Author Topic: Only 8% of High Schoolers Can Identify Slavery as Civil War's Root Issue  (Read 1128 times)

Offline Draconic Aiur

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You could only get slaves, without being wealthy, if you inherited them.  But if you inherit wealth, you are wealthy.  Your statement makes no sense, unless you mean family with class and families without class.  Some Southern families were college educated, some were what we could now call millionaires.  So yes, some families in a wooden shack, had slaves ... but the slaves were their wealth, not the plantation house.

We don't agree on what slavery is ... this is essential.  Thus we can have wage slavery and debt slavery without protest.

They could rent them from wealthy slave owners. Hell the middle class could probably buy one if they had 350 dollars. Now if you were say a middle class family with a farm raising cotton or tobacco or had a job where you could make that kind of money then yes you could have slaves. It would certainly explain how the heck around a thousand free African American families had slaves by the beginning of the civil war.

Offline SGOS

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You have to look at it with perception.
As the South should have done, but refused to do.  They refused to look at it with the perception required to understand how they abused and dehumanized a race of people.  This is not rocket science and it doesn't take any deep perception to figure out.  We are talking about the most fundamental and universal principle of morality:  "Be kind to others who have done you no harm."   

The Bible says slavery is OK.  Sorry, it's wrong!  Even most Christians today understand this moral principle.  Refusing to acknowledge this doesn't give anyone a free pass.  Muslims are taught by their holy book to kill infidels.  Sorry!  Regardless what their book says or what they believe, it doesn't make it moral. 

The Civil War could have been avoided if the South had used a little common sense or was willing to acknowledge a bit of human decency.  Just as they had ultimate power over their slaves, the North had ultimate power over the South, and with that power, the South was taught to stop being bullies that wanted to quit playing and take their toys when they were told to quit acting like petulant self centered children.

Perception!  It's all about perception.  And it goes both ways.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 04:37:23 AM by SGOS »

Offline Baruch

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They could rent them from wealthy slave owners. Hell the middle class could probably buy one if they had 350 dollars. Now if you were say a middle class family with a farm raising cotton or tobacco or had a job where you could make that kind of money then yes you could have slaves. It would certainly explain how the heck around a thousand free African American families had slaves by the beginning of the civil war.

Grasping at straws.  $350 in Civil War money is 20x down compared to today's dollar.  So that is about $7000, in an economy where most people made a fraction of that in a year.  There were very few middle class people back then ... it wasn't post WW II.  There were a few "wealthy on paper" African-American families, N and S.  In assets, if not in bank deposits.

SGOS - civil war over slavery, could have been stopped, if we were all New England abolitionist super-people ... like murderous John Brown.  But civil wars happen for more than one reason.  Nullification is an issue today.  Before the Civil War, New England wanted to secede also.

Virtue signalling ... "had I been alive back then, I wouldn't have owned slaves" ... yes, probably because you didn't have the resources to do so.  And I fall into that same camp, because my own ethics ... not just because of lack of resources.  But it is a vain claim to alternative history.  Holodeck much?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 06:43:44 AM by Baruch »
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Offline Draconic Aiur

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As the South should have done, but refused to do.  They refused to look at it with the perception required to understand how they abused and dehumanized a race of people.  This is not rocket science and it doesn't take any deep perception to figure out.  We are talking about the most fundamental and universal principle of morality:  "Be kind to others who have done you no harm."   

The Bible says slavery is OK.  Sorry, it's wrong!  Even most Christians today understand this moral principle.  Refusing to acknowledge this doesn't give anyone a free pass.  Muslims are taught by their holy book to kill infidels.  Sorry!  Regardless what their book says or what they believe, it doesn't make it moral. 

The Civil War could have been avoided if the South had used a little common sense or was willing to acknowledge a bit of human decency.  Just as they had ultimate power over their slaves, the North had ultimate power over the South, and with that power, the South was taught to stop being bullies that wanted to quit playing and take their toys when they were told to quit acting like petulant self centered children.

Perception!  It's all about perception.  And it goes both ways.

Your thinking with a modern day liberal bias. Yes w know slavery was wrong, but in order to understand why and how the people think what they did back then you must look from their point of view and understand they were not the devils you thought them out to be but people like you and me with values that are shit. Though some I admit were monsters.

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Grasping at straws.  $350 in Civil War money is 20x down compared to today's dollar.  So that is about $7000, in an economy where most people made a fraction of that in a year.  There were very few middle class people back then ... it wasn't post WW II.  There were a few "wealthy on paper" African-American families, N and S.  In assets, if not in bank deposits.

True enough but not all slaves had equal prices back then and the young and healthiest were more expensive than others. Also lik you said before if they inherit the slaves and sold them for a cheap price.

Offline SGOS

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Your thinking with a modern day liberal bias.
Everybody has a bias.  The bias of the South may not have been liberal, but it was barbaric.  But throughout history, there are people pointing to the future, and the South had these people too.  People who knew that slavery was an abomination, and contrary to the generalized pictures we paint of the South, these people were vocal, just as forward looking people are today.  They explained but they were ignored, as people on the right side of history often are.

I understand this.  I perceive it just as others do, and I understand what the South was doing, but you want me to perceive it in such a way that I condone it or at least see their point of view.  I do see their point of view, but I oppose it.  I would be part of that group of both South and North that saw the slavers point of view and knew it was wrong back in 1850, those who refused to take the point of view that forcing people into slavery was the moral high ground, but was nothing more than rationalization supported by the fallacy of a majority view and self serving convenience.

Those who opposed slavery in 1850, were not deficient in insight.  They understood the inhumanity and watched it up closer than you or I, and they condemned it.  Would you say they lacked the ability to understand another point of view?  No, they saw slavery for what it was, and were guided by their own conscience.




Offline Hijiri Byakuren

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So only 8% of American high schoolers know real history? Explains a lot about the current state of politics, actually.
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Offline SGOS

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So only 8% of American high schoolers know real history? Explains a lot about the current state of politics, actually.
Yes, it would, but I kind of wonder about that 8% data.  It seems awful low, and I also wonder what method was used to determine what history high school students are supposed to know.  This figure is a measure of knowledge of slavery, but does it apply across the board to other parts of history?  Even if it were actually 40% it might still explain the current state of politics.  I always think we should do better, and I think we can.  But my feeling, and it's only a feeling, is that education and it's close cousin, knowledge, are not held in high regard in the US, so attempts to make them better lacks a solid foundation.

People are not good or bad, they are actors that make choices. There are actions that are good or bad and these actions are evaluated based on whether they eventually lead to good or bad outcomes for people. Some actions have outcomes that are difficult to assess but actions such as slavery, genocide, murder, and rape have established outcomes-- they create human suffering. The calculation is easy-- simply put yourself in on the receiving end of the transaction. Even young children with little socialization have a concept empathy and fairness. Two hundred years ago people knew enslaving others was ultimately a bad choice, they knew they didn't want to be on the other end of that transaction, they knew it created suffering, but they rationalized that because it wasn't a bad outcome for them directly, or that the bad outcome wouldn't happen now, that it was a good choice. We humans have impressive strategies for justifying, to ourselves and others, bad choices and actions.

Similarly, in our current society, we know it is wrong to allow homeless citizens to freeze to death when we have the resources to shelter them. We know allowing the homeless man to suffer in the alley next to our apartment building is wrong but we make that choice. We are still dealing with the repercussions of the choice to enslave people two hundred years ago. Two hundred years from now, if we learn to make better choices, take better actions, our progeny will look back and wonder how we had so many resources but allowed people to freeze to death. I hope they realize we knew better and don't believe the lies we told ourselves.
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Offline Draconic Aiur

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Everybody has a bias.  The bias of the South may not have been liberal, but it was barbaric.  But throughout history, there are people pointing to the future, and the South had these people too.  People who knew that slavery was an abomination, and contrary to the generalized pictures we paint of the South, these people were vocal, just as forward looking people are today.  They explained but they were ignored, as people on the right side of history often are.

I understand this.  I perceive it just as others do, and I understand what the South was doing, but you want me to perceive it in such a way that I condone it or at least see their point of view.  I do see their point of view, but I oppose it.  I would be part of that group of both South and North that saw the slavers point of view and knew it was wrong back in 1850, those who refused to take the point of view that forcing people into slavery was the moral high ground, but was nothing more than rationalization supported by the fallacy of a majority view and self serving convenience.

Those who opposed slavery in 1850, were not deficient in insight.  They understood the inhumanity and watched it up closer than you or I, and they condemned it.  Would you say they lacked the ability to understand another point of view?  No, they saw slavery for what it was, and were guided by their own conscience.

I totally agree with you about slavery being terrible but you are still not getting anything I have to say. When you look at history you have to remove your bias and become more neutral and see both sides of thee argument to see the whole picture. Like when I did a historiography paper for the hundred year war, I had to read 8 different authors and explain their viewpoints which I then gained a better understanding of that certain piece of history.



Offline SGOS

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I totally agree with you about slavery being terrible but you are still not getting anything I have to say. When you look at history you have to remove your bias and become more neutral and see both sides of thee argument to see the whole picture. Like when I did a historiography paper for the hundred year war, I had to read 8 different authors and explain their viewpoints which I then gained a better understanding of that certain piece of history.
You want me to remove my bias?  I can't do that for the South anymore than I can for Nazi Germany. It's possible that I don't get what you are trying to say.  If that's the case, there is not much more I can do.

Offline SGOS

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Two hundred years from now, if we learn to make better choices, take better actions, our progeny will look back and wonder how we had so many resources but allowed people to freeze to death. I hope they realize we knew better and don't believe the lies we told ourselves.
I hope they might take a less dim view of my generation knowing that not everyone was without compassion, or believed global warming was a scientific conspiracy, or hated dark skinned people.  The things that become our remembered legacy are never embraced by an entire population, and sometimes they are only embraced by a powerful minority that set the course of the future.

We can look back at the Dark Ages and laugh about the prevailing belief in demons and witches and an endless assortment of gods, but every generation has skeptics and people prone to reason, although they are often disregarded by the majority and are forgotten in history.

Offline Draconic Aiur

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You want me to remove my bias?  I can't do that for the South anymore than I can for Nazi Germany. It's possible that I don't get what you are trying to say.  If that's the case, there is not much more I can do.

The main point is back then they didn't think slavery was an issue. I'm defending that peoples perception back then wasn't what w have today and in order to understand why the past events happen you would have to look at the public view of slavery.  Ask questions think about how why and what made people not think its an issue.

Alot of people today get very emotional about this and just think slavery was the main cause of the Civil War because it was a horrendous event taking place in America, so they don't listen to anything else and remain ignorant of the whole truth and just listen to theirs.

Offline Baruch

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I totally agree with you about slavery being terrible but you are still not getting anything I have to say. When you look at history you have to remove your bias and become more neutral and see both sides of thee argument to see the whole picture. Like when I did a historiography paper for the hundred year war, I had to read 8 different authors and explain their viewpoints which I then gained a better understanding of that certain piece of history.

Its easy ... English good, French bad ;-)

If a liberal considered the ideas of a conservative, or a Jew consider the ideas of a Nazi, their heads would explode.  People simply aren't ready to get past their bigotry and virtue signaling.
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Offline Baruch

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The main point is back then they didn't think slavery was an issue. I'm defending that peoples perception back then wasn't what w have today and in order to understand why the past events happen you would have to look at the public view of slavery.  Ask questions think about how why and what made people not think its an issue.

Alot of people today get very emotional about this and just think slavery was the main cause of the Civil War because it was a horrendous event taking place in America, so they don't listen to anything else and remain ignorant of the whole truth and just listen to theirs.

If we telescope history, then everyone, at every time in the past, should have been enlightened as we are, and are damned for not being so.  Now apply this to ourselves, as seen 100 years from now?  Not so comfortable.

There are admirable people in every generation, and monsters too.  Our present isn't the first generation to have compassion.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2018, 06:07:06 PM by Baruch »
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Offline Baruch

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Everybody has a bias.  The bias of the South may not have been liberal, but it was barbaric.  But throughout history, there are people pointing to the future, and the South had these people too.  People who knew that slavery was an abomination, and contrary to the generalized pictures we paint of the South, these people were vocal, just as forward looking people are today.  They explained but they were ignored, as people on the right side of history often are.

I understand this.  I perceive it just as others do, and I understand what the South was doing, but you want me to perceive it in such a way that I condone it or at least see their point of view.  I do see their point of view, but I oppose it.  I would be part of that group of both South and North that saw the slavers point of view and knew it was wrong back in 1850, those who refused to take the point of view that forcing people into slavery was the moral high ground, but was nothing more than rationalization supported by the fallacy of a majority view and self serving convenience.

Those who opposed slavery in 1850, were not deficient in insight.  They understood the inhumanity and watched it up closer than you or I, and they condemned it.  Would you say they lacked the ability to understand another point of view?  No, they saw slavery for what it was, and were guided by their own conscience.

How many embryos do we abort, because we can't control our libidos?
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