You are super-imposing lofty theoreticals over top of what actually took place and surmising a different outcome. I don’t need to defend that the CSA made good decisions, merely that they made ones that they were certain were in their best interests (irrespective of whether or not they actually were). What might have happened is irrelevant to what did happen. After the war, functional slavery continued.

During the reign of Andrew Johnson, he worked hard to undo Reconstruction efforts by arguing that Blacks needed to learn how to be self-sufficient and that the federal government should not, in his words, “favor” Blacks over Whites. He argued that there should be no federal protection for Blacks. The Supreme Courts of the day largely agreed, and they proceeded to gut the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments (did you know that Mississippi finally ratified the 13th Amendment in 2013?).

Then came the Black Codes, and this is what they entailed:

1. Blacks were required to sign annual labor contracts with a plantation, mill, or mine owner but rarely paid because, according to one landowner, “negroes are so lazy as not to be worth paying.”

2. If they refused to sign contracts or show proof of employment (which they could not get without signing the contracts) they were arrested for vagrancy and auctioned, their labor sold to the highest bidder.

3. Blacks were forbidden to seek wages or, if paid at all, better wages, and if they left the plantation or mine for better work, they would be arrested and auctioned.

4. They were refused other employment besides laborer or domestic worker.

5. They were banned from hunting or fishing for food.

6. Black children who had been sold before the Civil War but not yet united with their families were apprenticed off to their former masters. If they refused, they were arrested for vagrancy.

I do love that you are getting your intel directly from R.E. Lee though. Must be some good shit you’re smokin’ 😉

Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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