Slavery in the CSA

when would Slavery end in the CSA?


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I'm trying to remember the name but I was reading a review for a book a few weeks back that was arguing that unofficial slavery was still in operation up until the Great War in some states in the south. Basically the police would arrest blacks for fairly minor crimes such as vagrancy, take them before friendly judges who would convict and sentence them to hard labour, and they would then be farmed out to local interests like mines or forrestry businesses where they were effectively treated as slaves. The author argued that it went on for decades after the American civil war until mechanisation made it uneconomical.


What would happen to the slaves then? Immigrate?
Depends on if the ruling classes thought they could still gain a financial benefit from the pool of labour they represented. If yes then I could see them introducing legal barriers to people emigrating to Mexico or the US, if not then they could encourage - either officially or just unofficially - blacks to leave to get rid of the useless mouths that need feeding.
 
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I'm trying to remember the name but I was reading a review for a book a few weeks back that was arguing that unofficial slavery was still in operation up until the Great War in some states in the south. Basically the police would arrest blacks for fairly minor crimes such as vagrancy, take them before friendly judges who would convict and sentence them to hard labour, and they would then be farmed out to local interests like mines or forrestry businesses where they were effectively treated as slaves. The author argued that it went on for decades after the American civil war until mechanisation made it uneconomical.
Was it by chance Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon?
 

Anaxagoras

Banned
There are four factors to consider when speculating on the future of slavery in an independent Confederacy. The first two would seem to support the idea of an early end to slavery, but the other two would seem to argue against this.

Supporting the idea of an early (i.e. 1880s) end to slavery is the fact that industrial agricultural techniques and inventions were making slavery obsolete and uneconomical. Setting any notion of ethics or morality aside, slavery was simply not going to pay in the long run. We might hopefully imagine that Southern slaveowners would see that it was cheaper to hire low-wage labor for their fields, rather than deal with slaves (who must be fed, given medical attention, and taken care of when old).

Another factor that would support an early end to slavery would be the international condemnation the Confederacy would no doubt endure if they attempted to maintain the institution. IOTL, supporters of the Confederacy in Britain largely persuaded themselves that the South would abolish slavery pretty soon after gaining independence. Had they discovered that the South had no intention of doing so, there would have been a serious backlash. The people of the North, obviously, would have maintained a hostile attitude towards slavery in the South. Because new sources of cotton had been developed in Egypt and India during the war, I would expect to see organized boycotts of Confederate cotton in both Britain and the United States, which would have hit the Southern economy hard.

But there are two major obstacles to an early Confederate abolition of slavery. First, the Confederate Constitution made it almost impossible for the Confederacy to abolish slavery. Article I, Section 9, says specifically that "no bill of attainder, ex post facto laws, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed". Article IV, Section 3, says that slavery will automatically exist in any new territory acquired by the Confederacy.

Another reason that an early emancipation scenario is unlikely is how the culture of the South had adapted to slavery between the Revolutionary era and secession. Around 1800, the general feeling was that slavery was a problem that needed to be solved or, at best, a necessary evil. Jefferson, Madison, and Washington had all been slave-owners but had all also acknowledged that slavery was an abomination and that the world would be better off without it.

By 1860, however, the pendulum had radically shifted, with society's leaders maintaining that slavery was a positive good. A few, like Edmund Ruffin, went so far as to say that poor whites should be enslaved, too. For two generations, Southerners had felt themselves pushed against the wall by rising abolitionist sentiment in the North and had therefore changed their views on slavery, transforming it in their minds from a necessary evil to a positive good. A few men, such as Robert E. Lee, still maintained the old-fashioned attitude that slavery was morally wrong but that nothing could be done about it, but most of the men who mattered in society saw it as something to be celebrated and maintained rather than something that should be gradually done away with.

All things considered, I would expect slavery to continue in the Confederacy until either significant social change takes place or some sort of convulsion from within or without forces the Confederacy towards emancipation at the point of a gun. Even then, I would expect to see an apartheid society.
 
I'd say till about 1876 because I think the North will crush the southern Somalia by then.

If we say the CSA survives till 2000, and is "stable," De Jure slavery till 1910-20's, De Facto slavery till the 70's or 80's, and apartheid-type treatment forever after.
Well, it really all depends. Normally, I couldn't see it surviving past 1900, but, if a DoD-esque scenario were to occur, and an escaped slave assassinates the President or something, then it's possible that slavery could last until the 1940s or so, but that's if the U.S. doesn't re-absorb it by then.

Even then, the '40s is kind of a high point, though: you'd need lots of propaganda & brainwashing(doesn't need to quite reach the heights that the Nazis in the Germany of the '30s IOTL, though), hardcore repression, and distractions to keep it all going, as well as some industry. After, say, 1950 or 1955 or so, it might require a *fascist takeover to keep it surviving, and even with that, there's no guarantees it'll last even by 1975, let alone 2000.

Even a C.S. limited to just say, South Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana and *West Tennessee and Northern Florida couldn't manage to make it last to 2000, even with a Turtledovian coup.
 
Supporting the idea of an early (i.e. 1880s) end to slavery is the fact that industrial agricultural techniques and inventions were making slavery obsolete and uneconomical. Setting any notion of ethics or morality aside, slavery was simply not going to pay in the long run. We might hopefully imagine that Southern slaveowners would see that it was cheaper to hire low-wage labor for their fields, rather than deal with slaves (who must be fed, given medical attention, and taken care of when old).

But there are two major obstacles to an early Confederate abolition of slavery. First, the Confederate Constitution made it almost impossible for the Confederacy to abolish slavery. Article I, Section 9, says specifically that "no bill of attainder, ex post facto laws, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed". Article IV, Section 3, says that slavery will automatically exist in any new territory acquired by the Confederacy.
These two aren't true, or misleading. Slavery was not becoming uneconomical as far as I'm aware and so would not end based on Economic factors.

There are also at least three ways for the Confederacy to abolish slavery legally. First, amend the constitution. Second, a state by state abolition, which the constitution does not forbid. And third, what I always bring up but always gets ignored, a redefining of how slavery works that blocks new slaves from entering the market. For example, changing the law so that children born to slaves are not slaves. You do that and slavery as an institution continues, and will continue forever on paper, but will be de-facto dead because no new slaves will exist after a certain point. There are probably other ways as well.

And for the OP, there's a way to get slavery to die in the Confederacy extremely fast. Have blacks be recruited in the army, in exchange for their freedom. When the idea was proposed for wide-scale use in 1864, everybody knew that doing so would be the end of slavery. They sat on it for a year before agreeing to it, but by then it was too late.

Which tells me that even if an early victory happened, and this idea was never proposed for the nation, let alone enacted, that the Confederacy is not just going to sit around letting Slavery destroy it from the inside just because they are supposedly oh-so-married to the idea. Which made me choose 1890, with a 10-year margin of error. So anywhere from 1880-1900 I'd expect it to die.
 

Anaxagoras

Banned
First, amend the constitution.
For this to become even remotely possible, we'd have to see massive and unprecedented social and intellectual changes in Southern society. Stuff like that does not happen except on very large timescales. And we'd certainly see massive unrest within the Confederacy at the moment the first stirrings of a Southern brand of abolitionism appear, thus creating a similar political situation to that which existed in the United States during the 1840s and 1850s.

Second, a state by state abolition, which the constitution does not forbid.
This won't work. Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, of the Confederate Constitution says that any Confederate citizen is free to take his slave property to any place in the Confederacy that he wants. As a result, so long as slavery remains legal in even a single state in the Confederacy, it effectively remains legal in the Confederacy as a whole.

And third, what I always bring up but always gets ignored, a redefining of how slavery works that blocks new slaves from entering the market. For example, changing the law so that children born to slaves are not slaves. You do that and slavery as an institution continues, and will continue forever on paper, but will be de-facto dead because no new slaves will exist after a certain point. There are probably other ways as well.
The Confederate judiciary system would certainly rule that such legislation violates Article I, Section 9, Clause 4, of the Confederate Constitution.
 
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For this to become even remotely possible, we'd have to see massive and unprecedented social and intellectual changes in Southern society. Stuff like that does not happen except on very large timescales. And we'd certainly see massive unrest within the Confederacy at the moment the first stirrings of a Southern brand of abolitionism appear, thus creating a similar political situation to that which existed in the United States during the 1840s and 1850s.
I wasn't really speaking about the ease of which it'd happen. But as a note, there were already southern abolitionists, though their prominence depends on what we mean with the term "South."

This won't work. Article IV, Section 2, Clause 1, of the Confederate Constitution says that any Confederate citizen is free to take his slave property to any place in the Confederacy that he wants. As a result, so long as slavery remains legal in even a single state in the Confederacy, it effectively remains legal in the Confederacy as a whole.
That's nice, but has nothing to do with what I said. After all, my statement was that it's possible to remove slavery if every state does it individually. Yes, if they don't do that, it won't happen. But that's not really a serious reply.

But even on a more generous reading, it still assumes that we're going to see massive population shifts. For if all but one state bans slavery, then all state citizens except those from one state will have their slaves freed, unless they decide to all move. If they don't, slavery is significantly weakened even though there's still one state that has it, and it's not really important those citizens of those states can move around with their slaves. It means there is less slavery either way, just not necessarily contained geographically. Something I'm ignorant of but suspect, is that state laws don't allow permanent residency in another state without at some point become a citizen of that state. How long exactly, can a Texan move to Missouri without actually becoming bound to the laws of Missouri? When is it no longer simple travel, and is instead residency? I don't know, but I suspect it's not forever.

The Confederate judiciary system would certainly rule that such legislation would be a violation of Article I, Section 9, Clause 4, of the Confederate Constitution.
You're just kind of saying that. The beauty behind redefining how new slaves are produced is that it is not necessary to "deny or impair the right of property in negro slaves" in order to do it. For example, there were already Free Blacks, but the existence of Free Blacks did not "deny or impair" slavery. If they really wanted to get rid of slavery for whatever reason, but didn't want to do it quickly and didn't want to amend the constitution and wanted to do it nationally, this would be a good way to do it.
 
I will note that the mechanization of the farms did not happen until the 50's as I recall in OTL. And if they decide to slave labor in the factories, it could well last even longer.

So in an extreme case, you could see the Confederates moving back towards serfdom/slavery.
 
While a victorious CSA would definitely receive international condemnation, there might be butterflies in global abolition of slavery. The CSA could easily respond "Brazil too" (Brazil still had slavery) to any European/American criticism. There would also be butterflies affecting race relations in what's left of the US, hard to say if for better or for worse.

I'd say abolition of slavery most likely comes about in the CSA as a result of a coup engineered by a European power.
 
While a victorious CSA would definitely receive international condemnation, there might be butterflies in global abolition of slavery. The CSA could easily respond "Brazil too" (Brazil still had slavery) to any European/American criticism.
Rest of World to CSA: "Brazil who?" ;)

Not that important in the minds of the World Powers of the time, yet.
 
1870s to 1880s either as the Confederacy balkanizes and/or a mix of foreign pressure if the the British and French had intervened to produce Confederate independence and the value of cash crop agriculture declining in a South facing competition from cheaper Egyptian and Indian cotton for the main British market and declining crop yields as cotton and tobacco destroy soil in the Southeast while the Confederacy can't expand west for more productive soil due to being surrounded by a French puppet state in Mexico and a revanchist US.
 
While a victorious CSA would definitely receive international condemnation, there might be butterflies in global abolition of slavery. The CSA could easily respond "Brazil too" (Brazil still had slavery) to any European/American criticism.
This kind of misses the point. Brazil had slavery and was not an international pariah and got foreign investment, as far as I'm aware.

So we're assuming the CSA will be an international pariah for slavery even though Brazil wasn't, why exactly?
 
While a victorious CSA would definitely receive international condemnation, there might be butterflies in global abolition of slavery. The CSA could easily respond "Brazil too" (Brazil still had slavery) to any European/American criticism. There would also be butterflies affecting race relations in what's left of the US, hard to say if for better or for worse.

I'd say abolition of slavery most likely comes about in the CSA as a result of a coup engineered by a European power.
Could this butterfly when Brazil gets rid of slavery or does the Paraguayan War still lead to abolition on OTLs schedule?
 
I see the the CSA as more likely to Balkanize than be reconquered by the USA. Assuming the CSA is VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, MS, AL, TN, AR, LA, TX & W VA, Kentucky, Indian Territory & so forth stays with USA. Indian Territory might be split. The trans-Mississippi CSA will have oil wealth and TX/AR & part of OTL OK could easily form a compact grouping, with Arkansas going with Texas/Oklahoma on the basis of geography.

I think there will be a rapid cultural divergence, and within a generation or two the USA will be uninterested in taking back the CSA by force (although if a border state wanted to switch that might work). Most northerners would not be thrilled with the prospect of acquiring millions of African-Americans (they had enough "niggers" of their own thank you), and trying to upgrade the infrastructure and education of the CSA to USA standards would be a huge expense.

Only if the CSA is actively aggressive, or is in combination with European powers that are at war with the USA will the USA attack the CSA. OTL there was a not minimal about of sentiment in the north to "let our wayward sisters go" and in any scenario where the CSA wins the war there won't be much push to restart the slaughter any time soon.

Slavery will probably go on a state by state basis, with the provision that slaves who are "legal" in state "A" will remain slaves if taken to "B" even if no slavery there (institutionalizing Dred Scott). You may see a hybrid system with some slaves and some "free" - with severe restrictions on non-enslaved blacks in terms of educational opportunities, rights to move about etc. Of course citizenship, voting, and (gasp) inter-racial sex (at least black men-white women) won't happen. I doubt that if/when slavery is abolished the north will allow free blacks in though they may accept fugitive slaves on a humanitarian basis.
 
I think there will be a rapid cultural divergence, and within a generation or two the USA will be uninterested in taking back the CSA by force (although if a border state wanted to switch that might work). Most northerners would not be thrilled with the prospect of acquiring millions of African-Americans (they had enough "niggers" of their own thank you), and trying to upgrade the infrastructure and education of the CSA to USA standards would be a huge expense.

Only if the CSA is actively aggressive, or is in combination with European powers that are at war with the USA will the USA attack the CSA. OTL there was a not minimal about of sentiment in the north to "let our wayward sisters go" and in any scenario where the CSA wins the war there won't be much push to restart the slaughter any time soon.
I agree with this so much, and can't fathom at all why a lot of people assume there were be permanent animosity and revanchism on the side of the USA. Two generations down the line and the culture will be different, the infrastructure and standards will be different, the demographics different, and it will have been a situation that a sizeable group of people will know as the status quo.

Slavery will probably go on a state by state basis, with the provision that slaves who are "legal" in state "A" will remain slaves if taken to "B" even if no slavery there (institutionalizing Dred Scott).
That's already in the constitution, so they don't need to worry about that.

You may see a hybrid system with some slaves and some "free" - with severe restrictions on non-enslaved blacks in terms of educational opportunities, rights to move about etc. Of course citizenship, voting, and (gasp) inter-racial sex (at least black men-white women) won't happen.
Uh, why? Free blacks already existed, some of which were wealthy and slaveowners themselves. They were very rare, but the point here is that there's not a lack of precedent for Free Black citizens who move up. If states start freeing their slaves, they're going to have to accept them as Citizens and work to bring the former slaves into free society, as much as they have to, and they will have to do at least a little because you don't want a bunch of homeless, jobless, former-slaves running around with absolutely no supervision of any kind. That's just letting their hostility fester and get worse.

Insomuch as how that will work, I figure it can go either way, either better or worse than what happened OTL, it depends on the situation.
 
Barring a second war which the Union wins, there's no chance of slavery ending within the first generation of the ACW. It would be like the US petitioning to become a colony of Britain again in 1812.

Presuming the Confederacy survives, cotton picking machines became commercially viable in the 1950s. By 2000, small abolition movements will have started in some of the Border States and one or two may have at least voted on compensated emancipation.

More likely is the CSA fragments in the 1920s, with slavery continuing in some successor states after the CSA ceases to exist.
 
So we're assuming the CSA will be an international pariah for slavery even though Brazil wasn't, why exactly?
Because, Turtledove, no really I think a lot of us got into AH because of him and on a subconscious level we take much of what he has to say about the CSA lasting as law.
 
In a way I see it similar to how Australia quit being a British penal colony. Australians who had immigrated there normally or who had grown up there by the mid 1800's began to resent the idea of being a penal colony. so Britian quit sending prisoners there. Similar to how I think eventually the stigma of being a slave nation would be felt by a younger generation of Confederates and why they would push for change.
 
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