, 8 tweets, 2 min read Read on Twitter
"So quickly" that only Brazil and Cuba abolished the institution later than the US. Go sell this American Exceptionalism bullshit somewhere else; the US was shaped by slavery, wealthy because of slavery, and tenacious to the point of actual warfare to keep slavery.
I guess if you want to make a case for the US being "unique" about slavery, you could point out that we're the only modern nation where abolition occurred in spite of violent resistance from big chunk of the white population, culminating in 4 yrs of war and decades of insurgency.
Think about if the Civil War didn't happen--if one of the compromises to "save" slavery and thus prevent secession actually worked. Imagine if there was a 13th amendment that placed slavery beyond the reach of federal law, as the attempted Crittenden Compromise proposed.
When would the US have ended slavery, then? Keep in mind that S Carolina was taking measures to reopen the Atlantic slave trade in the late 1850s. With no secession and civil war, or even with a limited war of a few months that ended in compromise (as many wanted), what happens?
I think there's a very good case to be made that if things had gone one of those alternate ways instead, the US would have entered the 20th century as a slaveholding nation still. So this "we abolished slavery early" trope is a baseless and dangerous myth.
Its worth pointing out that several southern slaveholders, refusing to accept emancipation, founded a slaveholders' enclave in Brazil. There are ex-Confederates on the "blackbirding" slaver ships enslaving indigenous peoples in the South Pacific in the 1870s-80s.
By 1875, most northerners were ready to abandon the already-on-life-support attempts to create a meaningful set of civil rights and protections for Blacks in the postwar South. And we know the 13th amendment contained the loophole that led to a prison boom and convict slavery.
So don't come at us with this "The US abolished slavery earlier than everyone yay freedom" crap. It took 800,000 lives to get abolition into the Constitution, and we*still* haven't fulfilled the promise of emancipation even today. Bad history is the opiate of the racist.
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