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BS: slavery, poverty and culture

Greg F. 14 Sep 06 - 02:25 PM
GUEST 14 Sep 06 - 01:26 PM
Greg F. 14 Sep 06 - 11:38 AM
The Stage Manager 26 Apr 04 - 05:49 PM
Greg F. 25 Apr 04 - 06:34 PM
The Stage Manager 25 Apr 04 - 04:40 AM
McGrath of Harlow 24 Apr 04 - 07:13 PM
Greg F. 24 Apr 04 - 06:07 PM
Metchosin 24 Apr 04 - 06:03 PM
The Stage Manager 24 Apr 04 - 05:15 PM
Greg F. 27 Mar 04 - 11:32 AM
Strick 27 Mar 04 - 09:22 AM
Greg F. 27 Mar 04 - 09:06 AM
M.Ted 26 Mar 04 - 03:50 PM
Chief Chaos 26 Mar 04 - 02:40 PM
el ted 26 Mar 04 - 10:38 AM
Greg F. 26 Mar 04 - 07:48 AM
The Shambles 26 Mar 04 - 06:31 AM
McGrath of Harlow 26 Mar 04 - 05:29 AM
Bobert 25 Mar 04 - 10:26 PM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 10:06 PM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 09:50 PM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 09:05 PM
Bobert 25 Mar 04 - 07:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 04 - 07:28 PM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 07:15 PM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 02:51 PM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 02:25 PM
nelagnelag 25 Mar 04 - 02:08 PM
Chief Chaos 25 Mar 04 - 12:27 PM
Strick 25 Mar 04 - 11:51 AM
Greg F. 25 Mar 04 - 10:25 AM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 04 - 06:50 AM
nelagnelag 25 Mar 04 - 03:40 AM
nelagnelag 25 Mar 04 - 03:29 AM
The Shambles 25 Mar 04 - 01:51 AM
GUEST,satchel 24 Mar 04 - 11:18 PM
The Shambles 24 Mar 04 - 05:34 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 04:36 PM
Chief Chaos 23 Mar 04 - 04:30 PM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 04:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 04:09 PM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 02:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 04 - 02:37 PM
Chief Chaos 23 Mar 04 - 02:29 PM
Greg F. 23 Mar 04 - 11:46 AM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 10:56 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 04 - 10:51 AM
Strick 23 Mar 04 - 10:35 AM
Greg F. 23 Mar 04 - 07:42 AM
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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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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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 10:35 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: 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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