Why did the North oppose slavery?


Ad Honorem
Jan 2011
South of the barcodes
I don't know how viable it would have been to employ slaves in factories. To my knowledge, no one ever tried it, at least not to any large extent. Factories tend to work on a cycle of expanding and contracting business cycles. A factory owner can cut costs by laying off free workers, but you can't really save money by giving your slaves a week or a month off from work. They still have to be fed and housed and if the slaves were purchased on credit, as many slaves were, then those loans would still have to be repaid.
As mentioned above the US military used slaves.One of the other famous slave factories was run by Griswold, first as a soap., tallow and cotton gin factory and then as a gunmaker.

The best and most famous line of confederate pistols was made by him, or at least in his name by a mixed group of free workers and slaves. Spike Lees ancestors worked in the pistol factory until the US army burned everything to the ground.


Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
While there were many abolitionists in the North, such as the Quakers and others who used their religious principles as a basis, the North - for the most part - was not conducive for slavery. So, from a practical point of view, there would be little reason to justify it. Also, the North had more immigrants from places such as Ireland and Germany. The Irish had a history of being oppressed, so I imagine they would not sympathize - for the most part - with the concept of slavery. To my knowledge, the Germans had not been involved in the African slave trade like the British had been.
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Mar 2019
Cisalpine Gaul (Italy)
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.
Economic reasons: the debate at the time was about if the new states would have slavery or not. If they had it the south would be more influential than the north and vice versa.
The minor reasons were moral, but no one did really care.
Still the north needed the south, because his industries were built on the money made from the selling of the cotton.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
that's the irony of it all , the North made more money from the South cotton than the South
thus profiting from the dismal institution
the opposition to slavery was broad-based in the north
a good part of it was the aggressive behavior of the Southern politicians who were seen as humiliating the northern states