Why did the North oppose slavery?

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,381
Iowa USA
#11
a case in point was "Black jack" Logan , a war democrat
ferociously opposed to emancipation and fighting for the union not for the Negroes
he was the spokesman for the upper Midwest , before the war illinois had a statute stating than slaves were forbidden to set foot in their state
Lincoln knew his constituency pretty well and treated Logan like a bundle of dynamite with the fuse lighted
needing his electoral power for the 1864 election ,
Lincoln went out of his way to smooth his feeling against his greatest enemy ...Sherman ,
who thwarted his intent to torch wade Hampton mansion by moving a convent full of orphans inside , much to jack disgust

at the victory parade , since Sherman was receiving the army of the west salute ,
Logan as second in command led the troops to rapturous cheers of ...black jack !! black jack !!
the man was a political animal , a pretty good general and for years promoted the "bloody shirt" to be re-elected
Illinois has a north-south expanse of 400 miles, John Logan was a native of far Southern Illinois. Just stating that so that Logan's attitude is not confused as representative of the Northwest section in general.
 
Likes: Futurist

Nemowork

Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
8,243
South of the barcodes
#12
I'm trying to understand the causes of the American Civil War. Apart from the North not wanting the South states to secede, the desire to end slavery in the South is often stated as the major reason. However, from what I've read, Lincoln didn't intend to abolish slavery in the South when he became President.
Also, yes, I know that there was a difference in economic sources of wealth between North and South: North was industrialized, while the South was agrarian. However, it doesn't answer the question why would the North oppose slavery. Why oppose it, if you can make slaves work on factories? Didn't the North have to recruit Europeans to make up for work force deficit? Why wouldn't business/factory owners want some free labor? After all, they didn't mind opposing unions and paing their workers very little, so they would hardly care about being humanists.
One factor to consider is origins.

The north especially around Massachusets was based on religious emigres. Virginia was established as a merchants and commercial venture.

It meant the southern states were far more likely to think of commerce as the greater goal with slavery as an established part of business while the north was more likely to think of religious principal and purity.

Of course that falls down as a theory when the north starts becoming just as commercial with shipping, mass immigration, industry and so on but they maintain a larger percentage of people who believe in moral absolutes.
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,485
Dispargum
#13
One factor to consider is origins.

The north especially around Massachusets was based on religious emigres. Virginia was established as a merchants and commercial venture.

It meant the southern states were far more likely to think of commerce as the greater goal with slavery as an established part of business while the north was more likely to think of religious principal and purity.

Of course that falls down as a theory when the north starts becoming just as commercial with shipping, mass immigration, industry and so on but they maintain a larger percentage of people who believe in moral absolutes.
I agree about Northern and Southern colonies starting out with different original motives. Rather than describing the 17th century Southern colonies as commercial, it might be better to say they were founded by people seeking wealth. In some ways, 17th century wealth still resembled the Medieval model with large landed estates worked by an impoverished underclass. You can see some similarities between Medieval estates with serfs and American plantations worked by slaves.
 
Jun 2015
5,581
UK
#14
Some of the northern states outlawed slavery in colonial times, or just as the USA was founded.

It's also immigration, since by the mid-19th century, the North had more non-British immigrants, and from countries where slavery wasn't common nor desired. This included Ireland (which was part of the UK and Britain had abolished slavery by then), Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, etc.

And since the North had larger coal deposits, and other fossil fuels, there was less need for slavery in the plantation sense. Slaves were used in mines in South America, but in North America and the Caribbean, the characteristic plantation model was dominant.
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,623
Sydney
#15
The area around Cairo , Memphis was called "Egypt" this area was particularly vociferous both for and against slavery

Certainly there were a wide range of attitude , there were quite a lot of "Copperhead" in the Northwest
( from a pin made with a copper penny figuring Liberty)
by the same token the West Virginians wore a red bandana to demonstrate their faithfulness to the Union
the "red necks" pushed and got secession for their state against the rich planters of the coast
as far as Louisiana Red River and the uplands of Georgia there were pockets of Union sentiment

the traditional anti slavery given in the textbooks is the radical New England and Quaker version ,
this wasn't held by every Republicans , or war democrats for that matter
for many in the West , anything coming From Massachusetts was to be treated with extreme suspicion