Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Race to the Top of the Bottom

"Race prejudice seems stronger in those states that have abolished slavery than those where it still exists, and nowhere is it more intolerant than those states where slavery was never known." Alexis De Tocqueville.........................................................................His point is an exceptional one. a) Many northern states were racist to the core, while others such as Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (along with the Michigan territories) ultimately passed legislation that made it nearly impossible for a free black individual (never mind a runaway slave) to even enter its borders (blacks were the South's responsibility, they must have thought). b) Slavery itself existed in all of the northern colonies for well over 150 years and it didn't cease once and for all in New Jersey until 1865 ("apprentices for life", they referred to it as).  And c) at no point in time did any northern politician EVER put forth ANY legislation that would have compensated the South for the value of the slaves or assisted them in any manner toward the burdens of repatriation..............................................................................And, I ask you, what exactly did a lot of these northern politicians have in mind when it came to emancipation? If you listen to folks like Lincoln (who wasn't even in favor of getting rid of slavery), Webster, and even Seward earlier in his career, they wanted to ship these freed slaves back over to Africa or down to the Caribbean (having them live right next door obviously wasn't an option, nor were the new territories - damned hypocrites). That damned unenlightened were they.

10 comments:

BB-Idaho said...

Golly, it sounds as if the north was full of overseers and the south a hotbed of abolutionists from your description.
"By the time of the 1790 census, 94 percent of the 698,000 U.S. slaves lived below the Mason-Dixon Line. They concentrated in the tobacco-growing region in the Chesapeake basin and in the rice-growing along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina. Having solved its slavery problem by a very gradual emancipation, and by aggressively proscribing the rights of its free black minority, the North was content."

Shaw Kenawe said...

"Lincoln did believe that slavery was morally wrong, but there was one big problem: It was sanctioned by the highest law in the land, the Constitution. The nation’s founding fathers, who also struggled with how to address slavery, did not explicitly write the word “slavery” in the Constitution, but they did include key clauses protecting the institution, including a fugitive slave clause and the three-fifths clause, which allowed Southern states to count slaves for the purposes of representation in the federal government. In a three-hour speech in Peoria, Illinois, in the fall of 1854, Lincoln presented more clearly than ever his moral, legal and economic opposition to slavery—and then admitted he didn’t know exactly what should be done about it within the current political system."

"I am naturally anti-slavery. If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. I can not remember when I did not so think, and feel." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume VII, "Letter to Albert G. Hodges" (April 4, 1864), p. 281.

BB-Idaho said...

While de Tocqueville was on his US tour, he must have missed-
"Nat Turner (October 2, 1800 – November 11, 1831) was an African American slave who led a slave rebellion in Virginia on August 21, 1831 that resulted in 55 white deaths. Whites responded with at least 200 black deaths. He gathered supporters in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner was convicted, sentenced to death, and hanged. In the aftermath, the state executed 56 blacks accused of being part of Turner's slave rebellion. Two hundred blacks were also killed after being beaten by white militias and mobs reacting with violence. Across Virginia and other southern states, state legislators passed new laws prohibiting education of slaves and free blacks, restricting rights of assembly and other civil rights for free blacks, and requiring white ministers to be present at black worship services." However, regarding
the dilemma of freeing almost 4 million slaves, I agree: where and how could they be employed?
Would they all be on the dole?
They were deliberately undereducated and most were field workers, uneeded in northern agriculture. As it turned out,
most remained in the south, free
but pretty much doing the same
field work.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Included in the slaughter after Nat Turner's insurrection were free African Americans, who were indiscriminately hunted down and murdered, even though they had nothing whatsoever to do with what Nat Turner did. The insurrection scared the crap out of the southern slave holders. W.E.B. Dubois's "The Souls of Black Folks" gives an in depth account of how unprepared this country was after emancipation and how that laid the foundation for Jim Crow laws in the south.

When slavery was the law, Black people were property, and no southern slave owner was going to purposely injure or dispose of his very expensive property. After emancipation, Black people were just, well, poor and on their own. The southerners had no incentive to treat them well. Plus the very horrid conditions in the south after the Civil War made it very difficult for any sort of reconciliation between the people who owned slaves and the freed slaves themselves. It was badly done in almost all aspects.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Slavery started in the early 17th Century on this continent (earlier if you count the Spanish) and the only reason that it wasn't more prevalent in the North by the end of the 18th Century was because the north was much less of an agrarian society. If you had transplanted those holier than thou northerners down South THEY would have been the slave-owners and everybody knows it. The whole country was racist back then, BB (a large chunk of the abolitionists, at that), and there was a much better way to end slavery than throw 700,000 mostly innocent men, women, and children into a meat grinder so honest Abe could keep getting his railroad money.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Lincoln and the Constitution, Shaw? Do you really want to go there? The fact of the matter is that Lincoln violated the Constitution (not to mention the Geneva Conventions) more than any American citizen who ever walked the planet; an undeclared war, an illegal blockade, the targeting of civilians, the confiscation of property, the closing down of newspapers, the suspension of habeas corpus, the jailing of political opposition, the deportation of a United States Congressman, etc., etc..

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

And you can cherry-pick from Lincoln's many comments on slavery and race (nothing from his 1861 inaugural, I see, where he basically promised to both codify slavery and fortify the Fugitive Slave Act) but the true reality here is that all of the slaves that he could have freed (from the northern and border states, from West Virginia, and from the conquered territories) HE DID NOT, and even with the Southern states, he promised that they could have slavery again, too, if they simply returned to the Union by 01/01/1863. Yeah, he was a real abolitionist.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

You know who you can thank for Jim Crow, Shaw? Try Lincoln's successor, Andrew Johnson....And maybe if Lincoln hadn't completely destroyed the infrastructure down there, the South might have had a better chance.

Rational Nation USA said...

Lots of cherry pits left laying about from the progressive onslaught to revise history to support their narrative.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

Slavery was a tough, nasty issue that cried out for leadership. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster provided a bit but it wasn't enough and not a lot of others stepped up to help. What a tragedy.