Confederate flag fan Andy Hallinan explains what the Civil War was really about


#61

One-sentence executive summary:

The South fought to preserve slavery while the North fought to preserve the Union (and in doing so, ended slavery).

It really is that simple.


#62

But the folks you don’t have to pay come with a lot of other costs. Think of them kind of like a prison population: you have to feed them, house them, pay a bunch of people to keep them imprisoned, and you have to replace them as needed. Compared to that, paying someone a pittance to do the same labor as a “free” man often is cheaper.

What the hell? I clicked on that all geared up to be appalled, and then when I saw the West Point historian I was preemptively upset that someone like him would be peddling Prager’s nonsense, and then…it was entirely sensible and historically accurate.


#63

But also the North would have ended slavery administratively regardless, because they just weren’t going to admit any more slaveowning states, and as they got the Congressional votes from this, they would have first put federal laws in place that diminished its attractiveness, then amended the Constitution. It really wasn’t a question of if, but when.

And that’s why the South wanted to leave before this happened - they saw it as their last gasp.


#64

IKR?!

Great video.


#65

Agreed, but they probably would have waited another generation or more if that was what it took to end the practice without a war. It was the South that thought slavery was a pressing enough issue to take military action against their fellow states.


#66

Did you misplace your EMF Protection Hat?

This one is silver colored and despite containing no actual metal, is great at 50db attenuation (99.999% blockage!) and stops “spiritual/energetic harassment.”


#67

Yeah, I’ve always meant to dig into that exact time period to see precisely what triggered it at that moment in time.


#68

Based on your explicit wording, you’re right. But it could more accurately be stated as a war to determine if the institution of slavery continued. The Confederacy seceded in order to maintain slavery and the United States fought back in order to prevent the secession and end the institution of slavery. This is apparent and had been building up, as a direct result of the tension due to slavery, from the very formation of the United States. Every time new territory was added, every new state admitted to the Union, was done so under a tense compromise to maintain the balance between slave and free states. It quickly got to the point that the only way to admit a new state was to admit 2 new states, one slave and one free. When even that compromise couldn’t be maintained, Congress punted and let Kansas decide for itself whether it join one faction or the other. That resulted in a proxy war in the territory and precipitated the Civil War.

Boiled down, the whole conflict comes back to slavery.


#69

No, I was referring to the economic viability of slavery. Yep, the poor whites got screwed over even more. Could this have eventually led to internal revolt? Sure. I have to wonder if the “at least you are better off than those darkies” would not have held them in place for a while.


#70

And this is the terrifying truth!!


#71

There were lots of people in the 1860’s who were explicitly racist. I doubt that five percent of the US population back then would not be seen as racist today.

Nonetheless, there were those who were willing to die to maintain slavery, and those who were willing to die to abolish it. And I’m glad I had some ancestors who were on the latter side, even though I am sure they used some racial slurs which would have gotten them fired or banned today.


#72

Clip isn’t loading for me at work. Can someone summarize his response?


#73

Ah, that’s actually my point! That as the poor whites’ conditions gradually got worse, they would have started seeing the slaves as “having a better deal” by at least not starving all the time, and I think that perception of moving down the totem pole relative to the slaves would have sparked revolt.


#74


#75

Well, but the US was dominating the global cotton trade prior to the war, and the industrial growth in the north (and the rise of the banking sector) owed quite a bit to the wealth being generated off the backs of enslaved people.


#76

In the modern world, the Wal-marts of the world do not have to pay living wages because the government will pick up the difference. If you are essentially treating your work force as possessions and livestock, you have to feed them and house them and clothe them at least minimally. Prior to the cotton gin, the expense of upkeep was perilously close to exceeding the value produced by said “livestock.” Once you could produce 30-50 times more cotton per slave, the economics switched dramatically.


#77

Confederacy apologist who had over 150 years to come up with answer to “then what WAS the war about?” has bubkis.


#78

My point exactly. The economic value of the “peculiar institution” exploded due to the cotton industry. It is an interesting alternative history experiment to ask what if the cotton gin had not been invented for another 25-50 years? Would slavery have died out? Maybe. After that, it was such an economic engine it would have gone on for a long time.


#79

For some reason it wasn’t loading for me either. But pulling the url out of the iframe worked. So here:

https://streamable.com/s/k77nl/rflyjj


#80

I’ve heard Confederacy apologists argue the exact opposite: that the economics of automation and industrialization would have soon made slavery obsolete, so the war was really unnecessary.

I don’t buy that story either. I believe that if the practice was legal today we’d have slaves harvesting much of our produce instead of migrant farm workers.