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Old 05-28-2009, 06:42 AM
 
Location: On a Long Island in NY
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Let's say hypothetically that the South/CSA ended up winning the American Civil War ... would they have ever ended the practice of slavery?

I have actually heard that slavery was pretty much on the way out by the early 1860s and that it would only have been a matter of time before it died out. Also, look at how we banned the importation of new slaves in the 1820s. Is this correct?
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:20 AM
 
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Yes that is correct. I see it ending in the CSA similiar to Brazil with a gradual but steady evolutionary decline - foreign and domestic pressure, financial problems in plantations (during a recession you sell or don't buy anymore assets/slaves), and the availability of cheap "freeman" immigrant labor. Slavery finally ended "officially" in the late 1880's in Brazil but had been declining for a few decades.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
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The Confederate elites had a much stronger emotional bond to slavery than the Brazilians because of the cockamamie racial theories Anglo-Saxons needed to justify slavery (The Brazilians having a more Roman like notion of slavery) so I don't see them abandoning slavery for a long time, even after it would've become economically rational for them to do so.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:45 AM
 
Location: Visitation between Wal-Mart & Home Depot
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I agree. The practice would have ended of its own accord, although the economic system of the CSA probably would have supported the practice for a fairly long time. Its an interesting head game. I think the CSA would have seen abolition as a national policy in the first half of the 20th century (I'm thinking around 1948 when the UN ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but that assumes that Germany still would have lost WWII if the United States had not existed or perhaps had an ally on the American continent), but many of the states would surely have preceded the policy shift.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:50 AM
 
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
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Slavery would have gotten very expensive with the advent of new technology. It wouldn't have been as efficient, as say, buying a new cotton gin. Also, the increasing population of slaves would have led to a slave's right movement and also conventional ways of pay. I don't think the Civil War sped up progress regarding slavery. Most people simply did not own slaves and MANY white men worked along aside blacks.
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:51 AM
 
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Of course it would have ended. Right about the time that mechanization started being cheaper than people for the tasks being done. I suspect slavery wouldn't have even occurred in the south if the technology had already existed. C'mon industry has been replacing workers with machines for how long now? (If nothing else... weren't horses replaced with cars? LOL!)

Of course that is the dilemma of productivity, as one pundit would put it. "What do you do with all the extra people?" I.e. if technology makes it possible for 1 person to do the work of 10... what do you do about the 9 others?
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Old 05-28-2009, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMadison View Post
Of course it would have ended. Right about the time that mechanization started being cheaper than people for the tasks being done. I suspect slavery wouldn't have even occurred in the south if the technology had already existed. C'mon industry has been replacing workers with machines for how long now? (If nothing else... weren't horses replaced with cars? LOL!)

Of course that is the dilemma of productivity, as one pundit would put it. "What do you do with all the extra people?" I.e. if technology makes it possible for 1 person to do the work of 10... what do you do about the 9 others?
Indeed.
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Old 05-28-2009, 09:03 AM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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My first reaction is to say Of course it would have. Once Brazil did it, they would have been shamed by international pressure to do it.

But then, they haven't ended capital punishment yet (nor did most of the north) in spite of being nearly the only holdouts in the world. So you never know.

Americans in general seem to have a great deal of immunity to being shamed by international pressure.

.By the way, Brazil notwithstanding, Isn't it interesting that slavery was abolished first by kings and emperors, and later on by free people in republics?

Last edited by jtur88; 05-28-2009 at 09:11 AM..
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Wheaton, Illinois
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSU Tiger Z71 View Post
I don't think the Civil War sped up progress regarding slavery. Most people simply did not own slaves and MANY white men worked along aside blacks.


That's ridiculous, the Civil War resulted in the end of slavery. If you don't think ending slavery is "progress regarding slavery" you've an odd notion of progress.

What matters more than how many southerners owned slaves is the fact that the elites did. And that those in the lower orders of society desired slave ownership as a sign of class advancement.

The southerners had been making irrational economic and social decisions long before the Civil War so I don't think the argument that economic pressures would force abolition hold true, or at the very least such economic pressures might take a VERY long time to have to bring about abolition.
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Old 05-28-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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Slavery may have "eventually" died out, but it would have been later than Brazil and it may not have been officially declared illegal unless international pressure was exerted. The southern planters were very racist. ( The definition of racism is thinking one racism is inferior to another). For this reason, southern planters and the elite looked for reasons to keep blacks enslaved, not just as an economic system, but in their minds, the elite deemed slavery as suitable for blacks. When the Civil War ended slavery, many southerners tried to keep blacks in a subservient position in many ways, trying to restore what they felt was the social order of things. Economically, it was very cheap to own slaves and the slave owners found it cheaper than using factories. Even in the factories, there was slavery. Some of the cotton mills that existed in the South utilized slavery in the factories. Slaves sometimes worked in the factories.
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