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|Texas Defender wrote:
Ole, it seems that we are narrowing our areas of difference. Perhaps we can do so further.
ole can certainly speak for himself, but I'd like to add a few things
The first area concerns northern resentment of the 3/5 Compromise giving slave states more representation in the House (and thus more power in presidential elections, especially if they promise to be close ones). You state that you've never heard of northern complaints over this additional representation. I have. It was during the timeframe of the Missouri Compromise. But until I am enterprising enough to track down a credible source, I cannot prove it to you.
The abolitionists certainly resented '*everything* about slavery. The more pragmatic anti-slavery leaders (Lincoln) knew that the Constitution firmly protected slavery. They were hoping to restrict it's spread and then to fight the battles such as Dred Scott and the Fugitive Slave law...
The second area concerns the viability of the slave system in the territories. I know very little about agriculture. But I can present proof that cotton did indeed grow in Kansas during the war. (and still does.) It seems that if a reliable southern supply had not been restored, more would be grown today in Kansas than is at present.
Kansas' short growing season makes cotton cultivation problematic. Today's mechanization greatly shortens the picking season in the heavily irrigated fields. One wonders if McCormick had invented a cotton-picker, how long lavery would have been maintained...
Cool Things, Cotton Gin, Kansas State Historical Society
Surely, the slave system worked well enough in neighboring Missouri. According to the 1860 Census, there were still 114,931 slaves in Missouri then. Cotton is still grown there as well.
Slavery in Missouri followed the typical pattern. Market crops (cotton, hemp and tobacco) were grown near easy transportaion arteries (in this case the Missouri-Mississippi river system. Cotton growers in Kansas counties with a climatic opportunity to grow had no way to transport it.
Going beyond the point of crops, I would maintain that even if the slave system gave little advantage in the territories that would become states, the south would still want it to be legal there. Their friends and allies could then provide them with more senators, House members, and thus electoral votes, etc.
Quite true. Any defeat, such as in the Dred Scott case, would have limited their 'title' to slaves. Scott was still a chattel slave even though he lived for years in 'free' states.
In the third area, the balance of power, you state that it didn't become delicate until late in the game. I completely agree on this point. In the early days of the Republic, the south easily maintained its position of power in the federal government. As power began to slip away, many southerners developed a paranoia about being surrounded by enemies who would vote to destroy their interests. It is greatly unsettling to people who are used to being in control to feel such control slipping from their hands.
Absolutely. The fracturing of the Democratic party handed the Republicans the White House only 4 years after their founding and probably a good 8-12 years earlier than if the Democrats had remained united...
Last edited on Tue Apr 3rd, 2007 06:59 pm by HankC