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-   -   Why did we free the slaves? (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=875714)

Tzigone 05-30-2019 06:57 PM

Also, I do like to post this. It shows just how many families in the south owned slaves. It was not at all a tiny percentage. Slavery was deeply embedded in the culture. Not just economically, but culturally. As, as others mention, was the entire plantation lifestyle, which, of course, depended on slaves. It was the way God intended it to be. I know the moral quandary with slavery has been mentioned. There's at least one school of thought that southerners shifted from seeing it as a necessary evil to a moral good. As it made more and more money (the cotton gin playing a large part in that, as was said).

sisu 05-30-2019 10:26 PM

I would posit that the Industrial Revolution had a lot to do with it, machines are a hell of a lot easier than people.

SO aligning the industrial revolution and also the democratisation of religion we get a perfect storm (in most places).

There is also an argument that says that slavery is still alive and well in the Industrial Prison Complex......

Dangerosa 05-31-2019 09:26 AM

One of the other realities about slavery.

While U.S. based chattel slavery was rarely positive, there was bad and there was worse. Generally speaking, worse happened on two axises. The farther into the field and away from the house (or office) you went, the worse it was. And the farther South you went, the worse it was.

In the North, when states had slaves (and many states did have a slave population at the founding of our country), most slaves were house slaves or worked in offices. Again, not good, but RELATIVE to....

The slavery that Jefferson and Washington would have been familiar with was Virginia farm slavery. Hard work farming tobacco or the other commodities that were farmed and created on a Virginia plantation, but again, RELATIVE to....

South Carolina slavery, or what happened in the Caribbean. You'll wear yourself dead working a sugar plantation. Cotton or indigo isn't that much better. Its relentlessly hot. Bugs. Snakes. There is a lot of work to be done in a short time, and then the short time starts again - planting, picking. The human toll of the work alone is astounding if you are doing it voluntarily for your own benefit, and then you have overseers pushing to get more out of you so those windows don't close - and its a horrifyingly abusive system.

Moreover, in the early days of American slavery, slaves could be imported. Hence, once they were owned, families could...more or less....have some expectations of staying together. Once we banned importation, breeding of people and selling their children became the way to continue the supply pipeline of human beings....a far more horrifying situation than what we started with.

As the stream of information got better, Northerners became aware (as did the British and the rest of the world) that the slavery that they themselves had gotten rid of was the "friendlier" version of the vile activity. And what they saw of their near neighbors (Virginia, Maryland), was not what was going on in Georgia or South Carolina.

Again, I'm not saying that early Northern slavery was good....I'm trying to be very careful in my language here - just that your lot was different in a household in Maryland than it was in a field in South Carolina. There is a level of human suffering that we will justify....and some line that repels us - whether its Chinese slave workers making Nikes or diamond mining children in South Africa or enslaved Africans working in cotton fields or immigrant children being put in cages - as long as its hidden we will ignore it - even if it requires some willful ignorance. Starting in the early 1800s in the U.S., it became less and less possible to ignore or justify for anyone who wasn't (or didn't believe themselves to be) a direct beneficiary of the practice.

bump 05-31-2019 09:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smiling bandit (Post 21655406)
I disagree. That was one reason for it, but a much, much bigger one was that the Mexican government sort of went mad and managed to piss off so much of the country that around a third of it (not including California) went into revolt practically overnight. Parts broke away and never rejoined, including Texas. There was way more to it than just slavery, although I don't deny that was an element.

Right- Mexico had abolished slavery in 1829... 7 years before the Texas Revolution. Sure, the immigrants from the Southern US weren't wild about that, but at the time of the revolution, slaves were only about 10% of the population anyway, and centered mainly in the Brazos River bottom plantations where cotton farming was done.

The big thing was when Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna essentially turned the country into a dictatorship and scrapped the constitution of 1824- something like eleven Mexican states openly rebelled, with at least 3 (Republic of Rio Grande, Republic of Yucatan and the Republic of Texas) declaring independence.

That's why the flag at the Alamo was a Mexican flag with the eagle, cactus and snake replaced by "1824".


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