Its easy to understand the economic point of view on Slavery.
Reader comment on: Cotton and Race in the Making of America
Submitted by Lyle (United States), Nov 12, 2009 17:30
Ignoring the moral dimension, a significant part of the net worth of the South was tied up in slaves. To abolish it would and did improverish the south. In particular the powers that were in the South owned most of the slaves and they were perhaps more than 1/2 of their net worth. So uncompensated abolition was like a 50% tax on net worth. (The non slave holders followed the leader because they thought they might some day become one). To put the motivation for the technical changes, picking cotton by hand became to expensive and so economics pushed the change. I suspect we will see more of this in those parts of ag that still use hand labor, especially that we can now design crops.
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