Basis for American Slavery
American slavery was fundamentally all about free labor. Generally, American slaves were not prisoners of war captured in a war in which America was engaged; that is another type of slavery that occurs in some lands. Slaves brought to America may have been sold by Africans fighting against other Africans; but, that is different from America fighting a war with Africans. In any case, prisoner type of enslavement/servitude is markedly different than the American type of Slavery under consideration.
Moreover, the erroneous doctrine of blacks not being fully human was largely contrived to justify slavery for free labor. It was not the fundamental reason for slavery. The reason for American slavery was money. As the Bible says the root of all evil is the love of money.
Justifiability of Slavery Was Taught and Was the Prevailing Law
I must consider that if Confederate Generals were alive today would they change their mind about slavery?
They lived in a day in an environment where they had been taught that slavery was good economic sense and good nation-building sense. It was the same attitude the founders held as outlined in the US Constitution, Article 1 Section 9.
I believe these generals were men of courage and men of integrity who had been taught wrong; they were not your average person on the street. It is possible most if not all of them would change their mind about supporting slavery if they were alive today and had learned better. But that is my hope and something I don’t know for sure.
Yet, I am mindful that Malcolm X once thought all white folks were devils; he thought all white folks were against black folks. When he learned better he changed his mind. Do we not want White Folks to forgive him? Should streets named after him be renamed? I know, some will say that he didn’t kill any white folks. Yes, that is a good point. Killing black folks is certainly a more severe sin than hating or distrusting white folks.
I am also mindful that the highest court in the land in 1857 in the Dredd Scott Case had declared Black Americans not citizens of the USA. This was just four (4) years before the Civil War started. Indeed, secession started in 1858, just one year after the highest court in the United States of America, not just the highest court in the South, validated Black Americans not been citizens of the USA.
Thus, the prevailing law of the land was seemingly against African Americans. This law not only applied to the South but also to the North. So perhaps one can understand how those in the South thought as they did although their thinking was wrong. My point is that the nation’s attitude toward Blacks as less than fully human and therefore according to their logic deserving to be enslaved did not begin with those alive in the South at that time. As indicated above it began for economic reasons and goes back to the founding of the nation.
One Possible Reason the North Had No Problem Abolishing Slavery
The article here suggests that the North had no problem abolishing slavery because they had become less dependent on slavery over a period of time. On the other hand, the South was still dependent on slavery. I don’t cite the article to justify the South position. I cite it for informational purposes and to provide greater insight into what may have been going on in 1861 when the Civil War began and why secession had begun a few years earlier.