Comment: "'prior to the civil war,

(See in situ)

In reply to comment: Good info Dr. No. (see in situ)

"'prior to the civil war,

"'prior to the civil war, only the abolitionists had fantasies and speculated on the 'WHAT-IF problem' and the 'What-Then problem'."

I think you can think of this similar to anarchists today. Many want government gone because they find it morally repulsive. They don't really care what happens afterwards; whatever happens, it happens in a more moral setting. There were abolitionists who certainly thought about "what-then", but there were also many who didn't.

"Only the abolitionist talked long about 'what-if' the South did seceded without resistance at all from the North, How would the Northern Government fund itself? I have read someone's opinion that the South funded the North central government to the tune of 75% or more."

These explanations aren't great. High tariffs had prompted the Nullification Controversy in 1831-33, when, after South Carolina demanded the right to nullify federal laws or secede in protest, President Andrew Jackson threatened force. No state joined the movement, and South Carolina backed down. Tariffs were not an issue in 1860, and Southern states said nothing about them. Why would they? Southerners had written the tariff of 1857, under which the nation was functioning. Its rates were lower than at any point since 1816.

Also, the 75% thing is a flat-out lie, concocted by Civil War revisionists. 75% of all federal revenue was from tarriffs; they assume that all tarrifs were paid by the South, when they were really paid by the North. Remember the tariff was paid only on imports, not on exports. Well over 90% of the tariff was collected in Northern ports. A relative pittance was collected in southern ports.

In 1860, Charleston only had $2.0 million in imports, Savannah had only $800,000 in imports, Mobile had only $600,000 in imports, New Orleans had only $20.6 million in imports, and other southern ports had only $3.0 million in imports. In the same year, New York City alone had $231.3 million in imports and all other northern ports had $95.3 million in imports.

New Orleans was the southern port that collected the most in the tariff, and it was only $3.1 million. The total south only collected $4.0 million in tariff revenues, whereas New York City collected $34.9 million in tariff revenues and the total for northern ports was $48.3 million. [Source: Douglas B. Ball, Financial Failure and Confederate Defeat, p. 205, Table 18, "Trade Figures by Port in 1860" and "Customs Collections by Major Port (1860)"]

"And I read another's opinion that most pre-civil war intellectuals in the USA never considered the 'what-then' proposition or even advocated the proposition for the Federal Government to simply 'Buy Slaves their freedom. It was considered impossible price to pay to buy slaves their freedom. American pre-civil war intellectuals hardly took note how other countries solved the 'slavery problem'.

This is has some validity to it. Basically, the abolitionists knew that if the Federal government had to PAY for the slaves, the Northners would not like it. After all, where would that money come from? After all, there were already rumblings of an income tax, and to keep the South happy, the government would have to pay a premium on the worth of the Slaves.

Also, it is true that it wasn't really considered because the South simply did not want to give up their slaves.

Let us say, John is beating his wife. Now, I can punch John's lights out, or, I can try and buy John's agreement to not beat his wife. If John says, "alright, give me 50 million dollars, and I will agree". Obviously, that is crazy. So, I punch John's lights out and rescue his wife. 100 years laters, historians condemn me for my violence, telling me "look! John was willing to do it peacefully! There was a pricepoint where everything could have been solved peacefully!" You have to look at that pricepoint to see if it was feasible.

On top of that, there are people on this very site, and all over the internet, that are still enraged that 50 years ago, the Federal Government forcibly dicated to the States that they could no segregate. Can you imagine what would have happened if the Federal Government force Southern slaveholders to give up their slaves?

"Finally, even if the federal govt went into massive debt and bought all the slaves and gave slaves a start as the 'Abolitionists Dream' called for, there was the "Then-What problem" ie 1) What would the former slave owners do for labor now that the labor pool has gone? and 2) What would the slaves do with their freedom and no money?"

Many abolitionists, like Lincoln, favored voluntary or involuntary deportation to Africa. They saw now way for Blacks and White to coexist; in a way, they were right as even post-Slavery there was a 100 years of racial tension due to civil rights.

You are correct; the Southern Labor pool was destroyed. Wages went up, production costs went up. It took a long time for them to recover. Of course, had the Federal Government bought the slaves, that would have provided a nice bonus to tide them over.

I must add again, that to many abolitionists, if your average slaveholder became destitute due to the ruined labor force, they did not care. They saw slavery as an evil and did not really care about the consequences, especially the economic consequences, of ending it.

Today, those that did think about the consequences are smeared as racists.

"I also read that it was from the the 'Then-What Problem' that a consensus was arrived at by various abolitionists around question 2: that for the freed slaves payment should not be money but rather payment should be: '40 acres and a mule, 2 kinds of seed for 2 acres of land, 2 rifles, 2 cows, 2 goats, 2 pigs and 36 chickens' where considered 'reasonable enough'."

I've heard something like this. Obviously, enforcement was really weak; the North couldn't even force a defeated South to give this to their newly freed slaves.

"The 'unthinkable price' to buy slaves from their masters and the 'labor problem' made solving the 'slave problem' a 'social stalemate' with just abolitionists screaming in againsts the winds of the status quo like the idealists that they were."

Unquestionably, they were seen as idealists, not at all pragmatic or reasonable. Comparatively, libertarians, miniarchists, and anarchists are all percieved as lacking pragmatism. At the same time, there are many in those movements who are willing to consider consequences, compromise, and be pragmatic.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:


Specific cuts; defense spending: