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View Diary: Did they really think only old white men would hear the dogwhistles? (223 comments)

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  •  Slavery as an institution (6+ / 0-)

    evolved in colonial law over time at the same time that notions of freedom evolved in the southern agrarian setting.  The theory of the coevolution of slavery and freedom sets a high standard for scholarship and raises questions about class and race that continue to challenge us as a body politic. Classic enough for me.

    Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell ya the truth -- B. Dylan

    by ponderer on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 07:47:23 PM PST

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    •  Chattel slavery a thousand years old by then (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      libnewsie, YucatanMan, G2geek

      There is no meaningful story that has slavery starting in the New World, never mind in North America, spotting the Spanish a century and a half head start.

      Fairy tales, yes. Science? Not even close.

      •  I neither stated nor impalied (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elginblt, G2geek, mamamedusa, Ahianne

        that slavery started in the NW. Not sure why you think I did.  My comment was in response to one about LBJ comment that lower-class whites can be easily manipulated if provided with a lower class than themselves to despise.

        That comment reminded me of a classic theory of the evolution of slavery and freedom in America -- that the developing planter class recognized consciously that pitting poor whites against blacks was beneficial to controlling both groups.

        History of slavery beyond that is outside the purview of comment or intent -- which was just to toss out a bit of academic testimony that supported the LBJ's understanding. Sorry if it wasn't clear to you.

        Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell ya the truth -- B. Dylan

        by ponderer on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 09:31:51 PM PST

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        •  It is just a weak theory. (0+ / 0-)

          Planters were motivated to go with slavery by relative immunity to malaria being worth the extra hassle of slaveholding. In time that is what survived. Also, in time freemen were averse to doing field work. South became locked into slavery over time, hemmed in by its choices and how they played out. Consequences that we see playing out to this day.

          •  Clearly we disagree. (0+ / 0-)

            I don't consider the theory weak.  Deliberate efforts by those in power to pit groups against each other that should naturally be allies is a pretty well established means of social control.  And it seems a natural consequence of the planter class carving out the status of blacks and whites would be to consider the terms of their own status in relationship to their evolving culture and where they came from.

            I really meant to make a rather innocuous comment to the LBJ post, not start a historiography debate. I do think your theories about the role of disease in the evolution of a race-based slave system is interesting, though.

            Don't ask me nothin' about nothin'. I just might tell ya the truth -- B. Dylan

            by ponderer on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:09:44 PM PST

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        •  The closest thing I found to this notion... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pengiep

          Is the old phrase The Slave Power, the notion that the Republic (all of it) was being corrupted by a slaveholding cabal that, contrary to the espoused doctrine of states' rights, was all about using its immense concentration of landed wealth as a base from which to crowd out all competition from free enterprise, free labor and free political institutions.

          While historians debate if such a scheme (not to secede from but to conquer the Republic) was in play in the 1800s, it's not hard to see the appeal of such a notion as a legacy foundation for rhetoric in more modern civil rights struggles and the ongoing economic justice movement.

    •  There was slavery here long before (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, KenBee, mamamedusa, Mindful Nature

      Jamestown in the western hemisphere. There is evidence of slavery in Pre-Columbian North and South America and certainly Columbus introduced slavery in the region. But, yeah you are right, slavery and colonial freedom is a big subject.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Fri Nov 09, 2012 at 08:33:04 PM PST

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      •  Slavery has been universal (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas

        for millenia.  Probably older than recorded history, really.

        The notions that slavery is wrong and must end is yet another very welcome modern invention.

        This has been a golden age for confirmation bias. - David Brooks

        by Mindful Nature on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 11:10:44 AM PST

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