Well, even is she is as wrong as wrong can be, at least HoT is someone intelligent to address, which is a change from the apologists in this thread. Snood can decry anything he pleases--he's not interfering in anyone's activities, and the first amendment protects his right to decry whatever he pleases.
High Seas wrote:
It would make as much sense - or even more - to say that the Confederacy was about a code of honor, or about crinolines, or about cotton, as to say it was about slavery, which would have become extinct anyway due to economic factors.
The states which seceded and formed confederacy (forming a confederacy is a violation of an explicit prohibition of the constitution) did not do so to defend a code of honor, nor to defend crinolines, and cotton is germane only insofar as it relates to slavery. They did secede and form a confederacy in order to defend the institution of slavery.
You are hilariously naive about 19th century agricultural machines and the monocultures of tobacco and cotton. Cyrus McCormick invented his reaper in the 1830s, but it had no application to tobacco or cotton
. Daniel Massey set up a business in Ontario (you know, as in Massey Ferguson?) in the late 1840s, but the threshers he manufactured had no application to tobacco or cotton
. Not only was cotton picked by hand, it continued to be picked by hand well into the 20th century, and is still picked by hand in many places, including the United States, right up to the present. The tobacco monoculture requires, much like seed corn and field corn, that a central "bull row" fertilize the rows of plants on either side, and in the case of tobacco, this was also done by hand well into the 20th century. Agricultural machinery had absolutely no impact on the cotton and tobacco monocultures. Do you believe that slaver owners were prescient, and would foresee that machinery would one day (almost a century later) replace their human labor? Please . . .
You really don't understand how King Cotton worked in the 19th century. The father and brothers of Jefferson Davis were a perfect example of a peregrinating family that moved on as the land was exhausted. Men like David Crockett would claim land, clear it, sell it dirt cheap (pun intended) and move on, because they weren't interested in farming. Many of the veterans of Jackson's Creek War, which opened up Alabama and Mississippi, and of which Crockett is a prime example, moved right across Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi, claiming land, clearing it in a desultory fashion, selling it quickly and moving on. People like Davis' family would buy the land, and work it with hundreds of slaves until the soil was exhausted, and then move on themselves. The one agricultural implement which matters in any of this is the cotton gin, which made King Cotton possible.
These men didn't care about the land, and they didn't care about the slaves, other than that they intended to preserve the institution. Not only were there no agricultural implements available for use in either the tobacco or the cotton monocultures, they wouldn't have bought them it there were. Slaves breed, and thanks to the constitution, that was the only way to produce more slaves for the market. Jefferson and Congress had duly passed the legislation to end the importation of "Persons" effective January 1, 1808, before Alabama and Mississippi had even been opened for settlement.
The worst abuses of slavery occurred due to the cotton monoculture, and largely in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The rice and indigo plantations of South Carolina continued to thrive long after tobacco had exhausted the soil of the hill country, and the slaves continued to produce little slaves for sale. Cotton became king in the new territories, and East Texas produced rice just as did South Carolina. Those rice operations were geared to slavery for more than simply the employment of slaves--from the 17th century onward, South Carolina made a handsome profit selling rice in the West Indies to feed the slaves there--who needed to be fed even after Parliament had ended slavery in that part of the empire. (Great howling hypocrites, the Brits sneered at Americans for slavery, but continued the institution even after it was ended in the West Indies through the use of coolie labor in India.)
Knowing in hindsight that slavery was eventually doomed is not sort of argument to offer to suggest that the states of the South did not form their confederacy and levy war on the Federal government in order to preserve slavery. George Washington realized in the 1750s that slavery was inefficient and that the tobacco monoculture was destroying the soil--there is documentary evidence of this. He diversified, and first George himself and afterward his estate paid pensions to the more than 500 slaves which were a part of his inheritance and that of Martha Dandridge Custis. As far as he was concerned, he was obliged to preserve the property of Daniel Parke Custis for his son and daughter by Martha, and after they both had died, he preserved it for Martha's grandson, George Washington Parke Custis (whose daugher Mary wed Robert Lee).
Washington wanted to educate his slaves, if they were willing and would work, so the House of Burgesses rushed to outlaw the education of slaves. He paid wages to any slave who would actually work, and he hired local white men. He was no more impressed by the labor of the whites than he was by that of the blacks. Slaves with skills, such a ferrier, carpenter, etc. he allowed to keep the wages they earned off the plantation, and he paid them for their labor on the plantation--once again, so long as they actually worked.
But he was swimming against the tide, and most slave owners didn't really care if their slaves were efficient--they were virtually free, as they even grew what they were fed. It is foolish to think that rational economic considerations motivated the slave owners of the South. They weren't interested in economics. They either wanted to preserve their pseudo-aristocratic life style, or they wanted to squeeze as much profit out of their slaves as quickly as they could. They weren't agriculturalists--they were slave drivers. Duh . . .