Monday, December 20, 2010

American History Like it or Not

On hundred fifty years ago today South Carolina seceded from the Union and declared her independence. The reasons seem a bit silly now looked upon from the vantage of time. The issue was of real emotional importance however during that period in our history. A powder keg if you will. There are those that will tell you the issue was solely about slavery and they are only partially right. It had far more to do with the approaching end of a culture and the cataclysmic response to that fact. Granted slavery, or more accurately, the expansion of slavery in the United States, was the root of the issue. There is no getting around that. Thankfully slavery is a thing of the past. Now is you will excuse me, my wife has informed me to prepare a bedtime toddy for the Colonel.


Jayhawk said...

Not to be contrary, but it was not about the "culture" of slavery, but about the "economics" of slavery. The plantation economics depended on the continuation of slavery. Without slaves the plantations failed economically and with that failure went the collapse of the entire way of life that was based on the plantation. Not that it was necessarily worth preserving, but it was the only thing they knew, and change is always frightening, and always resisted.

Certainly there was a cultural element to the concept of slavery, but the war was fought to preserve the economics of the south, and slavery was very much an economic issue. Would the war have been fought for cultural factors alone? Maybe, or maybe not. We'll never know.

Bartender Cabbie said...

That is true. The culture of the south (at least for the wealthy) was the "plantation economy" which of course could not survive without slavery. It was a complete way of life, economically and culturally, that was dying on the vine. The war simply caused the "southern" way of life to change faster than it would have at some point anyway.