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I did not know that: surprising facts about slaves in America.

Posted by John T. Reed on

This is Black History Month. When is white history month? There is none because EVERY month throughout American history has been white history month and there was no Black History Month until 1976.
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Do whites in America WANT a White History Month? Nah. Affirmative action crap like that is for losers and whiners and professional victims.
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However, I was amazed at what I learned reading about Black History Month in an article in today’s WSJ.
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• More than 10 M blacks were brought to the Western Hemisphere in 36,000 voyages; but only 400K went to the US.
• Almost all slaves in what is now the U.S. arrived before 1776.
• 20K slaves fought on the Brit side in the Revolutionary War; only 5K on the U.S. side—Britain promised to free them, but the U.S. did not.
• All 13 colonies were slave colonies until the U.S. became a country.
• In NE, the % of blacks in 1776 was about 1% to 2%; in VA and SC, about 40% to 50%.
• Virtually no slaves were imported to the U.S. from 1783 until 1802.
• From 1803 to 1808, GA and SC imported 60 K new slaves from Africa.
• In 1808, the U.S. banned the importation of slaves forever.
• The Civil War freed about 4M slaves.
• Freeing 4 M slaves was the biggest wealth transfer in U.S. history. The fair market value of those 4M slaves in 1865 was $60.7 B in 2019 dollars. That value was instantly transferred to the slaves themselves. The able-bodied male slaves were worth about $1,200 to $1,500 each in 1865 dollars which is about $18.5 K to $23.2 K in 2019 dollars. Of course, they were not all able-bodied male adults thus the $60 B figure rather than $80 B.
• 200K + blacks fought in the Civil War.
• LOSING the Civil War INCREASED the power of Southern whites in the House and the electoral college. That was because the original Constitution only counted 3/5 of slaves for representation in the House and electoral college. Freeing the slaves raised the percentage of former southern slaves counted to 100%. That increased the power of whites rather than both races in the South because of various black voter suppression laws like poll taxes and literacy tests.
• The black share of US population is about 13%; black share of Congress is about 10%—the highest it has ever been.
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This was not in the article but the reason there were a lot of blacks in the South was terrain and climate. The non-slave states tended to be more mountainous and cooler in summer. Slave economics did not work in the North as a result.
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This from a History.com web article:
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“With cash crops of tobacco, cotton and sugar cane, America’s southern states became the economic engine of the burgeoning nation. If the Confederacy had been a separate nation, it would have ranked as the fourth richest in the world at the start of the Civil War. The slave economy had been very good to American prosperity. By the start of the war, the South was producing 75 percent of the world’s cotton and creating more millionaires per capita in the Mississippi River valley than anywhere in the nation. Slaves represented Southern planters’ most significant investment—and the bulk of their wealth.”
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Experts of tobacco, Cotton, and sugar cane were rather easily shut down by Union blockades of Southern ports during the Civil War. The land portion of the war probably need not have been fought other than to defend the Union from Confederate invasion, which would have been much easier than invading the South.

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