Posted by Big Ron on June 21, 20 at 18:56:10:
In Reply to: Funny where things lead. posted by So So on June 21, 20 at 14:52:10:
"So when they say they were fighting for states rights, that meant the right to own cheap slaves & make money on them."
"The Future of Capitalism" had an interesting take on that subject. Most of the agrarian Southern wealth was tied up in the real estate and not in crop production. Capitalism exploits whatever elements its environment offers. The South had rich soil, long growing seasons and waterways to transport bulk material. The North had iron, coal and contained the main entry ports for the constant stream of thousands of new arrivals. At first, this was a mutual symbiotic relationship. But as the North manufacturing base developed, the South had to send massive amounts of low margin raw materials to the North to balance the escalating cost of high margin finished goods from the North. These low priced raw materials plus shipping improvements soon allowed North finished goods to be exported which further drove the prices up for South. Slavery became a means of responding to market pressures of higher prices from the North. Also, seasonal crops drastically affected the South cash flow. The same Northern companies that priced the South into debt started offering credit to get the farms through their off seasons. The banking industry of the North was created.
We focus on slavery which was indeed a despicable practice. But we sometimes forget that the North had similar practices exploiting the working poor that often signed indentured servitude contracts to keep from starving. Basically by fate of geography, the slavery became a South issue. If new arrivals to this country would have landed in the South, farms may have been dominated by share croppers working the plantations (basically corporate farms) and the North needing factory workers and miners might have resorted to slavery.
Southern plantation owners, Northern industrial tycoons, Bankers. They were all cut from the same cloth. It just depended on what tools the environment gave them to work with.
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