Could slavery have survived the new 19th century technologies?

Union8448

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I am not asking rhetorical questions. I wonder if the separateness of the two economies, and the era in which people in the paid labor states could ignore the other system had ended due to the proliferation of newspapers, magazines, and books, the rapid consolidation of the telegraph companies, and the steady growth of the railroad network at least in the paid labor states and the five border regions?
When books like Uncle Tom's Cabin could sell 100s of thousands of copies, and newspapers across the country could reprint New York and even international content in a matter of days in some situations, and the railroad was making travel to New York and Washington, DC faster and safer, could slavery have survived in the US or in a separated Confederacy?
The unwillingness of the five border areas to complete speedy secession is the evidence that interconnected families and economic relations were going to make it difficult for the southern states to maintain a separate labor system borrowed from the ancients. The rabid racism that sustained the system may be other evidence that the system was under enormous pressure and was desperate for sustaining rationalizations.
The publishing revolution occurred before the April 1861 outbreak of the real war. Information on the web shows how the 5 nation oligopoly among the telegraph companies was already improving service and decreasing costs. But the railroad revolution occurred during the war. The systems management techniques and quick build methods which included more pre fabricated railroad parts unfolded during the war.
These three changes drastically increased the power of Washington in politics and of NYC in business.
I could be wrong, but I don't see how slavery survives as more southern states and counties get tied into the electrical news nation, powered by mechanized transportation.
 

Union8448

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I am not asking rhetorical questions. I wonder if the separateness of the two economies, and the era in which people in the paid labor states could ignore the other system had ended due to the proliferation of newspapers, magazines, and books, the rapid consolidation of the telegraph companies, and the steady growth of the railroad network at least in the paid labor states and the five border regions?
When books like Uncle Tom's Cabin could sell 100s of thousands of copies, and newspapers across the country could reprint New York and even international content in a matter of days in some situations, and the railroad was making travel to New York and Washington, DC faster and safer, could slavery have survived in the US or in a separated Confederacy?
The unwillingness of the five border areas to complete speedy secession is the evidence that interconnected families and economic relations were going to make it difficult for the southern states to maintain a separate labor system borrowed from the ancients. The rabid racism that sustained the system may be other evidence that the system was under enormous pressure and was desperate for sustaining rationalizations.
The publishing revolution occurred before the April 1861 outbreak of the real war. Information on the web shows how the 5 nation oligopoly among the telegraph companies was already improving service and decreasing costs. But the railroad revolution occurred during the war. The systems management techniques and quick build methods which included more pre fabricated railroad parts unfolded during the war.
These three changes drastically increased the power of Washington in politics and of NYC in business.
I could be wrong, but I don't see how slavery survives as more southern states and counties get tied into the electrical news nation, powered by mechanized transportation.
And odd industry to make into the US preliminary report the census was the manufacture of sewing machines.
1685410466529.png

Preliminary report on the Eighth Census, 1860 p.174

If the US light manufacturing industry could turn out 115 thousand sewing machines, that seems to be an indication that the mechanical revolution was also advancing.
 

rittmeister

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And odd industry to make into the US preliminary report the census was the manufacture of sewing machines.
View attachment 13609

Preliminary report on the Eighth Census, 1860 p.174

If the US light manufacturing industry could turn out 115 thousand sewing machines, that seems to be an indication that the mechanical revolution was also advancing.
the boss is our resident sewing machines expert but even i see they weren't build in the south
@jgoodguy

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Union8448

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the boss is our resident sewing machines expert but even i see they weren't build in the south
@jgoodguy

... and welcome to the site View attachment 13610
I am not sure why he collects them, but I suspect they were an important developmental industry that demonstrated how far US industry had progressed. The piano and organ manufactures were probably similar indicators.
 

rittmeister

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I am not sure why he collects them, but I suspect they were an important developmental industry that demonstrated how far US industry had progressed. The piano and organ manufactures were probably similar indicators.
they are also quite useful, relatively small and thus on top of the wishlist
 

5fish

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I could be wrong, but I don't see how slavery survives as more southern states and counties get tied into the electrical news nation, powered by mechanized transportation.
The South was an agrarian society before the war and after the war. Yes, power did move to the urban areas...


Some say the South did not start to truly industrialize until the 2WW.

Here is a forgotten term New South...

Great Depression and World War II
Other Southern industries, such as mining, steel, and shipbuilding, flourished during World War II and set the stage for increased industrialization, urban development, and economic prosperity in Southern ports and cities in the second half of the 20th century.

New South - Wikipedia

The Textile industry was one of the first to move south...


Although “roaring mill cities” did not appear overnight, the Piedmont region gradually became the center of the southern industrial transformation. Cities with sources of cheap water power in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina were targeted for the new mills, and soon Danville (situated on the Dan River) became an important mill center. Entrepreneurs actively recruited white farmers to supply labor for these mills (Hall 1987); since tobacco employers mainly relied on African-American workers, cotton mill promoters promised the mill would provide work for white laborers (Smith 1960:9).
 
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5fish

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Here is a misnomer about slaves. Slaves did work in Southern factories and mills before the Civil War...


Industrial textile mills in the old south that used slave labor "Usually earned annual profits on capital between 10 and 65 percent and averaging about 16 percent." The use of industrial slaves sometimes allowed a bankrupt company to be resurrected: "The Woodville mill, which went bankrupt with free labor, annually paid 10 to 15 percent dividends after switching to slave labor".[

.

During the 1850s, half a million slaves lived in southern towns and cities, where they worked in textile mills, ironworks, tobacco factories, laundries, and shipyards. Other slaves labored as lumberjacks, deckhands on riverboats, and in sawmills, gristmills, and quarries. Many slaves were engaged in the construction of roads and railroads.

I could be wrong, but I don't see how slavery survives as more southern states and counties get tied into the electrical news nation, powered by mechanized transportation.
If slavery had lasted those new machines would have made slavery more profitable for the south. The free labor movement was about being paid a fair wage and slaves do not get wages.

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Union8448

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Here is a misnomer about slaves. Slaves did work in Southern factories and mills before the Civil War...


Industrial textile mills in the old south that used slave labor "Usually earned annual profits on capital between 10 and 65 percent and averaging about 16 percent." The use of industrial slaves sometimes allowed a bankrupt company to be resurrected: "The Woodville mill, which went bankrupt with free labor, annually paid 10 to 15 percent dividends after switching to slave labor".[

.

During the 1850s, half a million slaves lived in southern towns and cities, where they worked in textile mills, ironworks, tobacco factories, laundries, and shipyards. Other slaves labored as lumberjacks, deckhands on riverboats, and in sawmills, gristmills, and quarries. Many slaves were engaged in the construction of roads and railroads.



If slavery had lasted those new machines would have made slavery more profitable for the south. The free labor movement was about being paid a fair wage and slaves do get wages.
How would the paid labor economy tolerate a system of labor based on the advantages of chattel slavery? What you are suggesting is the system was already being Romanized in some cities. That means that slave labor was achieving some intermediary status.
But your suggestion also is consistent with Grant's summary opinion after his world travels, that slavery repelled white labor. Immigrants would not go to the south, and their youth and energy was not available to the southern areas. Also, white labor was already moving away from Virginia and Tennessee before the general outbreak of hostilities. Those changes are supported by publishing which creates less expensive information and railroads, which make relocation easier.
 

Union8448

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The South was an agrarian society before the war and after the war. Yes, power did move to the urban areas...


Some say the South did not start to truly industrialize until the 2WW.

Here is a forgotten term New South...

Great Depression and World War II
Other Southern industries, such as mining, steel, and shipbuilding, flourished during World War II and set the stage for increased industrialization, urban development, and economic prosperity in Southern ports and cities in the second half of the 20th century.

New South - Wikipedia

The Textile industry was one of the first to move south...


Although “roaring mill cities” did not appear overnight, the Piedmont region gradually became the center of the southern industrial transformation. Cities with sources of cheap water power in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina were targeted for the new mills, and soon Danville (situated on the Dan River) became an important mill center. Entrepreneurs actively recruited white farmers to supply labor for these mills (Hall 1987); since tobacco employers mainly relied on African-American workers, cotton mill promoters promised the mill would provide work for white laborers (Smith 1960:9).
After slavery was abolished, you might add.
 

rittmeister

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After slavery was abolished, you might add.
but that was an exogenous thing - they didn't abolish it themselves, did they? i think it would have taken at least 100 years to impoverish the south enough to get rid of slavery (and the planter aristocracy the 1789 treatment)

... and i don't believe there is the possibility of an industrial society based on slavery as it accumulates way to much knowledge where it is dangerous for the ruling class. that will bring about the downfall of the south and burn all their wealth.
 

Union8448

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but that was an exogenous thing - they didn't abolish it themselves, did they? i think it would have taken at least 100 years to impoverish the south enough to get rid of slavery (and the planter aristocracy the 1789 treatment)

... and i don't believe there is the possibility of an industrial society based on slavery as it accumulates way to much knowledge where it is dangerous for the ruling class. that will bring about the downfall of the south and burn all their wealth.
Large gatherings of working men and women inevitably begin to see their common interests.
 

Union8448

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but that was an exogenous thing - they didn't abolish it themselves, did they? i think it would have taken at least 100 years to impoverish the south enough to get rid of slavery (and the planter aristocracy the 1789 treatment)

... and i don't believe there is the possibility of an industrial society based on slavery as it accumulates way to much knowledge where it is dangerous for the ruling class. that will bring about the downfall of the south and burn all their wealth.
The question is whether as the telegraph and railroads impinge on the isolation of the southern states, does the US nationally begin to care a good deal about the labor system their, and the western international community also gets a voice in the matter, as copy is reprinted in NYC and spreads to the other big city newspapers, causing extreme pressure on the vulnerable parts of the slave system and especially restricting its chances to expand?
 

Joshism

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Think of any kind of labor that was or is done primarily by migrant laborers, particularly in agriculture. In Florida, it was primarily done by blacks up through WW2 then began transitioning over to hispanics where it remains today. Sugar and citrus in Florida on the large scale especially.

If you could get white people to mime coal while living in company towns and get paid by the coal ton in company scrip then you could sure stick slaves in the mines.

Would any of this have been good for the South overall - economics, population growth, etc? No, but what does that matter? Lots of whites always happy to have somebody else to do work that was perceived as beneath them.

Even more, Southern whites who didn't want the South to change. If keeping slavery keeps the damnyankees and them strange for'ners away all the better. It's all about locking the South permanently into the Jeffersonian vision of America because nobody will ever be wiser than the Founding Fathers. Praise be to Jesus H. Washington.
 

rittmeister

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Think of any kind of labor that was or is done primarily by migrant laborers, particularly in agriculture. In Florida, it was primarily done by blacks up through WW2 then began transitioning over to hispanics where it remains today. Sugar and citrus in Florida on the large scale especially.

If you could get white people to mime coal while living in company towns and get paid by the coal ton in company scrip then you could sure stick slaves in the mines.

Would any of this have been good for the South overall - economics, population growth, etc? No, but what does that matter? Lots of whites always happy to have somebody else to do work that was perceived as beneath them.

Even more, Southern whites who didn't want the South to change. If keeping slavery keeps the damnyankees and them strange for'ners away all the better. It's all about locking the South permanently into the Jeffersonian vision of America because nobody will ever be wiser than the Founding Fathers. Praise be to Jesus H. Washington.
that would be mines not using explosives - who do you think buys expensive coal or whatever they mine there?
 

Union8448

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Think of any kind of labor that was or is done primarily by migrant laborers, particularly in agriculture. In Florida, it was primarily done by blacks up through WW2 then began transitioning over to hispanics where it remains today. Sugar and citrus in Florida on the large scale especially.

If you could get white people to mime coal while living in company towns and get paid by the coal ton in company scrip then you could sure stick slaves in the mines.

Would any of this have been good for the South overall - economics, population growth, etc? No, but what does that matter? Lots of whites always happy to have somebody else to do work that was perceived as beneath them.

Even more, Southern whites who didn't want the South to change. If keeping slavery keeps the damnyankees and them strange for'ners away all the better. It's all about locking the South permanently into the Jeffersonian vision of America because nobody will ever be wiser than the Founding Fathers. Praise be to Jesus H. Washington.
That may be the funny way of looking at it, but I what I am pointing out is that with the advent of the telegraph and the railroads, the physical nature of the US had changed. Many countries experienced the same change. A national government had much more power and the financial capitals like NYC thrived because there were huge economies of scale in collecting and collating information.
Sure, the work existed, by how long would the capitalists, the workers and the free farmers tolerate slavery once it was constantly pushed at them by books and newspapers?
Its kind of a Marxist, materialist inquiry. Was Grant right? The physical changes made it almost impossible for the two systems to exist, even side by side. On or the other had to dominate.
 

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Welcome to the boards, Union 8448! Good conversation.

The death of slavery was anticipated by Washington - he observed the advances in agricultural production to be the harbingers of the end of the institution. He favored freeing the slaves gradually. In his day, slaves were often educated and skilled - those who were not, he recommended education and himself would not free anyone before he taught them to read, write and figure math. And this idealism is a continuance of the idealism that founded the country. The reality was not so upbeat.

As the wealth of planters in Virginia and South Carolina increased, the institution of slavery became further intertwined with the masters - by the time of the Civil War, it was hard to tell who was the real slave. The planters held ever tighter to their human property, using them to gain more voting power in legislatures to pass laws that virtually made every US citizen a slave owner - the Fugitive Slave Act, was one. They resisted progress with a passion - no standard gauges for the railroads, no shipping ports or shipyards, no land conservation or concern despite the warnings of Southern agronomists. Slavery was the pillar of Southern society - every bride brought at least one or two slaves to the marriage. Many generals in the war didn't own slaves but their wives did. This was not only a status symbol but the first step on the road to prosperity.

The invention of the cotton gin didn't help end slavery but greatly increased it by making it cheaper for a cotton planter to buy more land and plant more cotton...which meant a never-ending cycle of land, cotton, more slaves. A planter might boast he was worth a million dollars and be able to put his hands on no more than a few hundred cash. As more restrictive laws were put into place to retain slavery - such as making it illegal to teach a slave to read - the more chains were put on the masters. The statistics for education in the South were astounding in the direction they were taking. In the 1840s just about as many Southerners were literate as Northerners - but by the time of the CW, a huge gap had appeared - almost a quarter percentage decrease in Southerners who could read and write. There was a rise in food scarcity - too much land was being worked into cotton and not enough into food. Again, slavery contributed to this depletion. And, as mention by an earlier poster, there were strong young men who would NOT work - that's not exactly being spoiled brats but because of the mindsets necessary to tolerate slavery.

As Jefferson said, it was having a wolf by the ears. The wolf was not the slaves - they would be fine if left alone - it was the collapse of Southern society along with its economy. The whole antebellum Southern culture was based on slavery. It would never have been ended no matter what the advances in industry or finance.
 

Union8448

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Welcome to the boards, Union 8448! Good conversation.

The death of slavery was anticipated by Washington - he observed the advances in agricultural production to be the harbingers of the end of the institution. He favored freeing the slaves gradually. In his day, slaves were often educated and skilled - those who were not, he recommended education and himself would not free anyone before he taught them to read, write and figure math. And this idealism is a continuance of the idealism that founded the country. The reality was not so upbeat.

As the wealth of planters in Virginia and South Carolina increased, the institution of slavery became further intertwined with the masters - by the time of the Civil War, it was hard to tell who was the real slave. The planters held ever tighter to their human property, using them to gain more voting power in legislatures to pass laws that virtually made every US citizen a slave owner - the Fugitive Slave Act, was one. They resisted progress with a passion - no standard gauges for the railroads, no shipping ports or shipyards, no land conservation or concern despite the warnings of Southern agronomists. Slavery was the pillar of Southern society - every bride brought at least one or two slaves to the marriage. Many generals in the war didn't own slaves but their wives did. This was not only a status symbol but the first step on the road to prosperity.

The invention of the cotton gin didn't help end slavery but greatly increased it by making it cheaper for a cotton planter to buy more land and plant more cotton...which meant a never-ending cycle of land, cotton, more slaves. A planter might boast he was worth a million dollars and be able to put his hands on no more than a few hundred cash. As more restrictive laws were put into place to retain slavery - such as making it illegal to teach a slave to read - the more chains were put on the masters. The statistics for education in the South were astounding in the direction they were taking. In the 1840s just about as many Southerners were literate as Northerners - but by the time of the CW, a huge gap had appeared - almost a quarter percentage decrease in Southerners who could read and write. There was a rise in food scarcity - too much land was being worked into cotton and not enough into food. Again, slavery contributed to this depletion. And, as mention by an earlier poster, there were strong young men who would NOT work - that's not exactly being spoiled brats but because of the mindsets necessary to tolerate slavery.

As Jefferson said, it was having a wolf by the ears. The wolf was not the slaves - they would be fine if left alone - it was the collapse of Southern society along with its economy. The whole antebellum Southern culture was based on slavery. It would never have been ended no matter what the advances in industry or finance.
I think you are largely correct. But my question is could that isolation be maintained as the wired nation grew? Its not a coincidence that Congress subsidized the transnational telegraph connection in the first war year. Similarly it would not be long before the trans-Atlantic telegraph cable was successfully relayed connected Britain and the US.
When the Civil War broke out, the RR men in Baltimore and Louisville already knew their future was to maintain connection with the paid labor state railroads and through those railroads to NYC.
I think the physical change of 1. having a RR successfully built on the Isthmus of Panama, and a bridge crossing the Mississippi River at Rock Island where strong signs that the RR could then cross any barrier and shrink space.
Even as an independent nation, both old England and New England were going to be confronted with the fact that they were using slave produced cotton.
I think you are pointing out how many defenses the system required because they were increasingly out of sync with the western world.
 

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More or less! This is why Sherman said a nation of farmers cannot defeat a nation of mechanics. Jefferson Davis, as Secretary of State and as senator, tried hard to find ways to expand and create an infrastructure to connect all regions and territories. This is why there is a network of Jefferson Davis Highways in the West. The expansion West cannot be overlooked as to why the South felt threatened by progress. One of Davis' pet projects was a railroad through the Southwest, which had just recently been acquired from Mexico, with the aim of connecting California to the US. The addition of California to the states was a primary cause of secession - it came in as a free state. The South was feeling the squeeze! They were freebooting in Nicaragua, Cuba, even Chile to expand slavery further south. As Lincoln said, they would extend it to Terra del Fuego if possible.

As it was, the rebellion cut off the South's chances of connecting to the West via railroad for a long time. The first intercontinental railroad was put through the Plains and Rockies to California. Many Southern generals, who had seen the vast advantages the Union had with their efficient railroad system, went into the railroad business after the war. Some did well enough, some didn't make it at all - there was still a negative mindset among the aristocracy.
 

Union8448

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As @diane states, the work for slavery would still be there if exogenous events did not intervene. Two types of exogenous events were possible, The growth in demand for manufactured cloth could slow down when US production was expanding rapidly in the extensive lands of what was then the Southwest. Or the British could get fed up with supporting slavery and go after a quota system, meeting most of their needs from empire sources and Egypt, and setting a maximum on US cotton.
The first possibility is where cotton was headed in 1860 and 1861 according to the thesis Seeds of Destruction(link available). The second possibility is would depend on political and social events. The improvements in communication and publishing made it much easier for people like the Grimke sisters, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Fanny Kemble to get there message out to the other educated women, who were the opinion makers, and one of whom was the British monarch.
 
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