View single post by 39th Miss. Walker
 Posted: Thu Dec 6th, 2007 02:30 pm
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39th Miss. Walker

Joined: Tue May 1st, 2007
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 80

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While it is true the majority of slaveholders did invest in land and more slaves it was not true that it was totally by choice. By this I mean the Northern Industrialist and banks had a strangle hold on industry and industrial development. The last thing they wanted was a competing South. Just as England had a strangle hold on the mills.

To answer about the yeoman farmer of the early 1800's to the time of the CW, in the vast majority of the cases, particularly in Mississippi, South Carolina, Alabama the farmer had very little to sell or buy. His main "exports" were hogs and a few cattle and maybe a little corn. The cotton, rice and tobacco was dominated by the large plantations, all of which are very labor intensive needing the slave labor.

So when market day did come the farmer would drive his livestock to a major city, sell them and buy a few staples. Maybe that plow or cloth for clothing, if it wasn't made on the farm. Their farms were not run for profit but substance.
I many cases the wife worked the fields alongside their husbands then worked late into the night carding and spinning cotton to make their clothes. But I digress.

The point I was making was if there were no slaves there would not be a cotton, rice or tobacco industry as we knew it. Therefore the South would have been populated by small farms with no political or economic will to secede or fight a war.

The plantation society with it's wealth, and protectionist attitude did give the South the will and means to secede. However if the North had not burdened the South with the tariffs and the political status quo had been maintained regardless of the slavery issue then there would have been no war.

Any time one faction seeks to dominate another whether for political, economic or social gain then there will be the chance of war.

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