
>>
>> I hope this makes sense, but wanted to get some viewpoints to see if this
>> is a
>> valid opinion or is full of holes.
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com 
>> [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at arthes.com]
>> On
>> Behalf Of John Lawrence
>> Sent: Tuesday, January 03, 2012 8:48 PM
>> To: GDG
>> Subject: Re: GDG- NPs & Slavery
>>
>>>--------------------------------
>>>
>>>Hello,
>>>
>>>I am not arguing  whether not Lincoln could have  have chosen another
>>>method to react to secession.  I'm not arguing Lincoln did not go to
>>>war to preserve the union.   I am simply stating the  historical fact
>>>that secession was caused by slavery and war was the result.
>>>
>>>It is impossible to have any discussion of the causes of the war or the
>>>cause secession without the inclusion of slavery.
>>>
>>>The indisputable point is  slavery was the cause of secession which was
>>>the cause of the war.
>>>
>>>The other what-ifs do not apply to that.
>>>
>>>
>>>Take Care
>>>
>>>Dennis
>>
>>
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