Effects of majority-black USA

Lets say the Thirteen Colonies are a majority black region due to far more slaves coming here and Britain restricting migration far more. Eventually, a small class of free and educated African Americans rise, though they remain subordinate. Sometime in the 1700s, a rebellion occurs that rips the Thirteen Colonies away from Britain and a relatively good leadership takes hold.

Could this alternate USA industrialize and expand in a similar way to our timeline? What would its relations with the rest of the world be like? Would its success potentially discredit eugenics? How would this alternate USA deal with the changes of the World Wars (especially decolonization)? How different would its culture be?

I saw this idea somewhere else, and I wanted to discuss it more. Just a thought experiment.
 
I think this is ASB, because the northern colonies don't have the resources that make slavery profitable.
As interesting as this would be, it is simply impossible with the POD. Without the north importing so many slaves, the south would have to pick up the slack, and because of this, some places in the south could have 90-10 Slave-Free Person ratio. As Sparta teaches us, that won't go well. As much as plantation owners were racist assholes, they knew the threat of slave revolts, if nothing else.
 
I think this is ASB, because the northern colonies don't have the resources that make slavery profitable.
Even if you go full 'one-drop' rule with half of the population being octoroons, who are still considered black for some weird reason? Though that might not be what the OP wanted.
 
How majority black? If it's like OTL Mississippi or South Carolina then the South (because the slave population wouldn't be spread evenly) has even more disparities in wealth and is likely even more racist than OTL. Sectional tensions probably rip the country apart in the Civil War or alternatively less whites in the South and even greater fear of slave uprisings means the Civil War ends quicker and with less bloodshed which likely means slavery still exists and probably gradually gets abolished in favour of a system far worse than Jim Crow.

If it's as black majority as South Africa than the United States would resemble a mix between the CSA and Apartheid South Africa (minus the Bantustans). If slavery was abolished in this United States (probably due to international outcry and declining value in the system) than I wouldn't be surprised if there emerge actual Bantustan-equivalents.
 
How majority black? If it's like OTL Mississippi or South Carolina then the South (because the slave population wouldn't be spread evenly) has even more disparities in wealth and is likely even more racist than OTL. Sectional tensions probably rip the country apart in the Civil War or alternatively less whites in the South and even greater fear of slave uprisings means the Civil War ends quicker and with less bloodshed which likely means slavery still exists and probably gradually gets abolished in favour of a system far worse than Jim Crow.

If it's as black majority as South Africa than the United States would resemble a mix between the CSA and Apartheid South Africa (minus the Bantustans). If slavery was abolished in this United States (probably due to international outcry and declining value in the system) than I wouldn't be surprised if there emerge actual Bantustan-equivalents.
Black Majority as South Africa. Also, in the 1700s there is a rebellion not unlike the Haitian Rebellion, and the USA gains independence under a black government.

This is less about how a black USA could happen and more about what its effects would be. Could it expand and industrialize?
 
Black Majority as South Africa. Also, in the 1700s there is a rebellion not unlike the Haitian Rebellion, and the USA gains independence under a black government.
With OTL US borders, I really don't think it's possible to have a nearly 80% black population. Certainly not if Britain still controls all thirteen of those colonies. The Hudson Valley is probably as far north as you could really do plantation-style economics - even that's pushing it.

If we go back to the 1904 South African census, black Africans were more than two thirds of the population, which is possibly doable, if you are willing to shrink the borders of the US. As in, ditch the West and most of the North.


With OTL US borders, I could see Brazilian style demographics, where black and mixed-race people are a slim majority (just shy of 51%) being more plausible.


Useful map here:

1024px-Munic%C3%ADpios_do_Brasil_-_Grupos_%C3%A9tnico-raciais_predominantes.png
 
With OTL US borders, I really don't think it's possible to have a nearly 80% black population. Certainly not if Britain still controls all thirteen of those colonies. The Hudson Valley is probably as far north as you could really do plantation-style economics - even that's pushing it.

If we go back to the 1904 South African census, black Africans were more than two thirds of the population, which is possibly doable, if you are willing to shrink the borders of the US. As in, ditch the West and most of the North.


With OTL US borders, I could see Brazilian style demographics, where black and mixed-race people are a slim majority (just shy of 51%) being more plausible.


Useful map here:

1024px-Munic%C3%ADpios_do_Brasil_-_Grupos_%C3%A9tnico-raciais_predominantes.png
Most of Brazil has the right climate for slave plantations though. That is not true for the US. Also, sugar plantations have far more slaves than cotton plantations.
 
I can't resist but think that a mix between the CSA and Apartheid South Africa sounds like the Draka Domination.
 
I think this is one of those things where the effects of the change are less than the effects of the stuff you have to do to make the change possible.
 
This would require some sort of massive change where agriculture is even more dominant throughout the entire colonial US than it was for the southern colonies OTL. Idk how that is possible whatsoever, but lets ignore that fact for right now. The US being much more agriculturally focused likely means a delayed start to industrialization and thus a poorer (perhaps much poorer) country.
 
90-10 seems too difficult.

If the British grabbed and settled the Floridas and Louisiana sooner, it could be otherwise possible though. Perhaps Bahamas too, since the Patriots grabbed Nassau at one point IIRC.

The cynic in me says that more blacks means a less democratic or explicitly racist USA.
The optimist in me says that you'd inevitably have more black persons of skilled and professional backgrounds which changes the common stereotype of black people to being less derogatory.
 
The country described in the original post would need a world so different that the "world wars" and the "civil war" wouldn't exist. I suppose it's possible to have a country analogous to Haiti or Jamaica that's further north and bigger, but the entire history of the world would be different.
 
Most of Brazil has the right climate for slave plantations though. That is not true for the US. Also, sugar plantations have far more slaves than cotton plantations.
Well, theoretically you could use slaves for other crops (grain plantations?) or for non-agricultural work like mining. The latter was certainly quite common historically, but the problem is that mining tends to be pretty deadly like sugar plantations--at least in the classical world being a mine slave was pretty much a death sentence.

I suppose one way to make this possible would be to have the U.S. colonized by a country or countries with much smaller populations, who therefore cannot provide sufficient free labor for even what we would consider basic tasks and functions. Therefore, they turn heavily towards slavery to do everything, even if it isn't, strictly speaking, profitable, with free labor confined pretty much to management and "keeping order" (i.e., putting down slave uprisings). But this would look a lot more like Sparta or the Draka than the United States.
 
Last edited:
Black Majority as South Africa. Also, in the 1700s there is a rebellion not unlike the Haitian Rebellion, and the USA gains independence under a black government.
A small class of elite, educated blacks ruling over defeated whites and newly freed slaves will not end well. White Americans will not take this well and the massive class of freedmen who have no education and little experience but oppression (which they will want to repay) will need to be placated.
 
I think this is ASB, because the northern colonies don't have the resources that make slavery profitable.
About the only way you get a black majority US is if New England actually secedes in 1812 (and the Indian confederacy goes too) and the US is basically the slave states,helps if the weak US cant get Texas or anything else from Mexico either, as none of those territories was particularly good for plantation agriculture. .
 
A small class of elite, educated blacks ruling over defeated whites and newly freed slaves will not end well. White Americans will not take this well and the massive class of freedmen who have no education and little experience but oppression (which they will want to repay) will need to be placated.
You could add Indians to bulk out the numbers somewhat,and perhaps adopt a pro-hispanic policy, and pro-catholic policy thus adding to the winners list, but still very tricky.
 
I think it's a cool idea to have a story about a large successful country in North America, consisting mostly of freed slaves who rebelled against an empire. You'll need to work out why there were so many slaves in North America to begin with though, and how they were able to win the war, and then how they made their country a success.
 
Top