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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2007 02:11 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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If there were no slaves then I don't believe the plantation society or even small agrarian communities would have ever started or prospered.
Keep in mind it was in many cases the plantation class that supported the American cause during the Rev. War. The small non slave holding farmers of the interior were ambivalent at best about the Rev. War and many supported the Crown.
It wasn't until the excesses of the British that most turned their backs on the British and joined the American cause, particularly in states like North and South Carolina.
When we look deeply into the causes and sides taken in the Rev. War in the South religion takes as much a center stage as the British cause did.
So without the plantation class and their cause to battle the Crown during the Rev. War we may have never fought for our independence, we may have stayed a colony of the British.
Now we go forward 50 or so years. Putting the slavery question aside for a minute, we can look into other causes of regional differences including the tariffs and taxes. Many in the South were fed up with having to do most of their banking and almost all industrial processing in the North and when the banks in the North failed having to bail out the Northern banks. So we have the tariff question as well.
However as alluded to if there were no slaves the South would have probably been just a region of yeoman farmers with no real power and wealth. Other than some shippers and factors in the port cities the South would have been dirt poor.
One only has to look at the three main cash crops of the period to see that without exception they could not have been economically viable without slavery. Indigo, rice and cotton.
Even if the Southern plantation owners could find labor in the form of indentured or paid persons they could not have survived working the Sea Islands or inland rice fields due to disease, where as many of the slaves from the West Indies and Africa had at least some immunity from diseases like Malaria.
Just a few things to ponder.



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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2007 02:39 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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The above post should have been directed towards the South and it's plantation society not the nation of the whole.



 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2007 02:53 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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Bama, ah but keep in mind too that the wealth and fireaters of the south were almost exclusively the domain of the slaveholders.
Most of the small farmers would not have been that affected by any tariffs. In fact without the wealth of the southern slaveholders and their political will, there would not have been a South as we know it.
Most of the immigration from Virginia and Maryland was to the new areas in North and South Carolina in the mid to late 1700's and then onward to Mississippi and Alabama as westward expansion moved in the early 1800's.
The vast majority as you say didn't own slaves. As the cultivation of cotton grew so did the need for additional slaves, hence the gathering of wealth through the owning of slaves. One of the biggest concerns was the value of their property in the form of slaves. So without slaves the South would have been dominated by small yeoman farmers to the most part isolated from the everyday political and economic world.
The biggest social pressure on this class of people was religion, not economics. It was religious intolerance and divide that ruled their world.
The North was industrializing and would have have an even larger shadow over the agrarian South.

Last edited on Wed Dec 5th, 2007 03:27 pm by 39th Miss. Walker



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 Posted: Wed Dec 5th, 2007 11:55 pm
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Johan Steele
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All, keep in mind the tarriff at the time of the CW worked out to about $2 a year...

As an example of the effect of the tarriff on the average poor to middle class southern farmer. What exactly was he paying tarrifs on? A good hard look at what was directly effected by the tarriff finds alot that had little or nothing to do w/ the farmer.

Tools? The average farmer North & South made many of his own tools w/ varying degrees of quality but the reality is that if a man needed a tool he made it himself.

Furniture? Once again he made much of it himself to varying degrees of quality & craftmanship.

In short when discussing the tarriff it is important to understand who it bothered, how & why. The South was not paying a dispraportionate amount.



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 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2007 12:58 am
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javal1
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Bama,

Please elaborate. It was my understanding that the Morill Tariff didn't become law until about 30 days before Sumpter.



 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2007 02:22 am
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ole
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Buchanan signed the Morill Tariff into law as one of his last official acts.

It is, however, amusing that some claiming tariff issues are not familiar with the actual tariffs. Per capita, a tariff bill maybe meant $1.96 or $2.50 per year; I forget. But that number is deceptive. Cigars, brandy, champagne, silk, RR iron, perfume. Which of these bit the average guy the most?

Can't forget sugar and molasses. Rum was made from molasses. And everyone had to have some sugar. The tariff on sugar and sugar products was a favor to........guess who?.........Louisiana.

What did the average guy buy that was made more expensive because there was a tariff? Woven cotton and woolen fabrics? Perhaps. A plow or a hoe or a spade? Naah. A horse or mule? Most certainly not. Several bushels of potatoes, carrots, turnips or apples? No.

If Bubba or Bob or Jim and their wives were actually inconvenienced by a tariff, I have yet to see it.

Fluff.

ole



 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2007 03:59 am
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JoanieReb
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"So without slaves the South would have been dominated by small yeoman farmers to the most part isolated from the everyday political and economic world. .......
The North was industrializing and would have have an even larger shadow over the agrarian South."


Now, this interests me.  A larger shadow, and perhaps too poor of a South to fight back?  Thus, no war?  But surely, secession would have been attempted.....

Really great discussion, all! 



 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2007 04:30 am
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ole
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Now, this interests me.  A larger shadow, and perhaps too poor of a South to fight back?  Thus, no war?  But surely, secession would have been attempted.....


The south was never inhibited from developing industry. It just didn't happen. Most of the money generated just went into more land and more slaves. Did anyone invest in ships? A factory? A bank? The real failure of what was to become the Confederacy, was in not going with the trend. I don't know why they didn't. But they could have invested in some mills and some shipping and a financial market of their own. And they didn't.

Rather, they just complained about the money the northern factors were making off their cotton. Not a hint of creating their own.  The money went into more slaves and more land. And when they really, really needed a foundary, they didn't have but one.

Sad.

ole



 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2007 01:30 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Any time one faction seeks to dominate another whether for political, economic or social gain then there will be the chance of war.



 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2007 03:18 pm
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ole
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Just spent an hour responding. Was previewing it and lost the web. Ain't gonna do it again -- at least not today.



 Posted: Sat Dec 8th, 2007 06:26 am
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Haven't been able to access CWi for over 48 hours, just kept getting a blank page except for the server number whenever I tried to bring it up. Tried from five different servers at three different sites. Another person here in MI said he was having the same problem.

Thought maybe Joe had decided to ban Michigan, wouldn't blame him...ROLF....

Have much to reply to, glad I can get on again!

Ole, some time ago, I had a temper tamtrum on one of these threads because a glitch led to my losing  well-thought-out exhausting responses to threads, and it was decided it was best for posters to keep hitting the "copy" button as we post, in case it gets lost....well, I learned my lesson....:shock::shock::shock::P:P:P:?:?:?

Sorry, miserable, ain't it?

JoanieReb

Last edited on Sat Dec 8th, 2007 06:36 am by JoanieReb



 Posted: Sun Dec 9th, 2007 02:29 am
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ole
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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?



 Posted: Sun Dec 9th, 2007 05:28 am
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Johan Steele
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Bama46 wrote: Johan,
Where do you get the statement that the south was not paying a disporportunate amount.. the south was paying the vast majority of the tariff and getting precious little in return. The Morrill tariff strangled the south for generations, only being completely eliminated during the Truman administration


How?  The monies collected and ehrer they were collected from don't bear that statement out.  I've often seen the charge that the South was somehow paying for the govt.  It doesn't bear up to research.  Most of the tarriffs in the US were collected in the major seaport cities w/ NYC paying the most by far.

Look to the products effected by the tarriff and it doesn't take much to understand the average southerner as minimaly impacted by the tarriff. 



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 01:10 pm
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39th Miss. Walker
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Ole, I think you are losing sight of the big picture.
The point is without the large plantation culture, if the South was just small farmers with no slaves, the war would have never been fought. My opinion.
As for a few points. Slavery. Keep in mind that the wealth of the large plantation owners was tied up in their land and slaves, slaves were property.
Basically starting with Garrison and his "Liberator" he advocated the abolishment of slavery with NO COMPENSATION to the slave owners. That really started the problem.
Secondly the Tariffs did not effect the small farmer significantly, as I alluded to. The did affect the South and you forget the Tariffs on hemp and woolen goods for example, commonly bought by the small farmer. The problem with tariffs was when they were used for protectionism instead of revenue only to protect northern industries with no benefit to the South.
As for the need for slaves, are you kidding? There is no way hired hands would do the work. It was tried time and again with Irish labor particularly. First of all the hired help would not work as the slaves did and secondly in areas such as South Carolina and the Rice culture they could not last long working the rice fields.
After the war there was rioting partially caused by working for wages, script, and so forth. The rice farming ceased to exist by the later 1800's in almost all of South Carolina and the last plantation growing rice was about 1917.
Now some of this is partially due to mechanized farming in Louisiana and Texas but without slave labor the industry collapsed.
I would also challenge the assertion a slave was 27 before they "paid for themselves". With such a varied environment and differing crops it would be almost impossible to quantify.
Basically I was discussing some of the root causes of the war. Since you don't seem to agree what is your take? Why was the South so ready to fight for their freedoms?

It's funny but I recently read and article in a newspaper about the flag controversy here in SC. After the article many readers anonymously put forth their comments.Most didn't even have half of their facts right.
I was actually shocked at the venomous comments by many of either northern decent or who lived in the north, as expressed by their authors. Traitors they called the Confederacy, rednecks, trailer trash. They equated the Confederate flag with the NAZI flag, and on and on. "you lost the war, get over it" was a common refrain.
Yet there was on another day an article about the US support for making Kosovo a separate state from Bosnia and the problems there, how Bosnia is once again agitating to use military force. Yet some of these same readers had a totally different take and supported the secession of Kosovo. No words of traitors here!
Secession from a State has been an ongoing political process for thousands of years. Basic political, religious or economic reasons are always the cause. What made the South so different? Because it happened here? Discrimination towards the South is alive and well.



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 02:52 pm
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David White
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The Balkans don't make a very good argument for seccession.



 Posted: Mon Dec 10th, 2007 03:31 pm
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Actually, southern yeoman farmers tend to be more upset at intra-state slaveholders than many suppose.

there are 2 main reasons:
1) slaves are considered property but not taxed as such. Hence, slave-holders property is under-represented on the tax rolls.

2) slaves *are* counted for representational purposes, just as in Congress. Hence, slave counties tend to be over-represented in the state general assembly.

The sectional north-south difference is not the only split over slavery. Every southern state dealt with regional resentment between the slave- and non-slave-holding areas.


HankC



 Posted: Tue Dec 11th, 2007 05:46 am
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39th Miss. Walker wrote: Ole, I think you are losing sight of the big picture.
The point is without the large plantation culture, if the South was just small farmers with no slaves, the war would have never been fought. My opinion. It would seem, generally to be almost everyone's opinion. It's a little too simple a thing to say, but it is the conclusion. The slave society that developed was what caused the sectional division. I'm thinking nice thoughts about how the southern agrarians would have been very like the northern and northwestern agrarians, if there had been no "need" for slavery.
As for a few points. Slavery. Keep in mind that the wealth of the large plantation owners was tied up in their land and slaves, slaves were property. Basically starting with Garrison and his "Liberator" he advocated the abolishment of slavery with NO COMPENSATION to the slave owners. That really started the problem. Small correction. Garrison began his career by trying to persuade slaveowners of the rightness of freeing their people. And this was quite early in the antebellum period. The abolitionists of the radical bent did get a bit louder as time went on. (You might also allow that, until about 1840, there were more "antislavery societies" in the south than in the north. Maybe make it 1830.) Granted, the abolitionistes were getting lounder, but I know of none that advocated NO COMPENSATION. They were generally interested in getting fulfulled the promise of the Declaration of Independence.Secondly the Tariffs did not effect the small farmer significantly, as I alluded to. The did affect the South and you forget the Tariffs on hemp and woolen goods for example, commonly bought by the small farmer. Another small adjustment: Domestic hemp was not of high enough quality for serious use (e.g., the seafaring users). There was, during the period under discussion, a rather healthy hemp-growing industry. The only thing affecting the farmer was who was making the rope, and how good did it need to be? Woolens: Everyone, north and south, used woolens -- especially for uniforms and winter coats. Who do you suppose used more? And, when it is said to be "woolen goods," we're talking about bolts of woolen cloth. (I won't even begin to imagine they were importing Icelandic sweaters.) Granted. A duty raised the price of imported woolen goods to protect the domestic manufacturers. Did the south have no producers of woolen cloth? It did and it benefitted equally with the more numerous northern producers.The problem with tariffs was when they were used for protectionism instead of revenue only to protect northern industries with no benefit to the South. OK. Protectionist tariffs were designed to protect American industry from English industry, which had a good start. But protectionism was not the first priority. Revenue was the first priority; protection followed. The tariffs were not imposed as protection, but were varied according to congressional debate and compromise. "Only" has nothing to do with it. "Protectionism" made good sense as far back as the Articles of Confederation. It was part of the "common good" everyone talked about. That there was little benefit, or protection, for southern industry works only if you recognize that there was little southern industry.As for the need for slaves, are you kidding? There is no way hired hands would do the work. It was tried time and again with Irish labor particularly. First of all the hired help would not work as the slaves did and secondly in areas such as South Carolina and the Rice culture they could not last long working the rice fields. Sounds like you've been reading Olmsted. (Who, by the way, recorded that hired labor couldn't be "driven.") Given that the rice, cotton, and tobacco industries might not have risen to the heights they reached without slave labor, I wonder if that occasion would have been all that bad for the south. I'll invite you to rethink that the African was better able to work in the environment of a rice paddy. Or in the heat of the southern summer in general. There might have been a superior inherited trait or two, but let's think about the white subsistance farmer who worked under the same conditions.After the war there was rioting partially caused by working for wages, script, and so forth. The rice farming ceased to exist by the later 1800's in almost all of South Carolina and the last plantation growing rice was about 1917.
Now some of this is partially due to mechanized farming in Louisiana and Texas but without slave labor the industry collapsed. Perhaps the industry ought never to have been started? No. I'll have to give you that one. Once startted, it couldn't easily have been stopped. This is, after all, a discussion of what if there were none.
I would also challenge the assertion a slave was 27 before they "paid for themselves". With such a varied environment and differing crops it would be almost impossible to quantify. With that, you'll have to challenge Fogel and Engerman, not me. It might have been different with the crop, but they just calculated the average. And they did, by the way, factor in that about 45 percent of the slave children never reached 19 -- which might help explain the breakeven point of 27.Basically I was discussing some of the root causes of the war. Since you don't seem to agree what is your take? Why was the South so ready to fight for their freedoms? You say freedoms, I say interests. We have to figure out a way of getting on the same page. Without slavery, there wouldn't have been the sectional division that gave the people of each section the desire to fight those other guys. Without slavery, the south's development would have roughly paralleled that of the north. Without slavery, the southern farmer would have been the equivalent of his northern brother. Without slavery, there might have been more southern industry.It's funny but I recently read and article in a newspaper about the flag controversy here in SC. After the article many readers anonymously put forth their comments. Most didn't even have half of their facts right. I was actually shocked at the venomous comments by many of either northern decent or who lived in the north, as expressed by their authors. Traitors they called the Confederacy, rednecks, trailer trash. They equated the Confederate flag with the NAZI flag, and on and on. "you lost the war, get over it" was a common refrain. We all have our crazies. Hang around about 2 years or so, and you're going to get your fill of morons.Yet there was on another day an article about the US support for making Kosovo a separate state from Bosnia and the problems there, how Bosnia is once again agitating to use military force. Yet some of these same readers had a totally different take and supported the secession of Kosovo. No words of traitors here!
Secession from a State has been an ongoing political process for thousands of years. Basic political, religious or economic reasons are always the cause. What made the South so different? Because it happened here? Discrimination towards the South is alive and well. I don't see it quite that way. I post on a number of boards. And there is a bit of "poor, poor, pitiful me" on all of them. At the bottom of the weeping and hand-wringing, is a genuine desire to simply get under the myths and have a good look at what really was. Discrimination against the North is also alive and well. One of these days, we'll all get into sorting out what is history, what is belief, and what is desire.


Will leave you with a very thoughty observation I stole from another forum from a guy who stole it from another forum:

Conviction is not fact;

Insistence is not proof;

Opinion is not evidence.

I thought it was worth mentioning.

ole



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