Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The role of slavery and the slave trade in building northern wealth

Myths About Slavery.” Here’s the PDF:
Contrary to popular belief:
  • Slavery was a northern institution
    • The North held slaves for over two centuries
    • The North abolished slavery only just before the Civil War
    • The North dominated the slave trade
    • The North built its economy around slavery
    • The North industrialized with slave-picked cotton and the profits from slavery
  • Slavery was a national institution
    • Slavery was practiced by all thirteen colonies
    • Slavery was enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and practiced by all thirteen original states
    • The slave trade was permitted by the federal government until 1808
    • Federal laws protected slavery and assisted slave owners in retrieving runaway slaves
    • The Union was deeply divided over slavery until the end of the Civil War
  • Slavery benefited middle-class families
    • Slavery dominated the northern and southern economies during the colonial era and up to the Civil War
    • Ordinary people built ships, produced trade goods, and invested in shares of slave voyages
    • Workers in all regions benefited economically from slavery and slavery-related businesses
    • Consumers bought and benefited from lower prices on goods like coffee, sugar, tobacco, and cotton
  • Slavery benefited immigrant families
    • Immigrants who arrived after the Civil War still benefited from slavery and its aftermath
    • Immigrants flocked to the “land of opportunity” made possible by the unpaid labor of enslaved people
    • Immigrants found routes to prosperity which were closed to the families of former slaves
    • Federal programs in the 20th century provided white families with aid for education, home ownership, and small businesses
 Inheriting the Trade: A Northern Family Confronts Its Legacy as the Largest Slave-Trading Dynasty in U.S. History, by Thomas Norman DeWolf.

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