Re: poly: economics of morality

From: Peter C. McCluskey <>
Date: Sat Feb 14 1998 - 09:29:54 PST (Damien R. Sullivan) writes:
>* One thing I'm not sure of is how much economic changes such as the
>abolition of slavery may be due to economics calling for the changes --
>"slavery is no longer profitable" -- vs. allowing them -- "it might
>still be profitable to have some slavery, but we can now afford to not
>have any of it, and no one wants to risk being one, so we abolish all of

 It's hard to see any indication that 19th century US whites had any
fears of being enslaved, other than being drafted into the army, and
they tolerated an increase in that risk to fight slavery.
 I think Jeff Hummel makes a convincing argument in Emancipating Slaves,
Enslaving Free Men that slavery was unsustainable because of the
increasing difficulty of recapturing runaway slaves. It sure looks
like technological changes such as railroads had a significant role
to play in that.

Peter McCluskey  |  | Has anyone used           | to comment on your web pages?
Received on Sat Feb 14 17:31:34 1998

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