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BS: slavery, poverty and culture

nelagnelag 16 Mar 04 - 04:21 PM
Amos 16 Mar 04 - 04:30 PM
nelagnelag 16 Mar 04 - 04:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Mar 04 - 04:38 PM
nelagnelag 16 Mar 04 - 04:44 PM
LadyJean 17 Mar 04 - 01:05 AM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Mar 04 - 06:38 AM
GUEST 17 Mar 04 - 07:23 AM
The Shambles 18 Mar 04 - 04:30 AM
GUEST 18 Mar 04 - 06:46 AM
The Shambles 18 Mar 04 - 12:58 PM
Strick 18 Mar 04 - 01:16 PM
The Shambles 18 Mar 04 - 01:52 PM
Strick 18 Mar 04 - 02:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Mar 04 - 04:04 PM
Strick 18 Mar 04 - 04:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Mar 04 - 05:00 PM
Strick 18 Mar 04 - 05:03 PM
Amos 18 Mar 04 - 06:46 PM
Gareth 18 Mar 04 - 07:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Mar 04 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,satchel 18 Mar 04 - 11:23 PM
Amos 19 Mar 04 - 12:00 AM
greg stephens 19 Mar 04 - 04:43 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 08:07 AM
Bobert 19 Mar 04 - 09:27 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 09:44 AM
Strick 19 Mar 04 - 10:48 AM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 12:59 PM
Chief Chaos 19 Mar 04 - 01:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 01:21 PM
Bobert 19 Mar 04 - 01:26 PM
Strick 19 Mar 04 - 01:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 01:59 PM
The Shambles 19 Mar 04 - 07:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Mar 04 - 08:04 PM
Bobert 19 Mar 04 - 09:37 PM
The Shambles 20 Mar 04 - 06:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 04 - 07:57 AM
The Shambles 20 Mar 04 - 09:06 AM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 04 - 01:23 PM
Strick 20 Mar 04 - 03:21 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 04 - 04:14 PM
Strick 20 Mar 04 - 04:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 20 Mar 04 - 07:07 PM
Bobert 20 Mar 04 - 08:48 PM
Greg F. 20 Mar 04 - 10:42 PM
Strick 20 Mar 04 - 11:28 PM
Greg F. 21 Mar 04 - 10:42 AM
Strick 21 Mar 04 - 02:29 PM
greg stephens 21 Mar 04 - 06:16 PM
Greg F. 21 Mar 04 - 07:09 PM
Strick 22 Mar 04 - 10:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 04 - 11:52 AM
Strick 22 Mar 04 - 12:06 PM
The Shambles 22 Mar 04 - 07:05 PM
Strick 22 Mar 04 - 07:20 PM
Strick 22 Mar 04 - 07:35 PM
Greg F. 22 Mar 04 - 09:25 PM
Bobert 22 Mar 04 - 10:01 PM
Strick 22 Mar 04 - 10:20 PM
Chief Chaos 22 Mar 04 - 11:11 PM
Amos 22 Mar 04 - 11:23 PM
Greg F. 22 Mar 04 - 11:51 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 06:52 AM
Greg F. 23 Mar 04 - 07:42 AM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 10:35 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 04 - 10:51 AM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 10:56 AM
Greg F. 23 Mar 04 - 11:46 AM
Chief Chaos 23 Mar 04 - 02:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 02:37 PM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 02:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 04:09 PM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 04:29 PM
Chief Chaos 23 Mar 04 - 04:30 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 04:36 PM
The Shambles 24 Mar 04 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,satchel 24 Mar 04 - 11:18 PM
The Shambles 25 Mar 04 - 01:51 AM
nelagnelag 25 Mar 04 - 03:29 AM
nelagnelag 25 Mar 04 - 03:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 04 - 06:50 AM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 11:51 AM
Chief Chaos 25 Mar 04 - 12:27 PM
nelagnelag 25 Mar 04 - 02:08 PM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 02:25 PM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 02:51 PM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 07:15 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 04 - 07:28 PM
Bobert 25 Mar 04 - 07:50 PM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 09:05 PM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 09:50 PM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 10:06 PM
Bobert 25 Mar 04 - 10:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 04 - 05:29 AM
The Shambles 26 Mar 04 - 06:31 AM
Greg F. 26 Mar 04 - 07:48 AM
el ted 26 Mar 04 - 10:38 AM
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M.Ted 26 Mar 04 - 03:50 PM
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Subject: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: nelagnelag
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 04:21 PM

Hi, I posted this on this thread:
oral tradition - 'celtic' singing in usa

but it didn't fit super-directly into that, so I've ripped it out and created a new thread:

------

I'll just throw in that I'm reading about the underground railroad right now, and it's pretty interesting. I'm sure I'll run into connections with all of this.

I do get a sense that many of the people who came to the americas came straight from a very rural background, under extreme duress - financial/health/family/religious hardship - , were very parochial in their thinking, and moved to rural areas, where they could continue to be parochial in their thinking. By parochial I mean "tribal", only aware of their own kind of people and way of thinking.

This is why I mentioned the book by Ms. Musick. (Green hills of magic - about european folk-tales in the west-virginia highlands)

So, you end up with a culture that has a limited/local horizon of understanding about the human experience, who often came here under extreme duress, often in a position of power over another group of people who also came here under extreme duress. No wonder slavery was such an incredibly brutal horror.

best,
G


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Amos
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 04:30 PM

Galen:

Too right.

Life was extraordinarily rugged, and the lack of genuine education in lots of parts of the world made it a self-reinforcing vicious circle.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: nelagnelag
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 04:38 PM

So, I'm also interested in our own "blind spots" about all of this these days. Do we live under the illusion that we are "less tribal"?

(I hope I'm not touching on a very sore spot, but unfortunately I think I am, and maybe it needs to be addressed a bit.)


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 04:38 PM

I'd be inclined to question whether having limited knowledge of a wider world than your own neighbourhood would really have been a significant factor in making people capable of the kind of detachment from human values that chattel slavery as developed in the USA required. It could well work completely the other way about.

The people who drew up the American Constitution, and ensured that it left slavery alone, seem to have been quite a sophisticated and kwowledgeable bunch. That kind of sophistication can be quite handy in enabling people to have that sort of detachment.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: nelagnelag
Date: 16 Mar 04 - 04:44 PM

McGrath, very interesting point!

One must acknowledge that there was a very wide range of wealth and education at that time (as there is today), which had all kinds of results.

G


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: LadyJean
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 01:05 AM

My seven generations back grandfather was the son of an Irish immigrant, who lived in Abbeville South Carolina, a small town. He was a Presbyterian minister. He preached against slavery in 1810. When that didn't go over in his neighborhood, he packed up his family and left for Ohio. Half his congregation went with him. The town they built is called Fairhaven. It's a nice drive up Ohio 177, near Miami.

Slavery happens when labor is in short supply. The first settlers enslaved Native Americans, Blacks, orphans, debtors, prisoners of war, and assorted others.
The first Black in Maryland began as an indentured servant, and ended up on the governing council. Benjamin Bannacker was the grandson of an Irish woman who married the slave she bought to work her land. Slavery on the big plantations became a hellish institution because the planters couldn't afford to think of their slaves as humans, anymore than the American who owns a factory in Calcutta can think of his employees as human.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 06:38 AM

Thanks for posting that LadyJean - never heard of the man before, but your post prompted me to Google, and here is a page with lots of stuff about him.

What a fitting way to get into St Patrick's Day - an Irish American who is also as African American. A good combination.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Mar 04 - 07:23 AM

If one showed Solomon Nothup the present day USA he would perhaps lament at the blood, sweat, tears and time it took to get where we are now; but i'm sure he would be very proud of the accomplishments.
"If Virtue and Knowledge are diffused among the People, they will never be enslav'd. This will be their great Security." -- Samuel Adams


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 04:30 AM

So, you end up with a culture that has a limited/local horizon of understanding about the human experience, who often came here under extreme duress, often in a position of power over another group of people who also came here under extreme duress. No wonder slavery was such an incredibly brutal horror.

No doubt about the the horror of slavery. But there is little point in US folk wearing the 'hair shirt'for dubious honour inventing it. Sadly it was a long established concept - long before the settlement of the US.

The concept of educated folk - who should have known better - ignoring it when drafting a constitution was not invented at that point either. Although it did present a golden opportunity to address it - one that would later prove to be very costly.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:46 AM

It took 13 years of peacefull negotiation, from 1776 to 1787 to draft a Constitution that all 13 colonies would sign. Throughout history there has been no examples of Republics that ever accomplished anywhere near as good a product. Slavery was an issue that divided people on economic and social principles, and could not be completely eliminated at the founding of the nation. As you rightly point out, it was eventually discarded at great cost. However it was addressed from the begining of the nation. Slaves who fought for the country where free men in 1776.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 12:58 PM

Slavery was a sad fact long before this all this but it is a little known and interesting fact that people in the coastal villages of England (many in Cornwall) and Ireland were taken into slavery in raids by Barbary Pirates.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/society_culture/protest_reform/white_slaves_01.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:16 PM

"I'd be inclined to question whether having limited knowledge of a wider world than your own neighbourhood would really have been a significant factor in making people capable of the kind of detachment from human values that chattel slavery as developed in the USA required. It could well work completely the other way about.

"The people who drew up the American Constitution, and ensured that it left slavery alone, seem to have been quite a sophisticated and kwowledgeable bunch. That kind of sophistication can be quite handy in enabling people to have that sort of detachment."

But there's no denying that they were largely British in their outlook and education or that at the time the US Constitution was being drawn up, slavery was still legal in other British colonies. It wasn't fully banned by the British until much later (and bless the British, their solution to the problem was so much better than a Civil War). Not condemning, just pointing out that the framers of the Constitution weren't the only sophisticated people detached enough to let slavery continue.

What's more appalling is that slavery still exists in the US and other parts of the world. Oh, it's clandestine now, but I've read estimates as high as 50,000 for women held as slaves for the sex trade in the US alone. Some 150 women from South America were "freed" a couple of years ago not more than 25 miles from where I'm sitting. Migrant workers are often treated no better. Apparently you don't even have to have lived 230 years ago to find enslaving people economically attractive. Even some modern sensibilities are detached enough.

I can't think of a single excuse for condoning slavery at any point in history. No one accused of practicing it today would want me on their jury.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 01:52 PM

I can't think of a single excuse for condoning slavery at any point in history.

Was anyone doing this? It was pointed out that many people throughout history and all over the world - when given an opportunity - could and still can find many practical reasons (or excuses) not to do very much to prevent it.

I am not making any excuses as the British Empire has little to be proud of - but it it is difficult to see how "the British" in outlook or education can be blamed for every wrong in the world. Especially for creating a concept like slavery which seems to have developed independently in every part of the world.

Or are all "the British" also to be blamed for the example given of their own people being enslaved by Barbary Pirates?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 02:08 PM

Stating the obvious more related to modern slavers, The Shambles, not speaking about anything anyone's said here.

I wasn't blaming the British for the compromise on slavery in the US Constitution, just pointing out the framers of the Constitution were a product of their time and environment and weren't alone in rationalizing slavery in their institutions. I'll repeat that I wish the US had found a way to follow the British model for abolishing slavery in their colonies.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 04:04 PM

Maybe the pity is that they didn't put off dealing with the relatvely minor afront to freedom constituted by the British link until they had sorted out the major afront that was involved in slavery.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

First things first...


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 04:26 PM

The evil in a man own heart is often harder to see than the acts of a tyrant 3,000 miles away, McGarth. ;)

(Down with King George! No taxation without representation! Don't Tread On Me!)


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 05:00 PM

I'm not criticising, just puzzled.

What kind of blazing inconsistencies are we guilty of that are going to make our descendants gasp with astonishment in the same way as we surely have to, thinking of people who could put their name to a document like that, and go home to a slave plantation?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 05:03 PM

A wise question.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Amos
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 06:46 PM

I think many of them were also ahead of their times in releasing their slaves from bondage; but it is still a telling question. Power corrupts absolutely.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Gareth
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:05 PM

An interesting thread.

If you visit the Bahamas, or Barbados you will find many descendeds of those UK "Citizens" condemed to slavery. Thier crime ? Being on the wrong side, or in the wrong place, after a rebellion.

Shambles has it right, the Corsairs were not unknown for thier swoops on the West Country, Wales or Ireland looking for slaves.

I fear that slavery was not a "White on Black" historical problem only, no matter what the "politically correct" may say.

Incidently, for the seafaring fans, just what was the infant US of A Navy doing in the Mediteranean in the 1800's ?

Nelson himself was full of praise for the actions of the US of A Navy at that time.

Or again, for the seafaring fans, what was the RN's "Blackbird" patrols off West, and East, Africa doing ?

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 07:30 PM

The difference with chattel slavery, as it developed in the USA, was that it was happening in a technologically advanced country that was also very conscious of being a democracy, with a constitution that guaranteed this democracy.

That was pretty well unique, and that is what is strange about it, and very frightening. It is an indication that formal democracy, and constitutions and courts and all, are not necessarily the guarantee of freedom that we might like to think.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: GUEST,satchel
Date: 18 Mar 04 - 11:23 PM

First, let's not forget about the waves of immigrants that stayed in the eastern seaboard cities after coming out of rural conditions. Some remained parochial, others were influenced by the cosmopolitan environs into which they came.

The constitution was drafted to bring together a group of very disparate states that were failing miserably under the articles of confederation. It was drafted in the summer of 1788 in Philadelphia as a reaction to the previous 13 years of paralysis under the articles.

In the 18th century, ideas like "liberty" meant different things than we think of today(See Bailyn, Idoelogical Origins of the American Revolution). Liberty to the founders was the liberty to own property, including slaves. "Life liberty and the pursuit of happiness" was really a lot more like "life liberty and the pursuit of profit" (see Jack Greene, Pursuits of Happiness). So, there's really not a question of knowing better--they knew, but it was really outside the realm of 18th century thinking on the subject. This is not an excuse, merely an explanation.

Even so, people like Jefferson accepted slavery as a necessary evil. However, as the South became increasingly alienated from the rest of the country, many enthusiastic but misguided defenses were made as to the "positive good" of slavery--e.g. had a civilizing effect, etc. These "positive good" defenses were only undertaken by Southern politicians at the very end, right before the beginning of the Civil War. The cost paid to end slavery in the US was indeed high, in much more than lives and dollars.

The origins of slavery in the US are complex. One of the best books on the subject is Edmund Morgan's American Slavery American Freedom oer 30 years old and still a seminal text. One of the key points that Morgan makes is that until indentured servants revolted in 1676 in Virginia (Bacon's Rebellion) race was a much more fluid concept in the colonies. For example, Anthony Johnson, a black man, owned a plantation complete with slaves on the eastern shore of MAryland in the 17th century (Breen and Innis, Myne Owne Ground)until "black" became associated with "slave" in the late 17th/early 18th century.

Finally, the indians of Virginia didn't make very effective slaves--they had the home field advantage and could easily remove themselves from the tobacco fields of early Virginia.

Keep readings, boys, keep reading!


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Amos
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:00 AM

I believe the US Navy was trying to protect trade against the corsairs of the eastern Med.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: greg stephens
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 04:43 AM

The orignial posting on this thread, about tribalism and its effects on immigrants arriving in a new country, has considerable relevance to Britain at the moment. The cockling tragedy in Morecambe Bay, and a similar incident involving the death of a lot of immigrant workers in a van accident a while back, brings to public notuce aspects of life we are not generally aware of.
    There are quite a lot of disparate ethnic groups establishing themselves here at the moment, often to a considerable extent mutually antagonistc, and without the normal backup systems of land, long-standing culture,legal systems of their own etc. An inevtable outcome of this is the rise of what are often termed "gang-masters": people who can operate at the interface between cultures and deliver labourers for badly-paid exploitative and often illegal work.
    I am in contact with this sort of thing very regularly as I am involved with musical projects with a lot of recently arrived people. A lot of what I am doing makes me very sad, though the thing that cheers me is the wonderful music that happens in these circumstances, a bit of culture that people have in their heads that they can cling on to in a strange and threatening new world. Thinking about all this, and my relation to it(am I being helpful, or am I an exploiter??) gives me a whole new angle into the world of slavery and colonialism.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 08:07 AM

Our obsession about national borders, and the different ways, tied in with that, that we treat each other - I think that is going to be one major thing our descendants will find hard to understand about us today, in the way we find it hard to understand how people previous generations had this moral blindness towards slavery.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 09:27 AM

Semantics, folks...

Take you a visit to many areas of the South and you'll find that conditions haven't changed much since slavery... I vividly remember working in Fulton Bottom in Ricmond in late 60's and there were folks livin' in cabins with dirt floors and no running water. Last year I was in the Hill Country of Mississippi on a blues expedition and played music at a house very similar, 'cept this house didn't even have electricity...

Now, witness "Two-Tierism" where Boss Hog, eith the massive support of the Bush administration is negotiating labor contracts with unions which in essence, much like Bush's thoughts on Social Security, says, "okay, we'll let you *have* the same benefits you *have had* but the next generation of employees won't be so lucky!"

Yeah, folks, we are moving ever and ever closer to Boss Hog's cotton plantations... one step at a time......

(But, Bobert, what about "Personal Responsibily"?)

Oh yeah, for those of you tempted to throw out the Boss Hog's "personal responsibility" PR crap let me interpret that cutesy little phrase. Translated it means "I was born rich and will reamin rich. You weren't, so get over it..."

See you all in the cotten fields...

Commie Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 09:44 AM

The trouble is, when you build on shaky foundations, you've got a building that has a built-in instability.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 10:48 AM

"I vividly remember working in Fulton Bottom in Ricmond in late 60's and there were folks livin' in cabins with dirt floors and no running water. Last year I was in the Hill Country of Mississippi on a blues expedition and played music at a house very similar, 'cept this house didn't even have electricity..."

You mean like my grandparent's house before they passed away in my youth? The only poor are in the South? Been to any projects in the North lately?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 12:59 PM

Poverty isn't to be identified with slavery, true enough. It would be quite possible to have slaves kept in luxury, but they'd still be slaves.

But the attitudes that underly a slave system - the ability to draw a line between ourselves and other humans that means we see them as less than human, that still exists inour society, and that does relate to the way people can shrug off appalling inequality of all sorts, as if it wasn't something that concerned them.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 01:08 PM

First - Slavery is bad, evil, no doubts about it!
Second - Although bad and evil it was LEGAL
Third - The economy of the North was based on large numbers of immigrants (thus negating the need for slaves or high wages for workers) working in a more highly technological area making textiles from cotton.
Fourth - The economy of the South was based on the production of Rice, Cotton, Tobacco and Sugar Cane. All of which at the time were very people intensive in that they needed planters and harvesters. Immigrants for the most part did not come south. Meaning that slavery was still acceptable because it was necessary to the economy. Machines to do this work did not exist at the time and were not even introduced until after the American civil war.
Fifth - The northern section of the Union wished to strike down terriffs against cotton and the other agricultural products of the southern section of the union, coming from India and other nations/colonies (which by the way were also being planted and harvested by slaves or near as much to slaves as it made no difference.

Now, knowing these five facts, can you just for a moment put yourselves into the shoes of a plantation owner that has been raised believing that slaves were property that you must now set them all free, losing your investment (you paid top dollar for them you know)with no recompense? With no guarantee that they will return to work for you at whatever wages you can afford? And at the same time the price of your commodity (the source of income and hence your ability to pay those wages) is going to drop like a stone because the northerners want to be able to buy cheap foreign imports?

I'm not defending the people who had slaves but I can sure see why they wouldn't want to just set them free.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 01:21 PM

The fact that it was legal, in a democratic and law-based society, was the thing that was peculiarly horrible about it. In the same way there is something more horrible about a state-authorised pogrom than a race riot.

It's one of the reasons why Nazi Germany is such a chilling precedent - it was in many ways formally a democaracy. The government was only there because of the results of an election, and parliament and the courts were all still in place.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 01:26 PM

Point well made, Strict, and I'm not sayin' that poverty is exclusively a Southern problem but not long ago I saw the listing of states by the percentage of their respective populations that lived in poverty and not surprisingly the Southern states occupy the top of the list. What I did find surprising is that my state, Wes Ginny, topped the list at 16.5% beating out Mississippi and Alabama...

And good points, Chief Chaos... Just a couple of other points somewhat related. The Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves *only* in the Southern States...

Secondly, it was the Union's degrading burning of Southern cities by Sherman and Co, the total destruction of the South's economy, the killing off of so many of the South's educated and a dozen years of occupation that insured that the Civil War (which it wasn't) would never really end, which, with the exception of the physical violence, it hasn't. Jim Crow is alive and well. Anti-Union/governemnt feelings are alive and well and with the current president, those states that formed "the Union" are in Johnny Reb's sigths....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 01:34 PM

But McGrath, we've seen in thread that shall remain nameless, Hitler began to disassemble all Germany's civil liberties almost as soon as he came to office. Certain, he was in complete control even befor Hindenburg's death.

But cheer up. Hitler was appointed Chancelor, not elected. No doubt someone will make a comparison to the Supreme Court and Florida, but it's that's much more the working of a Constitutional democracy than what happened in Germany starting in 1933.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 01:59 PM

I'm not saying that the two situations were identical. I'm drawing a parallel. Another one is with apartheid South Africa. In all cases the constitutional formalities of democracy were maintained, and used as a way to extinguish whatever civil liberties needed to be extinguished.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 07:49 PM

I am in contact with this sort of thing very regularly as I am involved with musical projects with a lot of recently arrived people. A lot of what I am doing makes me very sad, though the thing that cheers me is the wonderful music that happens in these circumstances, a bit of culture that people have in their heads that they can cling on to in a strange and threatening new world. Thinking about all this, and my relation to it(am I being helpful, or am I an exploiter??) gives me a whole new angle into the world of slavery and colonialism.

The only thing we can do is to learn from all this and try to prevent it now and in the future. For we can't really do anything else now about all the bad aspects, except to openly talk about it but still manage to feel bad and apportion blame.

We can't do anything now either about the cultural and musical benefits - except celebrate these. I feel that it would be sensible to try and feel good about all the fine music that has resulted from transplanting whole cultures into a alien ones - if not about the motives, the manner of it and all the resulting suffering.

If we can't feel good and free from guilt, or not feel we are possibly exploiting this positive musical aspect - perhaps all the suffering od so many, will have served no purpose at all?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 08:04 PM

Guilt about the past is pointless and silly - it's not as if any of us were about, and we have no more responsibility for what people a couple of centuries ago did than we do for what people did ten thousand years ago. And if you found someone feeling guilty, or angry, because of the things that happened in Ancient Egypt. you'd tell them to lie down and take a rest.

What matters is to learn from the things that have happened in the past, and recognise when things that happen in the present (that we could try to do something about), show a family resemblance to the evils we hope have gone for ever.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Bobert
Date: 19 Mar 04 - 09:37 PM

Well, guilt, no. But collectively we do have a responsibility to not only talk about slavery but to try to "repair" the inequities of "wealth" created by the *slave class*....

This is what is called repairations...

No, I might not have personally been involved in slavery but the reality is that, with the "industrial revolution" on the 1840's much of America's wealth was created on the backs of black slaves. This is not an arguable fact. Nor is the fact that after "Reconstruction" in 1876 Johnny Reb was cut loose to intimidate and exploit these black slaves and their children. They called this Jim Crow...

Problem is is that Johnny Reb is still intimidating and exploiting the descendants of slaves. The 1954 Brown V. Boeard of Education Topeka, Kansas only ordered states to desegregate as quickly as they saw fit, which meant, like never... Earl Warren wrote the majority opinion and became the villian of Johnny Reb until the day he died... But di the schools desegragate? Nope... Most scholls today are virtually segregated as is our society...

And in every major city in America there are desendants of slaves livin' in poverty, without opportinuties, without access to a decent education, without food for that matter. Their is so little hope that their kids just go left. They do drugs and become involved in crime. And we sit back and look at whats going on askin' "Jus' why these folks that way?"

Geeze, like Bob Dylan so appropriately said, "it don't take a weatherman to tell ye which way the wind blows..."

Yeah, if the United States is going to become a great antion or another flash in the pan it's going to have to come to terms with its past and make a better attempt tp *REPAIR* the damage...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 06:08 AM

The only thing we can do is to learn from all this and try to prevent it now and in the future. For we can't really do anything else now about all the bad aspects, except to openly talk about it but still manage to feel bad and apportion blame.

Yeah, if the United States is going to become a great antion or another flash in the pan it's going to have to come to terms with its past and make a better attempt tp *REPAIR* the damage...

The USA or "it" does now consist of all the direct descendents of all those that suffered from this slavery. "It" also now consists of the direct descendents of those indigenous people who did survive the attempted genocide. Looking to the past and coming to terms with this past damage is one important thing but not the only thing.

All these people do now have a vote and their efforts now, along with everyone else in the USA will decide if the USA is going to be judged as a great nation. Or if it is to follow the worst examples of the vested interests of previous empires that have come to dominate the world for a short time (like the British)..........


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 07:57 AM

Reparations is a different matter from guilt. It's recognising that our current collective wealth, and other people's collective poverty is to a considerable extent founded on theft exploitation and injustice. And the implication of that is that a large part of that existing wealth ought to be available to make things better.

That seems eminently fair, as a guiding principle in economic affairs. Applying it in a legalistic way, sorting out who owes what on anineuvidual or local basis, and picking out particular historic injustices and ignoring others, that is something else.

Essentially what it comes down to is that we have to think in terms of collective wealth, and collective responsibility to use that respopnsibily, and that is a hard notion for some people to accept.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 09:06 AM

I fear that blame alone does not repair anything.

I fear also that money alone does not repair anything or make things better, even if it is thought that the later redistribution of money somehow ought to.

Attempts to provide money for past injustice only make divisions between factions making present claims (no matter how justified those claims) and simply leads to yet more feelings of guilt and jealousy - when/if such claims prove successful. This concept may appear to just but I feel that it simply ties us permanently to arguments about the past and prevents present and future problems from being addressed.

If the thought is that you can always pay money later for inflicting injustice - there is no real way of preventing us from just carrying on inflicting injustice. All you have to do is to ensure that you exploit big enough in the first place.

I think that repairation should be made in terms of honestly and openly accepting that mistakes were made but I don't think that repairation should have anything to do with money. When it was money or rather greed that was usually the cause of the mistakes in the first place.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 01:23 PM

"money alone does not repair anything or make things better" - deoends on what you mean by that. You can never "repair" the past or make it better than it was, because it's gone. But you can certainly use money to repair things today and make them better.

And if you are profiting today from crimes done before your time, that's where that money rightfully belongs. Individually in some cases, but more especially, collectively. Not using it that way is a kind of theft.

However, seeing all this as a matter of repaying debts to the legal heirs of the people who were enslaved or exploited or whatever, that's not the way to go. That's just a recipe for enriching lawyers.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 03:21 PM

I was more open to the idea of reparations before I heard some of the legal arguments explaining who owed what for what. I was struck by the "case" against a particular wall street brokerage. It seems the brothers that founded one of the it's anticedents had owned four slaves but sold them prior to moving to New York and going into a completely different kind of business. The was the line used to decide that the brokerage house owed an extraordinary amount of money in reparations. The case against IBM, a company not even in existance until long after slavery was abolished, was even more interesting. Frankly you could get the idea that either argument was just a rationalization for suing companies with sufficiently deep pockets to be worthwhile, not an attempt to go after the real people who supposedly benefited from slavery in proportion to their "crimes".

Assessing the truely guilty might be hard to do now, of course. By and large those people who didn't lose all they had earned on the back of slavery in the Civil War certainly did during the Reconstruction. Lost it all to those Carpetbagging, Scallywagging scum who... ops, sorry, skip that part.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 04:14 PM

Precisely - that's why you can't do it on an individual level. What you can say is that a country has built its relatively wealthy present position on a base of money acquired through the slave system, which was largely how the Industrial Revolution in Britain was financed.

And this means that money paid to help poor countries develop isn't generosity, it's using a tiny fraction of the money that we only have because it was unjustly acquired in the past, to help in the present. Not necessarily primarily to help the descendants of people who were exploited in the past. It's not that kind of debt that can be measured out in legalistic ways - but it is a debt.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 04:49 PM

Ah, but there's a host of problems with that McGrath. A simple one. It's not enough to just give money to poor countries, even assuming the money won't get skimmed off before it does any good. Giving money to poor countries alone doesn't solve the basic problems that cause it to be poor. They benefit only when the money is invested in education, infrastructure, factories and other things that create long term jobs. The catch is that those investments can't really be productive on their own; the country's too poor to buy what it produces from that investment, at least in the beginning. The investment will only pay off if you drop trade barriers as well, open your markets to the poor country until it can become rich enough sustain the investments.

Unfortunately, that will look as if you're exporting jobs to the poor country. I'm not saying that the current export of jobs from the rich, developed world is intentional, that corporations are trying to help developing countries out of the goodness of their hearts, but if you don't drop trade barriers to those countries so they can sell you what they produce for less than you make it for yourself, you will straggling any investment you do make in them. You can't help a poor country by just sharing your money or technology with them. You have to share your jobs, too.

That's not a politically popular observation, at least in the US, but I believe it's true.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 07:07 PM

Agreed. The system is set up so that the burden will always tend to fall on those who have the least.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 08:48 PM

Yeah, Strick, yer observations seem purdy reasonable... 'cept there's one thing that we are grossly overlooking here...

This thread was about "slavery, poverty and culture" and well, on the first tow of those "slavery and poverty", like why should developed countries accept exploitation, quasi-slavery and poverty of anyone who is producing the goods that we consume? Hmmmmmm? See where we are going with this? If China, for instance, can *force* it's people to produce widgits with child labor, and even adult labor, fir peanuts, this is *not* a free or open market. In essence, because of the condition in China, labor becomes a manipulated variable much like the protectionism that is becoming an issue in the US... If the playing fields are level, then fine. But they aren't. Think about it.

There are all kinds of variables which border on protectionism that exist in this so-called global free market. The US subsidizes its pet industries making them attractive. It also spends lots of dough on military eguipement and in doing so makes these corporations more competative on the world market... So when we talk protectionism, I hope we will take in the big picture...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 10:42 PM

Lost it all to those Carpetbagging, Scallywagging scum...

You actually ignorant enough to believe that 'lost cause' fairytale, or you jus' funnin'?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 20 Mar 04 - 11:28 PM

Actually my knowledge of the history of The Reconstruction, at least in Texas, is fairly detailed. For example, since veterans of the Confederate Army couldn't get their right vote back until after the state ratified the 14th Amendment and since they'd all vote for Democrats anyway (remember, this far back, reverse the parties), the Republican controled state legislature refused to approve the amendment until virtually forced to by the Federal government. Texas was the last state to do so.

That done, the Republican Governor and legislature were voted out of office. The Governor refused to give up power, going so far as to wire Grant for Federal troops to put down the "rebellion" and locked himself in the Governor's mansion. Ex-Texas Rangers (the Rangers were disbanded during The Reconstruction and replaced by what what has been generally described as "secret police") climbed into a second story window of the mansion and helped escort the former Governor out of Austin, tarred and feathered on a rail. Texas didn't elect another Republican Governor for nearly one hundred years.

Say what you will about the Civil War, the South's hatred for the North did not mature to full flower until The Reconstruction. That impoverished the South as much as the march to the sea. And some of the Jim Crow laws were pure vengence for it once the Yankees were driven back north.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 10:42 AM

I was afraid of that; yer not funnin'.

The whole "evil carpetbagger/scalawag" & "po' white folks bein'oppressed by the 'Nigras' and Yankees" bullshit is the invention of racist & Jim Crown historians writing in the late 19th/early 20th Century to justify the "lost cause" and rationalize the "redemption" of the South- i.e., the return to the ante-bellum situation as far as Blacks were concerned. This nonsense made it into the textbooks used all over the U.S.- North as well as South- up through the early 1970's. (It may STILL be in textbooks used in the South- i've no first-hand knowledge of these). And it worked like a charm- lots of people-yourself included, it seems- still believe the fairy tale; lots also believe that "Gone With The Wind" and "The Birth of a Nation" (a.k.a. "The Klansman") are documentaries.

You've got the chronology reversed as well. "Reconstruction" measures was imposed BECAUSE the rights of Blacks & other citizens were being sytematically disregarded; support for secession had NOT been monolithic anywhere in the South either before or during the 'War of the Rebellion'; Blacks and (non-seccessionist) Whites were being killed n a regular basis. Read the House Committee reports on the Klan, for instance- plenty of other primary documentation out there, all disregarded and/or suppressed in the Jim Crow "histories"[sic] mentioned above).

As an example, your anecdote of the Republican Texas governor thus leaves out the fact that he was "voted"[sic] out of office because a substantial number of the populace entitled to vote-Black AND White- were terrorized out of voting or were dead.

There's plenty of information out there & readily available if you'd like to check out the truth of the situation- both primary documentation from the pre-Jim-Crow-History era, and newer studies from the 1960's on; the documentation is overwhelming. And no,these studies are NOT all by "prejudiced Yankees"- the majority of them are coming out of Southern Universities.

This is not to say the North was blameless- both sections of the country united after 1876 with the purpose of selling the 'Nigras' back down the river.

By the way, I can't tell from what you've written: are you proud of the fact that Texas was the last to ratify the 14th Ammendment?

Regards, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 02:29 PM

"By the way, I can't tell from what you've written: are you proud of the fact that Texas was the last to ratify the 14th Ammendment?"

Quite the contrary. I'm indignant that the Radical Republicans, the party of Lincoln who held the majority of power in Texas for over 9 years, refused to ratify it in order to maintain their power as long as possible.

"Reconstruction brought great lawlessness, aggravated by the appearance of roving desperadoes. Radical Republicans, carpetbaggers, and scalawags controlled the government for several years, during which time they managed to lay the foundations for better road and school systems. Texas was readmitted to the Union in Mar., 1870, after ratifying the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments. Although Texas was not as racially embittered as the Deep South, the Ku Klux Klan and its methods flourished for a time as a means of opposing the policies of the radical Republicans"

Texas History - Infoplease

"The 1869 gubernatorial election was one of the most turbulent and controversial in Texas history. Favoritism by the military for candidate Davis over A.J. Hamilton caused Governor E.M. Pease to resign September 30. General J.J. Reynolds ordered the drawing up of a new voter registration list, eliminating many of those who had qualified in 1867. Troops stationed at the polls probably prevented many Democrats from voting: only about half of the registered white voters actually cast a ballot, and many polling places were either not opened, or ordered closed. Irregularities were reported but never investigated, and official returns reported that Davis won by slightly more than 800 votes."

Texas Governors - Texas State Archives and Library Commission

I see what you mean. Who prevented whom from voting?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 06:16 PM

great stuff, all this "reparations" and "the sins of the fathers ahall be visited on the children". But what precisely is it going to mean in practise when they start sorting the legislation out? I am white, born in England. My son is married to a woman in Virginia who is black. So, in relation to any potential kids , who exactly is going to pay what, and to whom?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 21 Mar 04 - 07:09 PM

I'm indignant that the Radical[sic] Republicans, the party of Lincoln who held the majority of power in Texas for over 9 years, refused to ratify it...

I think you're a bit confused about the 14th Amendment; in addition to defining citizens and the rights of citizenship in Section 1 it reaffirms the prohibition of voting by participants in the Rebellion in Section 2 and in Section three disqualifies former Confederates from holding office.

Right you are- if it's posted on someone's website, it's got to be the true and complete story- not just a 'sound-bite' for promoting a State by a George Bush state agency or a bowdlerized and over-simplified entry in a Readers' Digest-type condensed cyber-encyclopedia.

You're just confirming what I've said by quoting meaningless and distasteful anodyne phrases -likely originally drawn from those very Jim Crow histories- like Reconstruction brought great lawlessness...

If you're at all interested in the actual facts & the complete story, I could suggest a few sources. Curiously enough, a place to start would be the bibliography in T. J. Stiles Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War NY, Knoph, 2002. The book deals in part with the situation in Missouri; similar to the Texas experiences. The works he cites in the bibliography cover most of the South. Also take a look at Eric Foner's Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution 1863-1877 & check out the bibliography there, too. Then we'll talk-

Enjoy-

Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:40 AM

Greg, I paused from posting a while to think about this. I admit I had much to learn. I'm not mad, I'm not trying to be offensive, I'll do my best not to be pompous or bombastic as I know I can be.

I clearly see two distinct lines of argument on this. Tell you what, I'm willing to admit that Southern accounts of The Reconstruction emphasize their grievences against the North and downplay their own inequitites if you'll admit the posibility, just the posibility that Northern accounts written during the Civil Rights movement might, just might, focus on the South's inequities and soft sell the South's grievences against the North. I won't even insist on call what was written long after the fact revisionist history.

Here's what I mean. In 1867 Texas completed the requirements that Lincoln set down for readmission to the Union (interesting point, if you can't secede why do you have to be readmitted?) and President Johnson certified the state was ready. Congress, dominated by the Radical Republicans, voided the agreement and imposed new conditions on readmission often described by both sets of historians as far more harsh. That much is accepted as fact. What about a comparison of the two views on some salient points?

The Test Oath was imposed as a requirement for voting which lead to the events I quoted above. Northern accounts describe the Test Oath as "a simple oath of loyalty" to the Union that Southerners refused to take. In fact, it was an oath that stated the swearer had not served in the Confederate army or any government position under the Confederate states. It wasn't a test of a willingness to be loyal to the Union from that point on which most Texans would have accepted, it was a test to determine who to punish for supporting secession. The result was that the majority of white Texans were disenfranchised causing no little discontent. After the oath was imposed, despite the fact Blacks only 30% of the population in Texas, they represented 55% of the registered voters (rough statistics, but I can quote sources). The 14th Amendment only came into play later and the clauses you cite were a moot point given the Test Oath. They're also generally used as evidence of the shift from Lincoln's conciliatory view of reunification to the punative view of it driven by the Radical Republican controlled congress. They were seen as part of the problem. Jim Crow had nothing to do with the North's thirst for vengence against the South.

Northern accounts talk about the KKK in Texas during the Reconstruction. Treatment of black was harsh and generally unjust, but, in fact, the Klan never made it to Texas until it's revival in the 1920s. It's closer to the truth to say that the Army was not able to counter the rampant lawlessness both accounts describe. As a result vigilante groups who sprang up across the state. I don't doubt their justice was harsh. The Marshal Law imposed by the military several times and was harsh, too (the prisoners at Guantanamo are under Marshal Law as a comparison). I also don't doubt that they tried to suppress or take revenge on Blacks, but still they were never affliated with the Klan or what it came to represent much later on. Calling these groups "the Klan" is same as someone in the 50s calling labor activists in the 1880s and 90s communists. Pure demagoguery. Whatever I say this isn't a pretty part of the South's history. On the other hand, the Army could do little to curb lawlessness and if the US had had the wisdom to follow the British path to eliminating slavery, most of it could have been avoided. Both the North and South are to blame for that failure.

I see Northern accounts claim that the fact that Texas was producing more cotton after The Reconstruction shows it actually had a positive impact on the economy. Hardly. Remember Texas was not Georgia and only a small portion of the state had been devoted to cotton farming before the war. It was still mostly frontier with much of population living as subsistance farmers on the barter system. With Reconstruction, all debts and taxs had to be paid in hard currency. Of course, there wasn't any since most if not all of the specie in the state had gone into the war and the blockade prevented any from coming in. There was no Federal Reserve to make sure that banks were solvent and had enough money to keep the economy working. The economy collapsed. Eventually most of the eastern portion of the state turned to their only possible cash crop, cotton, even in the parts of the state not suited to it. Wheat production in the Red River Valley was wiped out because it didn't pay. Even then the shift to cotton came slowly with considerable difficulty since cash was required to buy seed and pay the large amounts of labor required. Small landholders were forced out completely or moved further west where, fortunately there was another "cash crop", wild Spanish cattle.

I could go on, but it won't matter. You're probably not going to agree and I'm looking forward to another stinging reply with advice on which histories to read. Sorry, but frankly it's easy to see both verions of the truth have their own bias, the South trying to overlook its abuse of Blacks and the North trying to overlook its lust for revenge for the war.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 11:52 AM

Are there lessons for the present and the future in this focus on what happened in the 1860s and 1870s?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 12:06 PM

I'm sure there are many. Pride and inflexibility on both sides prevented a compromise that might have prevented a great tragedy on many fronts. Grievences, just or otherwise, can fuel hate that lasts for generations, even centuries, long after the real causes are understood or lost to memory altogether.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 07:05 PM

William Wiberforce


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 07:20 PM

Ah, my kind of religious bigot exactly.

William Wilberforce


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 07:35 PM

Sorry, my link may look redundant, but it's to a short biography of Wilberforce.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 09:25 PM

Hullo, Strick-

I'm not mad, I'm not trying to be offensive, I'll do my best not to be pompous or bombastic as I know I can be.

Nor I.

if you'll admit the possibility, just the possibility that Northern accounts written during the Civil Rights movement might, just might, focus on the South's inequities and soft sell the South's grievances against the North.

I've no problem admitting that there's inherent bias in anything written by anyone at any time. Part of the human condition. But I'm suggesting you check some sources that were written both before "the Civil Rights Movement" (By which I assume you mean the late '1950s and 1960's) and since- a LOT of excellent stuff has come out in the last 20 years or so that has not yet made it into popular reference works or text books. Point is to see which way the preponderance of the evidence leads & go with that.

I won't even insist on call what was written long after the fact revisionist history.

Please don't. I wasn't going to get into this, but you brought it up, and it makes my teeth ache. "Revisionist History" is a meaningless redundancy, a bugaboo raised by certain types in an attempt to discredit that with which they don't agree without having to resort to factual discourse. History is necessarily written "after the fact" and all historical writing that's well done is by nature "revisionist", in that it is constantly being revised to incorporate new and/or more complete information, often to lessen prior observed bias & give a better picture of the past. All history is also an 'interpretation' to a greater or lesser degree- the historian doesn't have time travel available as a research tool. So playing the "Revisionist History" card is a ploy and usually an act of desperation. Earns ya no points with me.

The Test Oath ...wasn't a test of a willingness to be loyal to the Union ... it was a test to determine who to punish for supporting secession. The result was that the majority of white Texans were disenfranchised causing no little discontent.

This is going to sound flippant, but I can't help it- what precisely did they expect after taking up arms, attacking the government of the United States, and involving the country in a war that caused more casualties than all U.S. wars before or since?? To be sent to bed without their suppers? Surely these were people of some intelligence who did not expect their actions to have no consequences, and it does their memories no service for them to be infantilized by succeeding generations. One of the more maddening aspects of this whole situation to this day is that a lot of folks are still in denial and refuse to accept any responsibility after more than a century. (Not directed at you personally)

Jim Crow had nothing to do with the North's thirst for vengence against the South.

"Nothing to do with?" I was sort of with you up to this point, but this statement is nonsense. If you think about it a bit, I think you'll agree with me.

Northern accounts talk about the KKK in Texas during the Reconstruction.

"They" may (and I have no idea what accounts you're referring to), but I don't believe I did.

Calling these groups "the Klan" is same as someone in the 50s calling labor activists in the 1880s and 90s communists. Pure demagoguery.

Call 'em by any name you want, but White Supremacist groups were regularly killing Blacks, Republicans (both domestic Texan and Yankee varieties) & "Northern Sympathizers" and "collaborators". This is amply documented. KILLED. LYNCHED. SHOT DOWN IN THE STREET. Not 'treated harshly', not "generally unjust'. Took place before the Federal troops were sent in, took place again once the troops were withdrawn. This occurred throughout the States of the former Confederacy- I don't mean to single Texas out. Also, the Klan of the immediate post-Civil War period was considerably MORE vicious than that of the 1920's, not less.

I see Northern accounts claim that the fact that Texas was producing more cotton after Reconstruction shows it actually had a positive impact on the economy

I can't speak to this point as I have no knowledge, but as you've stated it it does sound like a bogus claim to me.

Of course, there wasn't any [hard currency] since most if not all of the specie in the state had gone into the war [snip]... The economy collapsed.

And the North is somehow responsible for the State of Texas bankrupting itself by prosecuting a war that it chose to join and enthusiastically participated in? I'm confused...

I'm looking forward to another stinging reply with advice on which histories to read.

Well, I hope I've disappointed you at least a little bit.
I don't mean to tell you which histories to read. I suggested you refer to the extensive bibliographies in the two works I mentioned and use them as a resource listing or guide to select for yourself some works of interest. Lot of good material out there. Might just give you a bit of a different perspective.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:01 PM

Fir another interseting contemporary perspective, Tony Horwitz's "Confederates in the Attic" is a grusomely deatiled account of just how little progress has been made in the minds of many Southerners toward "getting over it". Unfortuantely, having lived 25 years in Richmond, Va. I am accutely award of these folks feelings...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 10:20 PM

It's a waste of time, but let me clarify some points that you refer to.

"The Test Oath ...wasn't a test of a willingness to be loyal to the Union ... it was a test to determine who to punish for supporting secession. The result was that the majority of white Texans were disenfranchised causing no little discontent."

Two points. First, nature of the oath is misrepresented in more recent histories both to hide that punishment was being inflicted and to imply that Southerners deserved whatever mild misfortunes they suffered (just like some of you comments) since they were unwilling to take a simple step to become loyals citizens again. That simply wasn't true, it was a catch-22. Second, the imposition of the oath not only disenfranchised men who had been able to vote in elections immediately after the war, it was the first signal that the North intended reverse the conciliatory policy Lincoln put forward and actively punish the South. Say what you will, it was no way to make them love the North.

"Jim Crow had nothing to do with the North's thirst for vengence against the South."

The Jim Crow laws came after the war and the Reconstruction. How could they be the cause of the North's treatment of the South before they were enacted? Were you thinking the North's resentment over the slavery issue itself? Really? For the first couple of years of the war the North insisted the war was not fought over slavery, only to maintain the Union. This was the period of draft riots and Copperheads. Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation electrified the nation, but that was well into the war, was meant more to prevent Britain entering the war on the South's side and, as I'm sure you knew only affected slaves in the Southern states, not the Union states that were slavery was still legal. Most of the war, the war had nothing to do with slavery -- unless you say Lincoln is a liar.

"Of course, there wasn't any [hard currency] since most if not all of the specie in the state had gone into the war [snip]... The economy collapsed."

No, the North was only responsible for intentionally imposing policy that they knew would have harsh economic consequences and allow the legal looting of the property of those of the defeated. Coming as it did, as a form of punishment, again you can't expect the Southerners to love the North.

Say what you will about the non-existant "Klan" in Texas, they started to try to control the lawless element the Army did little or nothing to put down. If you're surprised that once the North openly started punishing the South for the war, retaliated against anyone they could reach who symbolized what the North was doing, well, you don't understand what's happening in Palestine or happened in Northern Ireland. They considered themselves freedom fighters, too. Yes, I know there's more to it than that, but that's how they saw themselves.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 11:11 PM

Let's set a few things straight here while we're at it. The South seceded the Union. It was not illegal to do so. This makes the CSA at the time of the start of the civil war a soveriegn state in its own right. Yes, the CSA took arms against the Union Army which invaded the CSA at Bull Run in Virginia. I'm not sure I remember who fired the first shot. But if it was the CSA troops then they were well within their rights to defend their "country". We needed less provocation than that to attack Iraq. Also there were attacks by people like John Brown that greatly angered the southerners to beigin with. Brown was not a legal representative of any governmental agency. He was an out and out vigilante bent on doing what he thought was God's Will. Sounds alot like someone else we know.

Two - Lincoln illegally arrested and held for the duration of the war, people identified as sympathizers and gave them no trial whatsoever. Kinda like we're seeing now. The state of Maryland and in paricular the city of Baltimore was placed under martial law for the duration of the war. This is understandable as the Union would hardly want the capital to be surrounded by CSA territory but it was still wrong.

Three - Throughout the war the North siezed and garrisoned troops in private homes owned by citizens of the CSA. This was one of the greatest insults as we had language forbidding this in the constitution.

Four - The destruction wrought by Sherman and his troops was not necessary and resulted in a south that was crippled for years after the war badly lagging behind in industrial development because of the destruction of the railroads and burning of the crops and farmhouses and buildings needed to harvest the next crop if they could get it to grow.

The fact that Gen. Robert E. Lee kept the troops from going guerilla at the end of the war, a situation that we now confront in Iraq shows that the CSA was not the evil demon that we have been lead to believe.

And think about this as well. The Union army was the first to deploy snipers who by many accounts were not used to take out leading officers and such but against common troops in camp far from the lines and not participating in the battle. The former I would consider a necessity of war. The latter I consider cold blooded murder. Today if an Iraqi or Al quaida or Taliban should do so it would be considered terrorism.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 11:23 PM

CC:

Some excellent points!

The first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, held by Union forces, by the Secesh side.

And it was indeed arguably illegal to secede from the Union, having once subscribed to the Articles f Confederation and the Constitution, I would think. IANAL, of course, but I think there was a lot of debate ontheissue at the time.

I don't know about you but my impression of the CSA itxelf was never demonized; I have always thought highly of Lee and of those who fought for him.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 22 Mar 04 - 11:51 PM

OK, I see we've unfortunately got to the irrational anecdotal facts-be-damned foaming at the mouth neo-Confederate confabulate what happened a century ago with current events out-and-out unadulterated bullshit stage of the "discussion".

A little knowledge is verily a dangerous thing.

Bye, Y'all-
Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 06:52 AM

Why take sides in such an indignant way all this time later? No doubt there was injustice towards white southerners, but does it begin to measure up to the injustice done to black Americans over two hundred years and more, and the damage this has done to your whole history?

Getting angry about the past is pointless. Trying to find ways to undo the way the distortion caused by a republic founded on the acceptance of slavery, and the damage caused in the process of trying lie with that legacy and its consequences - that's what surely matters.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 07:42 AM

I'm not at all angry or indignant, Kevin. Saddened, if anything.

When idiocies get tossed out like slavery was still legal in the Northern States in 1863 and the Klan was an agency of law enforcement; with Lee keeping the troops from "going guerilla" (tell that to the folks in Missouri!) & John Brown gratuitously thrown in for good measure,-and those evil, evil Yankee snipers!- its pointless to continue.

I can't teach a complete course here on basic 19th Century U.S. History; not my job to make up for an inadequate education.

Strick- RE: Jim Crow Laws you are of course absolutely correct in that these date from the 1880's. I was using the term Jim Crow in its broader sense to encompass Southern subversion/negation of Federal legislation through local action- which began immediately following the war. I should have been clearer about what I meant.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 10:35 AM

Greg, not all the slave states seceded. Look up any good discussion of the Emancipation Proclaimation and it should explain why it was worded the way it was. If it's a really good discussion, you'll get the quotes from all of Lincoln's speeches denying the war was about slavery and explaining why he waited so long to reverse himself. And using your logic to set the bounds of the "Klan", the Molly McGuires were card carrying Communists. To quote Lincoln, calling a tail a leg doesn't make it so.

I've learned a lot from this (some which I knew all along but don't want to admit), but Greg, I don't think you've re-examined your position at all. You're saying some things that are simply wrong, too. Think about it, OK?

BTW, I assume McGrath was speaking more to me. My original point was not to defend the South but to point out that the anger still exists. You've helped explain part of that anger: each side only remembers the part that makes them angry. At the end of the war, the South was promised a conciliatory Lincoln and it got a vindictive Congress. Recent Northern versions of Reconstruction are consistent with the view you've stated: those bad things didn't really happen and if they did, they just got what they deserved. Anyone would be mad at that. Long remembered anger must be a universal condition. Each time I was in the Republic of Ireland I received the "800 years of oppresive English occupation" at least four times.

McGrath, it's a complex issue and I realize that historically the South has a lot to answer for. But not only the South, the North helped make much of this tragedy (muscial interjection, remember the song "Molasses to Rum to Slaves"?). Next Greg will be telling us that there was no defacto, economic segregation in the North but if there had been it wasn't so bad, and anyway, the blacks brought it on themselves by being poor. The riots in the Detroit ghetto were an illuision and the worst riots opposing school desegregation did not take place in Boston. We imagined it.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 10:51 AM

regarding the quartering of troops: the particular amendment reads:

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

This does not prohibit the quartering of troops - merely states it must be done within the law - whatever that shall be.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 10:56 AM

Oh, and Greg, now that I'm slowly pulling my head out of my ass, I do regret some of the cheap shots I've taken.

(and you won't believe what I just did...)


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 11:46 AM

Greg, not all the slave states seceded

No shit??? Really??? Boy, I do SO appreciate being patronized.
But, as you've noted, they were Southern slave states(or if you prefer, "Border States"). Your point being????

Next Greg will be telling us that there was no defacto, economic segregation in the North but if there had been it wasn't so bad...

Now you really are acting the asshole, Strick. Putting words in my mouth is an old, tired, underhand, childish ploy.

-Were Blacks treated like shit in the North in the middle of the 19th century? Of course they were- the whole country was a racist society.

-Was this treatment anything remotely comparable to the treatment of Blacks under chattel slavery? Of course not.

-Does the lousy treatment of Blacks in the North somehow mitigate or excuse slavery? Infantile suggestion.

Lincoln's speeches denying the war was about slavery

Lincoln was a politician, not a saint, and one of the more skillful politicians the U. S. has ever seen. His speeches need to be read with this in mind: remember the "House Divided" speech?. Try reading his letters (several published collections) of the time, which give an entirely different impression, as they weren't for public consumption. Of COURSE the war was "about slavery". The states that seceded did so over the issue of slavery.The Southern economy was BASED on slavery.The "Bleeding Kansas" atrocity was over the extension of slavery. The idea that the war had nothing to do with the issue of slavery is nonsensical on its face.

Recent Northern versions of Reconstruction are consistent with the view you've stated: those bad things didn't really happen...

Bogus. Absolutely and categorically wrong. One example of many? The work by Foner I mentioned. Suggestion: try reading at least one of these books before you tell us what they say.

At the end of the war, the South was promised a conciliatory Lincoln and it got a vindictive Congress.

The "Saintly Old Abe willing to forgive and forget and the Evil Old Radical Republican Congress oppressing the poor South" fairy tale- aside from being an overly simplistic 'explanation' of a vastly more complex issue & which completely ignores the major role Johnson played in the controversy- was and is a fabrication written into those late 19th /early 20th century Jim Crow/White Supremacist "histories" as a sop to "reconciliation" and to Southern "redemption". The fact that it IS a fabrication is amply documented in some of the works you denegrate unread.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 02:29 PM

Who's angry?
I'm just pointing out some facts that are realevant to the discussion at hand. I have yet to call anyone an asshole or dismiss their whole argument out of hand or lable them neo-confederates.

As far as I know there are no legal documents which were written up to say that a state could not secede.

I am not defending the institution of slavery. I already stated bad, evil, etc. But even Greg here states that the southern economy was based on slavery. How can you take away the base of anyones economy and think they aren't going to fight back?

The first landside shots of the war were bull run (at least that's what the NAt'l park service says.

Gen'l Lee surrendered his forces at appamatox. Had he and all of his forces run away and kept their arms the North would have had to route them all out and continue suffering assaults like we face now in Iraq.

The garrisoning of soldiers in Southern homes in the time of the war is like us seizing houses in Iraq. I'm sorry that I submitted something askew to what the actual verbage reads. It was still an indecency as far as the southerners were concerned.

The problem here lies in the fact that this terrible time in our history has been watered down to be about the evil southern slave holders fighting to keep their slaves and the saintly Union troops who fought with no other reason than to free them. This is what is, to use a previously used term "bullshit".

To pare it down to this issue is to ignore everything that occured before the war and drove the southern states to secede from the Union.

More facts: When Lincoln wanted to free the slaves via the emancipation proclomation the congress, with no southern representation at all, barely passed it.

There were riots in New York and other cities because of the draft of northern citizens to fight the CSA.

There were riots in Northern cities because the citizenry believed that freeing the slaves meant that they would head north and take their jobs.

I am only pointing out the facts that others would rather ignore or gloss over so that anyone reading this post gets the full picture of the tragedy of slavery and the tragedy of the American Civil War.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 02:37 PM

not only the South, the North helped make much of this tragedy

That's certainly I've always understood it. The match was lit by the Founding Fathers.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 02:41 PM

"The match was lit by the Founding Fathers."

To a fuse set by... but aren't we tired of this yet? It's so easy to lay blame to the past even if we can't agree on the details and what each of us believes is only part of the truth. History is a tougher subject than some folks let on.

CC, I think Greg was merely affirming (if somewhat gracelessly) my acknowledgement that some of my comments were out of line. We can't refight this war here.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 04:09 PM

The point isn't to attach blame to people who are long gone for things that happened long ago. It's to learn from mistakes, and to recognise how things can go disastrously wrong when we are starting new enterprises, and the effects can carry on and get worse.

Kipling said it well:

That which is marred at birth Time shall not mend,
       Nor water out of bitter well make clean;
A11 evil thing returneth at the end,
       Or elseway walketh in our blood unseen.
Whereby the more is sorrow in certaine—
Dayspring mishandled cometh not againe.

To-bruized be that slender, sterting spray
       Out of the oake's rind that should betide
A branch of girt and goodliness, straightway
       Her spring is turned on herself, and wried
And knotted like some gall or veiney wen.—
Dayspring mishandled cometh not agen.

Noontide repayeth never morning-bliss—
       Sith noon to morn is incomparable;
And, so it be our dawning goth amiss,
       None other after-hour serveth well.
Ah! Jesu-Moder, pitie my oe paine—
Dayspring mishandled cometh not againe!


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 04:29 PM

Oh, McGrath, that's so easy to understand and I must say so difficult to do when you're one of the people who was raised in cultures that have carried their mutual grievences across generations. Even if you see the wisdom of and it swallow the bitterness that always there, how do you reach those who have no interest in putting that past behind?   Even fairly civilized people who don't realize they have these feelings, too often find they're lying close to the surface as you've seen here. When we have to face them every day, past grievences and hatred have a tendency to renew themselves in mistrust, duplicity and violence in the present.

It can be overcome, but if that were that common, think of the number of the world's problems we wouldn't be facing anymore.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 04:30 PM

I'm sorry but perhaps I'm a little touchy here. I can't celebrate my German heritage without someone pointing out the Nazi's. I can't talk about my state of birth or of any of the beautiful things here down south without someone deciding to bring up slavery or racism.

There was alot more overt racism when I lived up north than there is down here in the armpit of the south.

When I told a fellow worker that I would be transferred to Wilmington, NC she said that she would never go down there, that her family would be in danger down there (she is the child of a mixed marriage).

Surprise, surprise, I saw more mixed couples in Wilmington, NC than in all of Baltimore, MD. We only had one murder in five years of living there. Don't even bother to look at the murder statistics in Baltimore over the same time period.

I'm not saying that there isn't racism, but a lot of people don't give the south a chance, and thereby deny themselves some pretty great things, because of slavery and jim crow. It happened, it's behind us. And the racism that remains is just as much at home in Kennebunkport Maine as it is in Montgomery Alabama. Let's remember that Archie Bunker was not portraying a southerner!


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 04 - 04:36 PM

And remember too that Archie Bunker was an Americanised version of a Londoner, Alf Garnett. Paying too much heed to the faults of other people is a great way of taking our minds off our own.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 05:34 AM

Bigots are at home anywhere and cross all boundaries. Alf/Archie will be recognised in any nation. Link to The Bigot's Song.

http://www.geocities.com/doireanne/bigotsong.html


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: GUEST,satchel
Date: 24 Mar 04 - 11:18 PM

I'm not going to get into the details of the problematic arguments in this thread, but there are a few things worth reconsidering.

Since race is America's national bogeyman, it is only natural that reconstruction has many competing interpretations. The problem is that most of the "common knowledge" or "heritage" on the subject has developed from wrongheaded historiography (look it up) from the early 20th century.

It has taken scholars the better part of 60 years to try and put things right. This is revisionist history--all history is revisionist. So is medicine, areonautics, electronics, etc. and I've yet to hear a complaint about "revisionist dentistry."

Greg F. is fighting a valiant but losing battle against a phalanx of people who are satisfied with getting their history from soundbits, grandfathers and uncles, and celebratory "heritage" peddlers and reenactors.

McGrath, this is important because the level of misinformation about reconstruction deeply affects policy and feelings to this day, as clearly evidenced by this thread.

There is plenty of evidence and refereed scholarship that convincingly disproves all of the legends--scholarship that examines Andrew Johnson's presidency, his relationship with Congress, the Radical Republican reactions, the social history of the south, and the racism of the north.

Most folks would be terribly offended if an amateur told them how to do their jobs--just think about how pissy the plumber gets when you keep offering helpful "suggestions" during the job. Professional historians have to listen to this every day. Why? People are reluctant to reexamine their cherished heritage, even in light of the most overwhelming of evidence.

Trust the pros, folks. If things were really as simple as most of us think, everyone would have an advanced degree in history. Things are NEVER as easy as they seem.


READ READ READ--Stampp, Era of Reconstruction. Foner--Reconstruction. Woodward--Strange Career of Jim Crow. Dray--At the Hands of Persons Unknown. Williamson--Crucible of Race


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 01:51 AM

Some would say that the birth of 'spin' came with the written word. That 'spin' and written history - are one and the same.

Which historian are we to trust? If you read enough of them you wiil usually will find one with a view of history that will suit. We all have personal agendas - even if we are not aware that we do.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: nelagnelag
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 03:29 AM

Wow, thanks for such a great discussion. Look what happens when I go away for a few days... :)

I just will throw in a few interesting random facts, I tried to read 90% of the discussion...

You might find the autobiography of Gordon Parks very interesting regarding the living legacy of slavery and bigotry. Plus, he was an amazing guy. Reading that makes it clear that all of this "old" history really is only very barely dead, if at all.

Also, I am interested to know that one of the bosses of the C&O canal venture, which was built by very poor Irish labor (is that fundamentally different from slavery?) was a quaker, who were known for their help on the underground railway. I'm just wondering a little if the "moral high ground" was actually based on wealth and education that was available in the north. There are a lot of good books about the Underground Railroad that are pretty enlightening, by the way, also about the racism that existed even in the north. One gets the feeling that if it weren't for the industrial wealth in the north, all of this moralizing would have disappeared.

And finally, I note that - not only did George Washington have slaves, but when one escaped he very actively tried to get her back. Washington was hailed as a hero ever since his involvement (with very dubious success) in the French and Indian war, so one wonders if negative stories about him were subconsciously or otherwise suppressed in a fledging nation starved for heros of its own. (read- "George Washington, indespensible man", though not much there about slaves, read that elsewhere)

That is, there was a huge demographic class distinction in the colonies early on. Signers of the decl. of indep, etc, were the donald trumps and bill gates, etc. of the day, not little old you or I.

best,
G


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: nelagnelag
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 03:40 AM

Oh,

and this organization is one of the major ones dealing with modern slavery, based in the USA. This article is about the connection between chocolate and slavery. The quote at the top gives you pause. We have a bunch of nestle chips in our cupboard, and nestle, I'm fairly sure, gets their chocolate from Africa...

http://www.freetheslaves.net/slave_stories/drissa.html

The biggest org. internationally is anti-slavery international.

www.antislavery.org

best,
G


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 06:50 AM

"I've yet to hear a complaint about "revisionist dentistry."

That's a comment worth sticking in a Mudcat book of quotes.

And I wasn't suggesting tta ciorrect ing misinfirmation isn't important, but that getting over-excited about the past is a mistake. The importan thing is to learn from the past, and apply the lessons we learn to to the present and the future - obviously, if we have the facts wrong in thr first place, the lessons we learn from them are going to be skewed.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM

That 'spin' and written history - are one and the same.

It ain't necessarily so. ( to keep things musical )

Which historian are we to trust?

Simple. Preponderance of verifiable evidence. Best us humans can do.

[NB: Read the footnotes; that's why they're there. If they're NOT there, be suspicious. Then read the sources footnoted. Then read other works on the same subject & repeat the above.]

No-one said being well-informed is easy. Like anything else, if it's gonna be worthwhile, its gonna take some effort.

Have fun-

Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 11:51 AM

But Greg, it's not the facts that are in question too much of the time even if there's really any way of knowing all of the relevant ones. It's the interpretation of those facts that raises hackles.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 12:27 PM

According to the Nat'l Park system, the C&O railroad was built by Irish Laborers because the work was so dangerous and the slaves were more expensive and therefore shouldn't be risked. This is what I was told. Don't know if there is anything to back it up.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: nelagnelag
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 02:08 PM

Hmm, that says a lot about the value of human life.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 02:25 PM

it's not the facts that are in question too much of the time

Sadly much of the time, yes, it is. vide much of the foregoing 'discussion', for example.

And I dunno there, Satchel- I would bet Grover Norquist & his fellow travellers could find fault with 'revisionist dentistry'.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 02:51 PM

But take some examples to the contrary, Greg. It's a fact that many Southerners who had voted in the 1866 election were prevented from voting in later years by the Test Oath. It's interpretation that says this was due to their refusal to take the Oath (and an erroroneous one given the actual oath itself) and an as to whether or not that partcilar version of the Oath was justified by the circumstances.

Vigilante organizations (even that word is an interpretation) commited acts of violences against Northern sympathizers and blacks. Why the did so is open to interpretation. They say that they were supressing lawlessness that the Army wouldn't or couldn't control. You say they were racist murderers. Problem is both are probably true. On the other hand the assertion that these groups were part of the KKK is an opinion and one not supported by any factual evidence, as the groups were distinct and cannot be shown to interacted much less merged.

See what I mean? Not being pedantic, just pointing out that a lot of things people call "facts" aren't.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 07:15 PM

Sorry, Strick, but no; I still can't make it out. I agree that its not pedantry, but it sure smells like sophistry.

Example: Why each individual 'vigilante' took it upon himself to murder mostly unarmed Black folks, Union sympathizers, etc. is
probably not susceptible of ultomate "proof". That doesn't make the victims any less dead, be it Texas in 1866 or Mississippi in 1963. The motivational questions may pose intriguing sidelights, but they don't materially alter the larger picture of pervasive white supremecist violence, or the successful attempts to effectively nullify Federal legislation through violence and intimidation of a class or classes of the Southern population.

The term 'vigilante'- def.:a member of a volunteer, extra-legal group taking summary action to suppress what they percieve to be crime- is particularly apt and exact. What's your problem with it?

Its interestingg that you keep bringing up the straw horse of the "Klan in Texas" business despite the fact that I - and no-one else in this thread that I can find- ever said there WAS!

Still, your claim there was no 'official'KKK in Texas during reconstruction( which I WILL check on and get back to you) doesn't make the victims of white supremecist violence there any less dead, either.

I'm honestly afraid that you've lost me completely with the paragraph on the Test Oath/Ironclad Oath/ whichever oath you're going on about.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 07:28 PM

Isn't the truth of it that the whole of the United States was responsible for what went wrong in the hundred years after the end of the Civil War so far as decency and civil rights was concerned?


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 07:50 PM

"Hmmmmmm", Bobert wonders to himself, "bunch of white folks arguing over what happened a long time ago while million of desendents rot in housing projects from one city to the next across America?"

Yeah, the discussion is very much necessary but is of little value if it does not effect change in those folks who still suffer from the affects of "slavery, poverty and culture"...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 09:05 PM

Bobert, who told you that Greg and I were affected by "slavery, poverty and culture" too? Just not the affects you're thinking of.

Greg F, this is the Greg F I exchanged some posts with earlier in this thread? I'm suprised at some of your questions. My examples in the previous post weren't meant to represent anything you said, but are legitimate examples of what I'm trying to say, that the facts are less trouble than how different people interpret them. That ex-Confederate soldiers were prevented from voting (after being eligible in one election) is fact. The explanations why they were prevented from voting (stubborn refusal or Northern malice) are interpretations.

I worried about vigilante because if what you say is true, that gives them more credit than they deserve. Vigilante committees were common across the West where ever there was lawlessness. Sherman described being on a vigilante committee when he was in California in his autobiography. As one historian noted, you couldn't expect any man hardy enough to survive the Civil War to sit just accept lawlessness just because there was no law handy. Of course he was talking about the Territories further west in later years, not Texas, but it's the same thing.

BTW., what makes you so sure that they hanged "mostly unarmed Black folks, Union sympathizers, etc."? I don't think either of us know that for a fact. The reports I've seen from West Texas speak only of desperados and bandits. I don't know that I'd trust reports from the Army or Union sympathizers in local government to be objective either. Maybe newspaper reports of the time, but there weren't many papers in the state. I don't doubt they committed atrocities, but I don't think the record is clear either.

The KKK? I found enough reports calling them the Klan and you called them the Klan in response to one of my posts, but the facts I seen don't support that and it would be a convenient way possible to put the most negative characterization on the oganizations, wouldn't it.

I really wasn't trying to rehash this, though. I'll let it rest. All I was trying to say was that, even with the same facts in front of us, we wouldn't be able to agree on intepreting them. That's the big problem.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 09:50 PM

Of course he was talking about the Territories further west in later years, not Texas, but it's the same thing.

Well, Strick, there ya go again. Ya see, its NOT the same thing. And that's a fact.

you called them the Klan in response

I'd be grateful if you'd show me where I identified a Texas group
as being "The Klan". You keep falling back specifically on the Texas situation; I'm talking about the whole former Confederacy.


even with the same facts in front of us, we wouldn't be able to agree on intepreting them I thinwe'd finnd more points of convergence than difference if we agreed to apply the 'preponderance of evidence' test.

Bobert: RE: the discussion... is of little value if it does not effect change in those folks who still suffer from the affects of "slavery, poverty and culture".

Couldn't agree more- and while a substantial segment of the population remains in denial about their own history I don't think much headway will be made in the direction both of us would like to see.

Kevin- ALL of the U.S. most certainly, but the situation was influenced by world economic factors as well. Palmerston's government supported the Confederacy, as did most of Lancashire, for economic reasons. Cheap U.S. cotton- produced by slave labor prior to 1865 and by what was slave labor in all but name after 1865- enriched many a mill owner in the Black Country. A complicated situation.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 10:06 PM

Greg, you're wrong (IMHO), but certainly determined.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Mar 04 - 10:26 PM

Well, danged, if ya can't beat 'um join 'um...

Okay, 'bout 20 yeaes ago I was pokin' thru the Main Strret Sation in Richmond, Va. At one time it was the only train station in Richmond, Va. and had been closed since the 50's. In the basement I found a log of accidents and perhaps some not-so-accidents that occured on the lines within a 50 miles radius of Richmond.

There are several entries that go something like "Male Negro, approximately 25 years old found dead on tracks, 30 miles northweat of Richmond..." Hmmmmm? LIke black folk so stupid to fall asleep on RR tracks???

Welcome to Jim Crow/KKK America......

Anyone want proof, PM me, I'll send you a copy ....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 05:29 AM

But the responsibility for colluding in repression of former slaves in the former Confederacy and beyond for the next century rested on the whole of the United States.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Shambles
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 06:31 AM

No, I blame that Scotsman, Napoleon.........

We all feel our share of blame. That is why we all feel better if we can shift some of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 07:48 AM

But the responsibility for colluding in repression of former slaves in the former Confederacy and beyond for the next century rested on the whole of the United States.

Yes. Absolutely. Just as there were individuals North and South who attempted- unsuccessfully as it turns out- to prevent that repression.

Bobert-
Like to all them Colored folks what tried to swim them Southern lakes and rivers with chains wrapped round'em. Jus' plain stupid.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: el ted
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 10:38 AM

Post number 100, I thank you.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Chief Chaos
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 02:40 PM

I'll take post 101 thank you.

Okay lets see, black people laying on railroad tracks, swimming in southern rivers with chains on them,

I recall a "story" (in quotes because I don't remember the source)
about a young black male stoned to death by white folk because he accidentally crossed over an invisible line dividing a black beach from a white beach.

Funny thing tho' I never knew Chicago was part of the South.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: M.Ted
Date: 26 Mar 04 - 03:50 PM

To those not American who perhaps don't understand--this is not a dead issue, and the conflict and the emotions that go with it are always very close to the surface---it is what Bush vs Kerry is really about in a large sense, and in a small sense, it is why you don't see Pete Seeger at bluegrass festivals--we all know who is on which side, and whose turf we are on, though for the most part, we are fairly careful not to let on--

Some of the posters here seem to think that the founding fathers had a culturally induced blindspot on the subject of slavery--not true--they bitterly debated it, and realized that they couldn't resolve the issue before declaring independence--the states that opposed it passed their own laws against it, the others joined the union with the assurance that the constitution would allow them the sovereignty to keep it if they chose--That's why we have the bizarre "Electoral College", and two legislative houses, one apportioned by population, the other by state--


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 09:06 AM

Strick-

RE: the Ku Klux Klan in Texas<

Haven't had a chance to get to the library on this as I promised, but in the interim there is something germaine in the "Handbook of Texas Online", a site that's a joint project of The General Libraries at the University of Texas at Austin and the Texas State Historical Association.

The article cites quite a few solid academic works on, and documents that the Klan WAS operating in Texas as early as 1868.

HERE

Seems they're still pretty active today, too.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Strick
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 09:22 AM

I stand corrected, Greg and apologize. I realize there are still minor pocket of the Klan in Texas as there are in most states.

Heck, I hear there are still Democrats in Texas, though their getting more rare daily (meaning no comparison between the two groups, of course.)


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 27 Mar 04 - 11:32 AM

Heck, I hear there are still Democrats in Texas

Well, there's Jim Hightower, Molly Ivins & possibly Kinky Friedman but
I think they're mostly on the endangered species list. More's the pity.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 05:15 PM

Ok I'll admit this is something of a 'hot topic' with me at the moment, but this is because I'm becoming acutely aware that something I always thought of as a eighteenth/ ninetenth century phenomenom seems never to have left us, and is still present, albeit in a different form perhaps, but also that the history of the subject seems to be continually re-written by different sets of spin doctors.

I've just been listening to a BBC radio 4 pogramme on the subject of a slave burial discovered in New York.

Acclaimed writer Caryl Phillips uses startling new evidence from a huge slave burial site discovered in New York City to expose the extent of slavery in both the Northern and Southern parts of the United States. The human remains discovered during routine building work in Manhattan explode the idea of slavery as a largely "Southern" phenomenon.

This Archive Hour also draws on oral archive of the last people to be born into slavery in the American South and contrasts their experiences with surprising new detail about the lives of their Northern counterparts

You can hear the programme again on the BBC website.   

I was particularly struck by the extracts from the 'Oral Archive' Does anyone know if you can get access to these archives via net?
How come we don't hear more of these particularly in view of their historical significance?

Maybe I'm a little idealistic, I have always considered folk music and stories as being the voice of the disposessed, and a channel, through the oral tradition, for the history that never makes the school text books.

Seems I'm not hearing enough, or maybe it's just the wrong songs?


SM


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Metchosin
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 06:03 PM

Hell, slavery hasn't abated since the dawn of man and the only thing that has changed about slavery since the 18th or 19th century is that the slaves were worth more then and the profit margin was lower.

In 1830 US currency, a slave was worth about a thousand dollars ($38,000 current value or about the price of a good tractor). Profit of about 5% per year on ownership was considered par.

Now one can buy a healthy young male for farm labour for about $90 US. Think about that before you bite into your unfairly traded chocolate.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 06:07 PM

It's not a "slave burial" but the African Burial Ground in Manhattan where blacks- both free and slave- were interred for most of the 18th century- a time whan slavery was legal in all of North America.

No news or "spin" involved- a gradual emancipation law was passed in 1799 and slavery existed in New York State until 1827.

More info on the burial ground HERE
or a 'google' search for "Manhattan Afrcan Burial Ground" should turn up 500+ hits.

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 24 Apr 04 - 07:13 PM

...Some of the posters here seem to think that the founding fathers had a culturally induced blindspot on the subject of slavery--not true--they bitterly debated it, and realized that they couldn't resolve the issue before declaring independence"

Not a blind spot, but a sense of priorities that saw slavery as a less important issue than independence, and as somnething which could be tolerated. A view not shared by the many Black Americans who fought on the other side.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 04:40 AM

Greg

Thanks for your reply, I'm going to listen to this programme again (BBC Radio 4 Archive hour) because it certainly left me with the impression that this was principally a 'slave' burial site. If my memory serves me correctly it also postulated that New York was second only to Charleston as a centre for slave trading, and that the industrial base of NY was based on slave labour in the same way as it supported agriculture in the south.   

Somewhere along the line I've picked up the notion that slavery was predominantly a Southern phenomena, so had it more or less died out in the North by the time of the civil war?   What happened in 1827 that slavery died out then. I also seem to remember something about riots in NY that led to a number of black people moving to Canada.

My understanding of this period is was shaky to say the least, now I'm getting even more confused. Who were the free Africans in NY?
Were they part of the trade?


SM


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 25 Apr 04 - 06:34 PM

Hullo-

This is , way, WAY to complicated & lengthly to get into here, but I'll try to address several of your points:

... it also postulated that New York was second only to Charleston as a centre for slave trading,

At one time in the mid-18th C- when NY & South Carolina were still British colonies both, this was indeed true.

and that the industrial base of NY was based on slave labour

Not true in either the 18th or 19th C.

I've picked up the notion that slavery was predominantly a Southern phenomena,

Yes, by the second quarter of the 19th. Century it was restricyed to the South. It had previously existed in ALL the North American colonies cum States.

so had it more or less died out in the North by the time of the civil war?

It didn't "die out", it was specifically legislated out of existence in the North.

For the rest, I'd suggest you investigate

----------------
Harris, Leslie M.: In The Shadow of Slavery: African Americans in New York City 1626-1863. Chicahgo, IL, University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Gellman, David N. & Quigley, David: Jim Crow New York. NY & London, New York University Press, 2003

White, Shane: Stories of Freedom in Black New York. Cambridge, Harvard U. Press 2002

Berlin, Ira: Generations of Captivity : A History of African-American Slaves. Belknap Press, 2003

Berlin, Ira: Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America . Cambvridge, Harnard U. Press, 2000

Berlin, Ira (ed): Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation. New Press, 2000.

Katz, William Loren: Eyewitness. Simon & Schuster 1995
-----------------

This list just barely scratches the surface- Enjoy!

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: The Stage Manager
Date: 26 Apr 04 - 05:49 PM

Greg

Thanks for this. I'll see what my local library can get hold of for me.


The last time I gave this subject any serious thought was thirty odd years ago while at school. I don't think anyone in my class had ever been to America, neither had any of us ever met an African American. West Indians too were pretty few and far between in Sussex where I was brought up. When I refer to 'spin' I rather mean the context in which my generation was taught about slavery, and the, perhaps rather distorted, view of its place in history that our education left us with. Many of my teachers had fought in WW2, and to some extent were themselves product of 'The Empire'. William Wilberforce we learned was a good Christian and a great reformer. Slavery was made illegal in the Empire, so that was really the end of the matter as far as we were concerned.

At the same time we loved the blues, and bought records of everyone from Leadbelly to Lightning Hopkins, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee.   We thought Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement was inspiring. Joan Baez recorded "Birmingham Sunday" and people sang it in the folk clubs we went to, and around campfires on the beach.

OK we knew about the connections, but I don't think many of us really understood the legacy, let alone had any concept of the reality. Our world, and the world we were growing up in, was just too different.

It'll be interesting for me, reading those books.

SM


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 11:38 AM

New book on the "redemption" of the south worth reading:

REDEMPTION: The Last Battle of the Civil War. By Nicholas Lemann. 257 pp. Farrar, Straus & Giroux.

REVIEW: A Less Perfect Union [excerpts] By Sean Wilentz Published: September 10, 2006, New York Times ++++

Ten years after Appomattox, Northern support for the newly enfranchised ex-slaves and their white allies had faded. Recalcitrant Southern whites, whose Ku Klux Klan night-riding had been aggressively repressed by the federal government in the early 1870's, regrouped under the political aegis of the Democratic Party. By mid-decade, most of the Reconstruction state governments had fallen at the ballot box to the forces of white supremacy, the self-proclaimed "redeemers."

Mississippi, with a large black voting majority, resisted longer than other states, but redemption finally came there too, in 1875, sealed by a new frenzy of paramilitary carnage and intimidation. Two years later, after a disputed national election, the Republican Rutherford B. Hayes finally won the White House by agreeing to remove from the South the last of the federal troops who had upheld Reconstruction at the points of their bayonets. The troubled effort to build a Southern interracial democracy out of the ashes of the Civil War was over......

In reaching for the attention of general readers with a brief, highly concentrated narrative, "Redemption" simplifies too much. But it offers a vigorous, necessary reminder of how racist reaction bred an American terrorism that suppressed black political activity and crushed Reconstruction in the South. And it illuminates the often bloody fights over black voting rights that would recur for a century to come - and remain, even today, a source of partisan strife, albeit without paramilitary gunfire and with the party labels reversed. [emphasis mine]

Whole review HERE and for those with a fear of registration, for the NYT the username "mudcat4" and the password "mudcat" will work.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: GUEST
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 01:26 PM

I didn't see any mention here that Abraham Lincoln, when running for President and when elected, said he had no intention of abolishing slavery in the south. He only wanted to stop its westward expansion. Lincoln was pro-slavery. If it meant keeping the Union together, he was more than willing to let slavery continue. You yankees have some really wrong-headed notions about that dictator. There's a reason each of his hands is resting on a fasci in the Lincoln Memorial.


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Subject: RE: BS: slavery, poverty and culture
From: Greg F.
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 02:25 PM

Yup.

"Lincoln was pro slavery".

And the anon. jerk that posted same isn't an ignorant asshole.

Both statements are equally valid.


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