View single post by ole
 Posted: Sun Dec 9th, 2007 03:29 am
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Joined: Sun Oct 22nd, 2006
Posts: 2031

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Will try to recreate the one I lost TWO days ago, as I seem to have a bit of time on my hands. The red is not screaming, please. It's just that I've recently become aware that one of our good members doesn't seem to be able to see green. That's all it is.

39th Miss. Walker wrote:
While it is true the majority of slaveholders did invest in land and more slaves it was not true that it was totally by choice. By this I mean the Northern Industrialist and banks had a strangle hold on industry and industrial development. The last thing they wanted was a competing South. Just as England had a strangle hold on the mills.  Just for a bit of clarification, are you saying that the bad northern industialists suppressed southern industrial competitors? If I don't want you to open a mill, what legal means do I have to stop you? Nothing a lawyer couldn't jump. Point is, if I want to build a mill, you can't stop me. And the idea that the north had a stranglehold simply doesn't fly well. Let's look at it from the northern mill owner. If I want you dead, I will cut my prices to the point where I am losing a bit for a while. Meanwhile, with my prices you can't make a profit. So, as you are just starting. When you fold, I can take my prices back up and maybe some more to make up for the year or two it took you to fold. This is how it works. Although that sort of thing existed between the UK and the US, I haven't seen where it was a big player among the US manufacturers.

To answer about the yeoman farmer of the early 1800's to the time of the CW, in the vast majority of the cases, particularly in Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama the farmer had very little to sell or buy. His main "exports" were hogs and a few cattle and maybe a little corn. The cotton, rice and tobacco was dominated by the large plantations, all of which are very labor intensive needing the slave labor. Does this say that the ordinary southerner couldnt buy anything, therefore the tariff didn't affect him? And can you contrast that with the northern farmer who was apparently a tiny bit more prosperous than his southern counterpart and did frequently have a surplus to sell and a market in which to sell it? "Needing" slave labor? Hired hands could have done the same labor. It would have made the planter raise his price some, but we might also realize that the world have had no choice but to pay what rice cost. Same with cotton. Don't like the price? Go to the next supplier. (There isn't one?)

So when market day did come the farmer would drive his livestock to a major city, sell them and buy a few staples. Maybe that plow or cloth for clothing, if it wasn't made on the farm. Their farms were not run for profit but substance.
I many cases the wife worked the fields alongside their husbands then worked late into the night carding and spinning cotton to make their clothes. But I digress. The farmer, the subsistence farmer, has been the wellspring of our civilization. For the most part, each of them tried to make life a little better for his kids. And they bought property or went to school  or some such. But it was and it has always been that the parents sought to boost their children to another level of achievement. And one other thing, or maybe two: the tariff affected the farmer, north or south, how? Here's this steer, he ought to be worth a barrel of flour or a bag of salt.
The point I was making was if there were no slaves there would not be a cotton, rice or tobacco industry as we knew it. Therefore the South would have been populated by small farms with no political or economic will to secede or fight a war. By their nature,the mentioned crops were labor intensive, But does that preclude paid labor? The difference between the cost of slave labor and hired labr is quite slim. It would seem that the cost to the consumer would not be that much. Have been reading "Time on the Cross" by Fogel and Engerman which is quite apologetic for the "practice."  But they cconclude that a 27 year old slve just begins to reurn the investment in keeping him alive that long.

The plantation society with it's wealth, and protectionist attitude did give the South the will and means to secede. However if the North had not burdened the South with the tariffs and the political status quo had been maintained regardless of the slavery issue then there would have been no war. One of these days, someone is going to actually show me how the south was burdened by the tariffs. Maybe you can do that?

Any time one faction seeks to dominate another whether for political, economic or social gain then there will be the chance of war. And no one has ever, at any time shown me that thre was ever more than a political desire to gain power, however you might want to color it. Do you actually believe that the conservatives and liberals do not seek to get the upper hand?

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