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Old 12-02-2019, 06:04 PM
 
Location: CA, heading to AZ...
1,331 posts, read 216,895 times
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I've always heard that less than 10% of southerners owned slaves, and that can be backed up with a few searches. But so can the 20 - 30% number, depends which you want to believe. I believe the lower number and feel it was based on much more complex matters than just slavery. Consider that it was called 'the War Of Northern Aggression' and The Second War For Independence' and that will tell you a little about the mindset of the times.....

I doubt most of the posters I've read here will want to go much beyond the 'it was all about slavery' thing though.....that's a much easier thing to digest.



https://www.answers.com/Q/How_many_s...slaves_in_1860
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/les...-slaves.14868/
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:06 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,018 posts, read 1,768,357 times
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Default The South had a much weaker economic base

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiloh1 View Post
Does anyone have a good historical grasp on why non-slave owning soldiers fought for the South. What were some of the contemporaneous accounts given other than to protect the institution of slavery? Given that poor whites seemed to be one or two rungs above the slaves on this social ladder why did they fight? I know compulsion was one reason but you would think that being 'free' would allow them to move on.


What I remember from reading histories of the US South & North & the Civil War:

Plantation Society (the large slaveholding plantations & the families that owned them in the South) dominated their states. They held all the elected positions, pastors, sheriffs, schoolmasters, newspapers. Any opposition to slavery was shut down & the persons involved expelled from the South, if not beaten up, tarred & feathered.

Through wild speculation, the South had crashed their banks, & lost control of their own economy (in terms of letters of credit, loans, etc.) The literacy rates were low throughout the South - it was made a crime to teach a Black person to read or write. Plantation Society didn't spend public (their) money on roads & bridges, they certainly weren't going to spend it on educating poor Whites.

The South's economy was based on a handful of commodities, cotton being chief among them. In pursuit of profits, the South imported staple foodstuffs from the US West, & manufactured goods from the US North (or from abroad).

What poor illiterate Whites in the South heard was that the North wouldn't fight. That they couldn't ride, shoot, march, that they would turn & run. The officer corps & NCOs on both sides certainly knew better - the same officers had fought together in the Mexican American War. But that message was considered to hurt morale in the South, & was not publicized in any event. I don't recall if the same was true in Northern media - but Northern media didn't depend solely on state/class support, as they did in the South.

In short, the South was fed a lot of wishful stories by their media & leading men. Both sides argued that the other side would cave in quickly - but the North could better sustain a long war. The North - with more population, industrialization, infrastructure, more public education, much less slavery, much higher immigration rates, higher wages, a variety of media of various political leanings - got a broader view of slavery (& politics & the economy) than the average man in the South did.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:25 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
4,018 posts, read 1,768,357 times
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Default There were political issues in the South

Quote:
Originally Posted by TedF0ster View Post
The Confederacy did use the draft, but there were a great many soldiers who volunteered. One reason that the Southern common man fought: the war crimes of Sherman, Sheridan, et al. I had an ancestor who lived in North Carolina during the war. As Sherman's soldiers passed through her area, they destroyed her house and her crops. Afterwards, without the compassion of neighbors, she and her children would have starved.
Plantation Society in the South used up any goodwill they had among Southern general society. The draft laws in the South - like all other laws there - privileged slave holders who owned a large number of slaves. Such men did not have to join the army.

Other bones of contention were Who would lead the Confederate troops once they crossed their home state's lines? Who was responsible to feed & maintain those troops away from their home state? The Confederacy's fortunes fell so low that their legislature was seriously considering allowing Blacks to join the Confederate military & bear arms - until they understood that that would undermine all the pre-war rhetoric about the Black man being inferior to the White man. & so the idea was allowed to die on the vine (this was late in the war).
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:42 PM
 
Location: Brackenwood
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LordSquidworth View Post
and had Congress legislated the end of slavery that would've been the law of the land. It wasn't up to the president, it was up to Congress. The South had their Congressmen. Up to that point there wasn't a real effort to end slavery in the south, but rather curtail it as new states got admitted.

Lincoln's aim in the Civil War was to keep the country together. It was until after years of fighting that emancipation happened.
So we've gone from "(f)reeing slaves didn't become an aim of the north until around Gettysburg" to "It wasn't up to the president." I'm not going to chase your ever-shifting argument around, as fun as that might be. I will simply reiterate your original claim is demonstrably, historically, gigantically false.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
43,775 posts, read 19,187,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southwest88 View Post
Plantation Society in the South used up any goodwill they had among Southern general society. The draft laws in the South - like all other laws there - privileged slave holders who owned a large number of slaves. Such men did not have to join the army.

Other bones of contention were Who would lead the Confederate troops once they crossed their home state's lines? Who was responsible to feed & maintain those troops away from their home state? The Confederacy's fortunes fell so low that their legislature was seriously considering allowing Blacks to join the Confederate military & bear arms - until they understood that that would undermine all the pre-war rhetoric about the Black man being inferior to the White man. & so the idea was allowed to die on the vine (this was late in the war).
President Davis began advocating the use of slaves as soldiers toward the end of 1864. It wasn't until March of 1865 that the Confederate Congress finally authorized raising slave regiments. The process had just begun when Lee surrendered in early April, so no units were ever mustered and sent into combat, but the Confederates did give in and attempt it.

What you reference above with "undermine" I believe was the quote from Confederate General States Rights Gist. (his real birth name) Gist, upon hearing of the advocacy for slave soldiers, said "If slaves make good soldiers, then our entire theory of slavery is wrong." And of course Gist believed in the southern theory of slavery right up to his death in the Battle of Franklin.

The delay in getting a Congressional agreement on arming slaves arose from the argument over whether or not such service should be rewarded with manumission. President Davis argued that it must...that the slaves under rebel arms would be encountering free men of color under union arms, and quickly realize the other side was offering the better deal. Those in Congress who shared Gist's outlook on the matter, argued that slave owners would never give their slaves to the war effort unless they believed that the survivors would be returned to the owners.
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Old 12-02-2019, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Here
1,607 posts, read 403,884 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody01 View Post
I've always heard that less than 10% of southerners owned slaves, and that can be backed up with a few searches. But so can the 20 - 30% number, depends which you want to believe. I believe the lower number and feel it was based on much more complex matters than just slavery. Consider that it was called 'the War Of Northern Aggression' and The Second War For Independence' and that will tell you a little about the mindset of the times.....
It's not belief so much as a matter of what 'slave ownership' means.

For example, consider a plantation. There's the master and his wife, six kids of which three are sons. There's an elderly parent or two of the master and his wife, maybe one of their siblings, perhaps a cousin. There's also an overseer, any number of various workers and hands. And a dozen slaves.

So who actually owns the slaves? The master. No one else. So the three sons don the grey and march off to war, probably joined by some of the younger workers. Yet technically they're not slave owners. So fast-forward 150+ years and they're held up as non-slaveowners who nonetheless fought for the South, which just goes to show that the war wasn't really about slavery at all! Or so the spiel goes...
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,596 posts, read 10,111,507 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bitey View Post
The Republican Party was founded explicitly as the abolitionist party. It wasn't just some side issue they added as dressing to secure a few delegates here and there. The states that chose Lincoln knew exactly what they were voting for and why. That core issue is what gave the Republican Party the political clout to supplant what was, up until then, one of the two major political parties.
No, it wasn't, it was a free soil party. That meant stopping the spread of slavery into new territories (hence free soil) and on federal ground. The belief was that slavery would eventually die when southern states abolished it themselves, just as the former slave states in the north did. Being surrounded by free soil would encourage the enslaved to self-emancipate, which would chip away at the institution in the slave states.

Abolitionists wanted a definitive end to slavery, sooner rather than over the decades the free soilers were willing to wait. Lincoln didn't run on abolition. Even when he proposed purchasing emancipation for the border state of Delaware during the war, he recommended a process that would take over three decades. The Whig Party which was supplanted by the Republicans were always a patchwork of opportunity that lacked a cohesive ideology. They weren't built for the long haul.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:34 PM
 
Location: CA, heading to AZ...
1,331 posts, read 216,895 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2x3x29x41 View Post
It's not belief so much as a matter of what 'slave ownership' means.

For example, consider a plantation. There's the master and his wife, six kids of which three are sons. There's an elderly parent or two of the master and his wife, maybe one of their siblings, perhaps a cousin. There's also an overseer, any number of various workers and hands. And a dozen slaves.

So who actually owns the slaves? The master. No one else. So the three sons don the grey and march off to war, probably joined by some of the younger workers. Yet technically they're not slave owners. So fast-forward 150+ years and they're held up as non-slaveowners who nonetheless fought for the South, which just goes to show that the war wasn't really about slavery at all! Or so the spiel goes...
That's another nice theory and I'm not saying it's wrong, but we don't know for sure....it's just an arbitrary family you have made up.....

But look, even if it were 32% (which I don't believe for a second)....why would the other 68% fight for that 32%....? Doesn't make sense, there had to be something more......
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
5,596 posts, read 10,111,507 times
Reputation: 9249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woody01 View Post
I've always heard that less than 10% of southerners owned slaves, and that can be backed up with a few searches. But so can the 20 - 30% number, depends which you want to believe. I believe the lower number and feel it was based on much more complex matters than just slavery. Consider that it was called 'the War Of Northern Aggression' and The Second War For Independence' and that will tell you a little about the mindset of the times.....

I doubt most of the posters I've read here will want to go much beyond the 'it was all about slavery' thing though.....that's a much easier thing to digest.



https://www.answers.com/Q/How_many_s...slaves_in_1860
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/les...-slaves.14868/
So, just to be clear, you are accusing posters here of being shallow, then you're linking to answers.com and an internet forum thread.

OK.
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Old 12-02-2019, 07:42 PM
 
5,400 posts, read 4,806,958 times
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I believe the Confederacy was about to mobilize Afro-American troops late in the game but they never saw any action.

One must remember since the time of Anthony Johnson, there were plantation owners & slavers, overseers of many shapes & guises.

Also the abolitionists were strongest in the regional cultural milieu of the Midwest (even southern part affiliated with Underground Rail Road & scene of many guerilla fighting even before Civil War) and to a lesser extent New England.

The Mid-Atlantic port cities & urban bourgeios (technically Boston considered New England geographically but culturally & ideologically more aligned with the rest of Yankee trading Mid-Atlantics) were closer to the imperial northern Atlantic metro-poles & the slaver & planter classes on both sides of the Atlantic from the Cape to what is now Angola up to Cacheu (and to a lesser extent in the neighborhood of Mozambique; i.e. Zanzibar) as well the islands & regions south of the U.S. border. They also funded the living space warriors of the Indian Wars from 1860's-1890's.

I believe Douglas wrote of his experiences in the Mid-Atlantic & they were not pretty.

If memory serves me correct the criminal trade, was "officially" banned in the mid to late 1870's, unofficially white slavery was not cracked down upon until at least after WWII.

It was widespread in Europe & not limited to just one area or group.

Last edited by kovert; 12-02-2019 at 08:20 PM..
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