|View single post by Texas Defender|
|Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2007 03:13 am||
What you say about the divergence of the two societies beginning very early in our colonial history is substantially correct. Because it was never a profitable system in the northern states, the large plantation feudal type system did not develop in the northern states.
There were slaves in the north, but not on the scale as there came to be in the deep south. The northern states gradually abolished slavery, at least officially. But a few slaves did remain. For example, in the 1860 Census, there were 18 slaves in New Jersey.
Here is a short history of slavery in the north.
Slavery in the North
As we all know, the Emancipation Proclamation only covered the slaves in the areas held by the Confederacy. Therefore, the few slaves remaining in the north were not freed. As I have read in more than one account, there were still nine slaves in New Jersey when the Civil War ended. They were not freed in New Jersey as the New Jersey legislature early in 1865 rejected the 13th Amendment to the Constitution. The last nine slaves were not freed until the amendment was ratified by the required number of states in December of 1865. Obviously, the number is insignificant, but it is ironic that the final slaves to be freed were in the north and not the south.
The two societies diverged because what was in their economic self interest became different due to what the land gave them. Eventually, what was beneficial to one side became detrimental to the other.
It was inevitable that the two would clash. For example, the Nullification Crisis showed a clash due to conflicting economic interests. The country might have come apart then if there had been a less energetic president than Andrew Jackson.
Nullification Crisis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Your question is what would have happened if there had been no slavery? Its like saying: "Would there have been a civil war if the north had not been the north, and the south had not been the south?"
If the plantation system had been profitable on a large scale in the northern states, it would have developed there. Men act in their own economic self interest. It is easy to oppose another system on a moral basis when it isn't in your interest to have it yourself.