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Proud Pa wrote:
Emancipation in the North can be largely attributed to the ARW. As New England was attacked by Tories for demanding freedom while enslaving a whole race was seen as obviously hypocritcal to many Loyalists, to gain support for the cause many New Englanders began to free their slaves not entirely because it was seen as morally repulsive. Additionally, the price of importing slaves went up in the 1770s and the war itself saw many blacks fleeing to the British side. My point is, that emancipation only occured in the North after they had no economic stake in the institution. Following emancipation, the North inacted numerous policies designed to keep black folks oppressed and most northern states inacted laws designed to prevent blacks from entering them. This is not to say there were no Americans in favor of equality for blacks, but I still believe they were unfortunately a minority.
Correct, much of the Northern antipathy to slavery comes down to basic economic self-interest. Remember, very few were in favor of the abolition of slavery but most were in favor of the containment of slavery where it would not conflict with free labor...