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Download PDF by Northeast Editing: Abraham Lincoln

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The second paramount feature of slavery is the unbelievable amount of wealth it comprised compared with other sectors of the United States economy in 1860. 3 o√ers the dollar values of the basic categories of wealth that may be derived from the census of 1860 (in terms of 1860 dollars). The category of unaccounted-for wealth probably reflects urban residences, investments in canals, river and oceanic transportation devices and supply facilities, and various sundry items of personal wealth. 75 percent of the national wealth ($3 billion divided by $16 billion), or less precisely between 15 and 20 percent of the total store of national wealth.

Prodded on by revolutionary ideology and abetted by the slim economic strength of slavery there, northerners removed the institution either abruptly or gradually. The point that was not lost upon southerners, however, was that the North no longer had a material interest in the maintenance of slavery. The slave South and the nonslave North, soon to be known as the free labor North, had come into existence. The northern attack upon the peculiar institution drew upon many sources. Natural-rights ideas informed the question of the legitimacy of slavery.

In embryonic form the free labor critique of slavery had taken shape, and individuals had announced as well the political fear that slaveholders were aristocrats who sought their elevation above freemen in the counsels of government. Southerners had made it clear that their peculiar institution had a defense. A racial argument existed, as did one based on the history of humankind. Moreover, no one doubted that slaves represented property, and southerners expected their property rights to be observed.

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Abraham Lincoln by Northeast Editing


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