Recovered history: The US Civil War
From a talk by Richard Becker of the ANSWER coalition
Slavery required ever expanding acreage to sustain itself. Southern plantations didn’t use modern technology for growing cotton as they had slaves to do the work. Plus, machines can be sabotaged, as the Luddites did when mechanized looming destroyed the craft guilds and accompanying small town life in England. Slaves would have found any number of ways to ‘accidentally’ (and rightfully) destroy machines that did nothing except force them to work even harder.
By the time the Civil War started, plantations were making considerable money by breeding slaves and selling them like cattle. This requires a market for slaves, and if South Carolina is already filled with them then the only way to sustain the system is to expand westward (or northward) if possible.
But expansion of the slavery could not occur when the North had wage labor, not slave labor. Ditto for the western states, where slavery had not become an established part of the economic system. In other words, the cause of the Civil War was two conflicting economic systems, wage labor and slave labor, that could no longer exist together. One had to win, the other had to lose.
The economic powers in England favored the South, as that’s where the cotton for their textile mills came from. They wanted an independent South (which no doubt would have quickly become subordinate to them) that allowed slavery as this would have meant a steady flow of cotton. In fact, had there not been huge opposition in Britain to slavery and intervention, Britain probably would have joined the Civil War of the side of the South. This opposition was organized and spearheaded by Marxists, without whose help, I may add, US history might have been quite different.
New York City financial interests tacitly supported the South, as they were making a lot of money off slavery. McClellan, a Union general who oddly never seemed to engage much in battle was allied with these financial interests – something which does help explain his hesitation to fight the South. He ran against Lincoln in 1864 on a platform that essentially said the North should stop fighting and let the South win.
The Emancipation Proclamation freed only those slaves living in the breakaway states. This was deliberately done so the freed slaves could join the Union Army, and many did.
In the 1600-1700’s, indentured servants from the British Isles (who basically were slaves) and Black slaves began escaping from plantations and living in the woods with Indians. The powers-that-be thought this to be the worst of all possible threats and did their best to exterminate them. But they couldn’t.
So they pitted poor Whites against Blacks by inventing white racism. Divide and conquer. And within a few generations, Black, White and Indian mixing had vanished and was replaced with institionalized racism.
Racism is not eternal, it is not part of human nature. White racism was deliberately invented in the South to prop up their stomach-turning economic system.
As to why didn’t they enslave Indians, well, they tried. But it’s impossible to capture someone for long who knows how to live off the land. Indians had this knowledge, slaves didn’t.
To sum up, the Civil War was a battle between two competing economic systems that could no longer coexist peacefully in the same country. One system eventually had to crush the other. And that’s precisely what happened.