Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Writers like Margaret Mitchell Romanticized the Old South? What was it really like?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #76
    Originally posted by Savez View Post
    Same can be said by people in the North. However, not every "white", North or South looked at them as animals. Again, broad generalizations do not work, especially when it comes to the Civil War.
    I would disagree with that. The people in the North may have been racist by 21st Century standards, but they weren't fixated on keeping them as slaves. Sure, there were areas that didn't want them. But there is a world of difference in not wanting someone around & wanting to keep them in perpetual slavery. Southern society was built around that notion.
    Last edited by hellboy30; 07 Feb 13, 21:00.
    The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

    Comment


    • #77
      Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
      Cleburne's case always fascinated me. Didn't he rise, through merit, to the rank of Maj Gen, only to have his career iced when he suggested that in order to prove states' rights a more important cause than the preservation of slavery -- thereby blunting the propaganda value of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation -- the Confederacy should emancipate her slaves? That didn't go over too well, did it? I've read that as of 1850, the single most valuable class of asset in the US was not real estate, nor industrial plant, nor railroads, nor securities, but slaves. Is that correct? If it is, then one need look no further for a motive for the South to secede: since their political establishment was dominated by the large planters anyway, clearly they were in a position to move their entire society to protect their interests, even if they represented only a small percentage of the white population.
      It wasn't the slavery which provided the impetus for war in the first place. It was the cause of divisions between the North and South in the Congress and in other aspects, but the trade balance favoring the South for the first time was what brought the issue to the forefront. The South provided the valuable goods, but did not control the economy or the bank system. Slavery was important in the way it made the plantation economy possible. It became a larger issue because of the sentiments of the time, with either side justifying slavery continuing or a mass uprising of slaves. With two extremes in the public consciousness, it isn't surprising that there would be no compromise. In the end, it was a failure of statesmanship that war would have been the result. Normally I'm not interested in the morality of a belligerent, and that's not what I'm talking about here either. Politics isn't (or shouldn't) be about morals, but it does lead to wars when the political process fails.

      Comment


      • #78
        Originally posted by Savez View Post
        What you say makes sense until you start breaking it down. I'm not sure about the mose valuable asset in the country being slaves. Somebody else might know. I do know that most slave owners did not own large numbers of slaves. As for the political establishment being dominated by the large planters you have to take into consideration that many large planters were not in favor of secession. If you look at this map you will notice that a large portion of North Alabama was against secession. http://electiondissection.blogspot.c...1_archive.html
        However, the Tennessee Valley in Alabama bosted a fairly large number of slaves and cotton plantations. This same anomaly occurs along the Mississippi River in places, specifically Vicksburg, a heavy cotton exporting river town. These people had as much political influence and power as the fire eaters. Just because someone had a large plantation with a large number of slaves doesn't make them a secessionist. And with your post, you have brought us back to topic. The idea that the South was simply secessionist aristocracy (see Gone with the Wind) and poor yeoman farmers is a tired and old idea that needs to be put to rest forever.
        Slaves were THE most valuable asset in the South. The 4 million slaves were worth 3 BILLION dollars, more than the land & cotton combined:
        http://eh.net/encyclopedia/article/ransom.civil.war.us
        No one seriously doubts that the enormous economic stake the South had in its slave labor force was a major factor in the sectional disputes that erupted in the middle of the nineteenth century. Figure 1 plots the total value of all slaves in the United States from 1805 to 1860. In 1805 there were just over one million slaves worth about $300 million; fifty-five years later there were four million slaves worth close to $3 billion. In the 11 states that eventually formed the Confederacy, four out of ten people were slaves in 1860, and these people accounted for more than half the agricultural labor in those states. In the cotton regions the importance of slave labor was even greater. The value of capital invested in slaves roughly equaled the total value of all farmland and farm buildings in the South. Though the value of slaves fluctuated from year to year, there was no prolonged period during which the value of the slaves owned in the United States did not increase markedly. Looking at Figure 1, it is hardly surprising that Southern slaveowners in 1860 were optimistic about the economic future of their region. They were, after all, in the midst of an unparalleled rise in the value of their slave assets.


        A major finding of the research into the economic dynamics of the slave system was to demonstrate that the rise in the value of slaves was not based upon unfounded speculation. Slave labor was the foundation of a prosperous economic system in the South. To illustrate just how important slaves were to that prosperity, Gerald Gunderson (1974) estimated what fraction of the income of a white person living in the South of 1860 was derived from the earnings of slaves. Table 1 presents Gunderson's estimates. In the seven states where most of the cotton was grown, almost one-half the population were slaves, and they accounted for 31 percent of white people's income; for all 11 Confederate States, slaves represented 38 percent of the population and contributed 23 percent of whites' income. Small wonder that Southerners -- even those who did not own slaves -- viewed any attempt by the federal government to limit the rights of slaveowners over their property as a potentially catastrophic threat to their entire economic system. By itself, the South's economic investment in slavery could easily explain the willingness of Southerners to risk war when faced with what they viewed as a serious threat to their "peculiar institution" after the electoral victories of the Republican Party and President Abraham Lincoln the fall of 1860.
        The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

        Comment


        • #79
          Originally posted by slick_miester View Post
          Cleburne's case always fascinated me. Didn't he rise, through merit, to the rank of Maj Gen, only to have his career iced when he suggested that in order to prove states' rights a more important cause than the preservation of slavery -- thereby blunting the propaganda value of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation -- the Confederacy should emancipate her slaves? That didn't go over too well, did it? I've read that as of 1850, the single most valuable class of asset in the US was not real estate, nor industrial plant, nor railroads, nor securities, but slaves. Is that correct? If it is, then one need look no further for a motive for the South to secede: since their political establishment was dominated by the large planters anyway, clearly they were in a position to move their entire society to protect their interests, even if they represented only a small percentage of the white population.
          I've posted this before, but this hits home when talking about this:
          Craig Symond's "Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne & the Civil War" talks about ole Pat submitting his proposal to have slaves freed from bondage to fight for the South. Here is an interesting exerpt & exchange from pg 190-191 of that book:

          Within the army, secrecy was maintained. Only now & then did rumor of the meeting seep out. After securing a pledge of confidentiality from Colonel James Nisbet, Brigadier General Clement Stevens told him the secret of Cleburne's astonishing proposal. Stevens suggested that although Cleburne was a "skilled army officer, & true to the Southern cause," he did not have a "proper conception of the Negro, he being foreign born & reared." When Nisbet responded that he thought arming slaves was a good idea, Stevens exploded. Slavery, he declared, was the cause of the war & the reason why the South was fighting. "If slavery is to be abolished then I take no more interest in our fight. The justification of slavery in the South is the inferiority of the negro. If we make him a soldier, we concede the whole question." Steven's outburst was evidence of how badly Cleburne had misread the society he called his own. Cleburne's assumption that "every patriot will freely give up......the negro slave rather than be a slave himself" failed to take into consideration the fact that many southerners viewed the loss of slavery as virtually synonymous with the loss of their own liberty.
          and this from right after he delivered the proposal:

          If Cleburne was disappointed by the lack of enthusiastic support, he soon heard much worse. William Bate, Patton Anderson, & especially W.H.T Walker all made emotional attacks on Cleburne's proposal. Bate declared that Cleburne's proposals were "hideous & objectionable", & he branded them as nothing less than the "serpent of Abolitionism". He predicted that the army would mutiny at the very suggestion of such a scheme. Anderson called it a "monstrous proposition" that was "revolting to Southern sentiment, Southern Pride, & Southern honor". He also predicted that if black troops were enlisted, the white troops would all quit in disgust.......Walker was the most offended, asserting that the proposal was nothing less than treason, & that any officer advocating it should be held fully accountable.
          The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

          Comment


          • #80
            Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
            I've posted this before, but this hits home when talking about this:
            Craig Symond's "Stonewall of the West: Patrick Cleburne & the Civil War" talks about ole Pat submitting his proposal to have slaves freed from bondage to fight for the South. Here is an interesting exerpt & exchange from pg 190-191 of that book:



            and this from right after he delivered the proposal:
            One of the ironies of that passage is that William Bate owed his general's commission partly to Pat Cleburne's recommendation. Shows you how grateful Bate was.
            "Hit hard when you start, but don't start until you have everything ready." - Lt. Gen. James Longstreet

            Pyrrhus Travels West:
            Hanno the Infamous, General of Carthage, Rb Mhnt of Sicily

            Comment


            • #81
              Originally posted by Hypaspist View Post
              It wasn't the slavery which provided the impetus for war in the first place. It was the cause of divisions between the North and South in the Congress and in other aspects, but the trade balance favoring the South for the first time was what brought the issue to the forefront.
              The Vice-president of the Confederate States of America might have differed:

              Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea [of Thomas Jefferson's "all men are created equal"]; its foundations are laid, its corner-stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition.


              CSA Vice-president Alexander H Stephens' "Cornerstone Speech," Savannah, GA, 21 Mar 1861
              Originally posted by Hypaspist View Post
              The South provided the valuable goods, but did not control the economy or the bank system.
              - emphasis mine

              Here you've hit on something. The value of US slaves by 1860 approached $4 billion. Most large enterprises do not make capital purchases in cash: they borrow. Most Southern planters were leveraged, often to the hilt: they borrowed not only for their slaves, but for their real estate, their seed, and their farm implements. Indirectly they owed the Northern banks billions of dollars. Just like in 1776 Southern planters saw revolution as the means of repudiating their debts, and keeping their assets free and clear. Suffice to say, there was a lot of money on the line -- perhaps enough to war over.

              Hell, the economics of slavery were nearly as important in New York as they were Down South. Not only would the Wall Street banks loose their assets if the South either successfully seceded (say that ten times fast) or lost their slaves through abolition, but tens of thousands of garment workers made their livelihoods assembling rough clothes for slaves. Such was New York's dependence on the South, in so many facets, that then-mayor Fernando Wood addressed the City Council requesting a measure for secession from the Union and establishment of New York as a free city. Had PGT Beuareguard simply held his fire a few more days, New York's secession might have put Washington in such a bind that prosecution of a war against the CSA would have been nigh impossible.
              I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

              Comment


              • #82
                Originally posted by Savez View Post
                I'm not a follower of Clyde Wilson and I wouldn't call Forrest McDonald my mentor. I only had him for 2 classes. I liked McDonald, he was a great guy but If I had a mentor it would be Dr. Jeff Gentsch from the University of West Alabama.

                <SNIP>
                Gentsch is a fine scholar, but don't you think that he's a little too soft spoken? Sometimes I'm just not quite sure what he is getting at or what he is thinking.
                Don't leave good whiskey for the damn Yankees!" John Hunt Morgan, Eagleport, Ohio, July 23, 1863

                Comment


                • #83
                  Originally posted by Savez View Post
                  What you say makes sense until you start breaking it down. I'm not sure about the mose valuable asset in the country being slaves. Somebody else might know. . . . .
                  I knew for sure that I had read this, but it took me forever to find it.

                  Indeed, cotton production made slaves the single most valuable financial asset in the United States -- greater in dollar value than all of America's banks, railroads, and manufacturing combined.

                  LINK
                  I was married for two ******* years! Hell would be like Club Med! - Sam Kinison

                  Comment


                  • #84
                    Is having Slaves as your main economic asset any different than when the Dutch went Tulip crazy? Read up on the Tulip Bubble of 1637! People do strange things!

                    Pruitt
                    Pruitt, you are truly an expert! Kelt06

                    Have you been struck by the jawbone of an ASS lately?

                    by Khepesh "This is the logic of Pruitt"

                    Comment


                    • #85
                      Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
                      I would disagree with that. The people in the North may have been racist by 21st Century standards, but they weren't fixated on keeping them as slaves. Sure, there were areas that didn't want them. But there is a world of difference in not wanting someone around & wanting to keep them in perpetual slavery. Southern society was built around that notion.
                      I think it goes way beyond "not wanting them around." There is no "may" about it. The people in the North were racist, very racist by 21st Century standards.
                      Last edited by Savez; 08 Feb 13, 00:05.
                      “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                      --Salmon P. Chase

                      Comment


                      • #86
                        Originally posted by guthrieba View Post
                        Gentsch is a fine scholar, but don't you think that he's a little too soft spoken? Sometimes I'm just not quite sure what he is getting at or what he is thinking.
                        Soft spoken is not how i would describe him. Have you heard him speak or read something by him that makes you think that?
                        “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                        --Salmon P. Chase

                        Comment


                        • #87
                          Originally posted by semperpietas View Post
                          One of the ironies of that passage is that William Bate owed his general's commission partly to Pat Cleburne's recommendation. Shows you how grateful Bate was.
                          Bate was ungrateful.
                          Two more ironies. Daniel C. Govan, a slave owner, signed the proposal and Benjamin F. Cheatham, also a slave owner, was not present to sign but endorsed it. The other irony is the Confederate government adopted a law similar to the propsal a little over a year later. Too little, too late.
                          “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                          --Salmon P. Chase

                          Comment


                          • #88
                            Originally posted by Savez View Post
                            I think it goes way beyond "not wanting them around." There is no "may" about it. The people in the North were racist, very racist by 21st Century standards.
                            But nowhere near a racist as the folks in the South. On a scale of 1 to 100, Northern folks might have reached into the 40's.....Southerners close to 100. Not all, mind you. Some Northerners were down in the teens or lower, while some in the South probably dipped down to the 40's. The vast majority were way up there as that is how the society was built around it.
                            The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

                            Comment


                            • #89
                              Originally posted by hellboy30 View Post
                              But nowhere near a racist as the folks in the South. On a scale of 1 to 100, Northern folks might have reached into the 40's.....Southerners close to 100. Not all, mind you. Some Northerners were down in the teens or lower, while some in the South probably dipped down to the 40's. The vast majority were way up there as that is how the society was built around it.
                              The weren't very fond of Jews or the Irish either. I'm not sure you can really quantify racism but you're right that it had to be better to live free in a racist society than to be a slave in one.
                              “I do not wish to have the slave emancipated because I love him, but because I hate his master."
                              --Salmon P. Chase

                              Comment


                              • #90
                                Originally posted by Savez View Post
                                The weren't very fond of Jews or the Irish either. I'm not sure you can really quantify racism but you're right that it had to be better to live free in a racist society than to be a slave in one.
                                And yet more Irish & Jews fought for the North than the South. The highest ranking Jewish officer was in the United States Army. I begin to see a difference in racism when you have Northerners thinking that blacks weren't equal to them vs. Southerners treating them as the equivalent of a chair. An expensive chair, but property nonetheless. When you are at the point that you think OWNING another human being based on skin color is fine, you've gone beyond normal racism.
                                The muffled drums sad roll has beat the soldier's last tatoo. No more on life's parade shall meet that brave and fallen few.

                                Comment

                                Latest Topics

                                Collapse

                                Working...
                                X