[Ethnicity Thread] Who Do You Think You Are?


  • Pitcrew

    @Misadventure said:

    Example: Egypt - pyramids not made by slaves. Columbus - works Carrib island tribes to death by the hundreds of thousands.

    Interesting bit of history: Egyptians had a system of civil service called Corvee, in which every Egyptian was expected to spend a portion of their life in service to the kingdom. I don't remember how long that service was or how it was figured, but once it was finished they went about their lives free of their service. The people who made the pyramids were normal Egyptians fulfilling their service within Corvee. There were slaves in Egypt but typically they were a minority of the labor force.


  • Pitcrew

    @calm said:

    @Three-Eyed-Crow said:

    This is not what the Confederate flag means to everyone...

    WHAT?? YEAH!

    I feel like Calm's point deserves to be underscored: Dont start no shit, wont be no shit!

    (OKAAAY!!!!)



  • @TNP said:

    @Derp said:

    Example above: I feel that the confederate flag is a symbol of state's rights...

    I think you're partially correct. The Confederate flag is a symbol of states' rights when you take into consideration that the phrase 'states' rights' is a dog whistle. What else do they trumpet states' rights about? Segregation. Miscegenation laws. And most recently, the right to discriminate against gays. They are indeed inextricably linked.

    Quite a bit, actually! One of the most recent examples was the forced Medicaid reform that came along with the Affordable Care Act. Other past examples are Income Tax, Social Security Tax, water rights, import/export taxation, etc.

    As for miscegenation and gay rights, there are more sides to that story even within those communities. I'm a gay man that feels that we should be looking in the other direction re: gay marriage and gay rights. The fact that you allow the state to sanction certain marriages and not others just means that there's still going to be some minority out there who doesn't feel like their rights are being upheld. For instance, marriage as a legal status deprives those who wish to remain single of tax benefits and many other things under the law. In order to make marriage actually -equal- among American citizens, what you'd actually have to do is just end marriage as a legal status that grants benefits and privileges that others don't get, which in and of itself is a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution. I'm a gay man that falls into that camp, so I can say with some certainty that this is one of those things that does affect me, and I'm on the opposite side of the debate.

    State's rights isn't about miscegenation, bigotry, etc. It's about people being able to choose for themselves. Individual rights aren't won by creating special classes of citizens that are uniquely untouchable, they're won when -every- citizen is uniformly sovereign in the same manner. Are my views in the minority? Sure. But I think they're valid, still.


  • Pitcrew

    @Silver said:

    Interesting bit of history: Egyptians had a system of civil service called Corvee, in which every Egyptian was expected to spend a portion of their life in service to the kingdom. I don't remember how long that service was or how it was figured, but once it was finished they went about their lives free of their service. The people who made the pyramids were normal Egyptians fulfilling their service within Corvee. There were slaves in Egypt but typically they were a minority of the labor force.

    As far as I can recall, Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia, et al had slaves but their economic systems weren't dependent on a massive slave caste. While that's hardly equitable there's a measurable difference between slavery as practiced in the old empires and the chattel slavery practiced by European colonies in the Americas.

    Here's the thing about chattel slavery. To support your economy, you need a lot of slaves. As in, slaves outnumber free individuals by a significant percentage. This can only end in disaster. Haiti is the textbook example of the chattel slavery death spiral. Even if the Confederacy had forced the Union to sue for peace, we would've likely had to invade again a few decades down the line if only to pacify the unrest on our border.

    Of course, it's just as likely the CSA would've turned to the UK for help. Heh. Heh. Ah hah hah hah hah.



  • I thought the UK had been abolistionist for a few decades by the time of the US Civil War, going so far as to police the waterways.



  • @Misadventure said:

    I thought the UK had been abolistionist for a few decades by the time of the US Civil War, going so far as to police the waterways.

    They had. I think that this is highbrow irony in the form of 'go running back to the people that you just declared independance from to help you from the other guys you want to declare independance from', or possibly a reference to the War of 1812 and how Britian just kind of voluntold American sailors that they were British Navy now. Either way, it'd be funny to run to them for help. :)


  • Pitcrew

    If there were widespread slave revolts (and there would've been), I have no doubt the UK would've intervened.

    In exchange for the CSA becoming Victoria's personal muppet. Love the boot, boys...



  • The UK had abolished both the slave trade (first, approx 1830 IIRC) and then slavery itself (later, approx 1840?)

    The CSA attempted to drag the UK into the war by withholding cotton exports until the UK diplomatically recognized the CSA. The theory was that the UK's cotton industry was so reliant on the CSA's cotton that the UK would be forced to recognize the CSA.

    The UK refused to even recognize the CSA, much less intervene.



  • Slavery was very different in sugar growing vs. non-sugar growing regions.

    Sugar growing regions (Caribbean, Brazil, some parts of Louisiana) have climates that make malaria, yellow fever, and other nasty tropical diseases endemic.
    Neither white nor black populations were sustainable in these regions. Death rates exceed birth rates. Whites typically came, worked a few years and made their fortunes, then returned to their home countries if they didn't die. To maintain the slave labor force, continual importation of new slaves was required. Despite the small geographic areas involved, about 85% of slaves were shipped to these areas. The US, having few sugar growing regions, only took in about 10% of overall slave imports.

    This is why Afro-Syncretic (voodoo, santeria, candomble) religions are strongest in the areas of former sugar cultivation -- there were always a good amount of newly arrived Africans to keep African traditions alive. Africans generally outnumbered whites by a large margin, making slave revolts feasible.

    In non-sugar growing regions, the climate was healthier. Both white and black populations experienced birth rates substantially above death rates. The ratio of whites to blacks in the South was pretty constant at 2 whites per 1 black. Slave revolts were never a feasible liberation strategy. Because most slaves had been separated from Africa for many generations, the links to African religions were much weaker.


  • Pitcrew

    @DamnitJim There was a real fear that the UK would intervene on the Confederacy's behalf, both because of trade revenues and to gain another foothold on the continent. Whether that was realistic or not is debatable, but the British earned a reputation as opportunists for a reason. You can hear it in a lot of the war songs/marching songs of the period.

    Now if you want crazy shit that's true, the Golden Circle stuff... man. TL;DR, powerful individuals in the confederacy basically planned to conquer Mexico, the Caribbean, and part of South America and use that empire to keep themselves awash in both exotic goods and cheap slave labor.

    Regarding slave populations and the potential for explosive revolt, that was the case at the time. We do not know if the population disparity would have continued to grow if the Confederacy had forced a peace. I think it would have. Aristocrats LOVE cheap, disposable labor. It lets them lead luxurious lives without having to lift a finger themselves. And while religions like Santeria or Vodoun were important, they were important the way a spark lighter can set off gasoline. Given the types of assholes running the Confederacy and the legacy they hoped to build, I feel confident saying a catalyst would have presented itself.



  • @The-Tree-of-Woe said:

    @DamnitJim There was a real fear that the UK would intervene on the Confederacy's behalf, both because of trade revenues and to gain another foothold on the continent. Whether that was realistic or not is debatable, but the British earned a reputation as opportunists for a reason. You can hear it in a lot of the war songs/marching songs of the period.

    When we studied the Civil War in AP History in high school, we debated how much this had to do with the timing of the Emancipation Proclamation (among other things, like the language in it that specifically avoids freeing slaves in loyal Northern states. I enjoyed this class.). I don't think it was the only reason for it, of course, and I don't think the political situation in Britain at the time would've made siding with the Confederacy at all tenable. But it was certainly interesting.