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Response to TheOther95Percent (Reply #38)

Thu Jun 25, 2015, 12:00 AM

63. That is about right, when Washington reached Boston in 1775 he was shocked...

 

African Americans WITH GUNS???? Was one of the bigger shocks. He at first demanded that they be disarmed, but later backed down. As the war progressed he became less and less connected with the slave culture of Virginia. He did not return to Virginia till 1781 and Yorktown. He still had his slaves around him during the war AND later when he was President, but one of his slaves asked to remain in New York when Washington decided to quit after two terms and Washington gave that man his freedom.

At the same time Washington had always been involved with every money making Scheme of his time period. By the time Washington was President he had passed John Hancock to be the richest man in America. One of the reason Fort Necessity occurred was in the weeks before that battle he had his men building a road to what is now Washington PA, where most of the land he had purchased for later sale was located. Thus when the French Showed up, he was caught a little flat footed and was one of the reason for his later defeat. The Next year he advised Braddock to use the same route he had taken AND to improve the road on the way. Braddock did so but once over the mountains headed for Fort Duquesne (Present day Pittsburgh) instead of Washington PA. When Braddock was defeated he opposed the British pull back to Philadelphia (This objection I can agree with, troops in Philadelphia did not defend the border or present a threat to the French in fort Duguesne).

Washington opposed General Forbes's plan to march from Philly to Pittsburgh via present day US 30 instead of present day US 40. US 40 follows the National Road and Washington's path to Washington County PA and his lands in Washington County. US 30 stays while north of any route to Washington County from the East.

Of Washington men, let us say, at Fort Necessity the French demanded he turn over one of his guides, that they had previously told NOT to come back to Western Pennsylvania. Washington turned him over and then sold him a new set of cloths so he could be buried in decent clothing after the French Executed him. As to his men who were given land grants for fighting, he purchased them for a little as a nickel on the dollar of their value, for the troops needed money right then and there, and he had the cash. This was the base for much of his money, extensive land holdings in Western Pennsylvania stolen from his own men.

Washington's view of the men on the Frontier was not to enlighten, he called when "White Indians".

I bring this up for money was the most important thing in his life. If you go to his library it is full of every get rich quick idea of his time period, no books on how to govern or philosophy. In many ways Washington was like Ronald Reagan, what was it in for him?

On top of this the 1790s was a period of transition when it came to slavery in the US. Due to how African American Slaves had operated in the Revolution (they sided with the British once the British offered them freedom) it became clear slaves were an inherent internal Security problem (to use a 20th phase for an 18th century institution). Massachusetts lead the way out of that problem but outlawing slavery in 1783. The rest of the North quickly followed, with New Jersey ending slavery by 1808 (Through most northern state adopted a gradual policy of emancipation, thus New Jersey still had a handful of slaves in 1865 when the 13th Amendment was adopted).

http://slavenorth.com/index.html

The main reason for Northern Emancipation was slavery was viewed as producing a class of people who would always support an invading force on the grounds such invading force could do nothing worse then to continue them in slavery.

On the other hand, Slavery had always been more popular south of the Mason Dixon Line mostly due to the nature of the crops being raised. Tobacco in Maryland and Virginia, indigo (Blue dye) and tar from the Carolinas (Tar was needed to make boats water proof and the best source at that time period was pine trees). With the invention of the Cotton gin in 1792, upland cotton became profitable to grow and took off like wildfires south of Virginia and Kentucky (those states were generally to far north for Cotton production). This turn what had been a declining price of slaves in the early 1790s, to one with a huge demand for slaves and a resulting increase in the price of slaves.

Mt Vernon was to far north for Cotton and thus Washington never saw that profit center. Jefferson followed the Virginia rule after 1792, and made raising slaves to sell further south one of his major sources of income.

Washington died in 1799, just about the time Cotton started to really take off. Thus it appears he had NOT embraced the cotton culture. On the other hand he had lived in the North and see what freed African Americans could do, and that such Freedmen were NOT really a threat to Whites.

Washington also had another problem, while he owned most of his slaves, just less then half were technically his wife's. Under the Common law he had the power to sell those slaves BUT only for his life time, at his death they became his wife's even if Washington had sold them. Under the Common Law Martha Washington could not even sell or give away her rights while she was married to George. Thus such slaves were in a position they were under the control of George, but when he died they came under Martha's control.

Please note, while George Washington freed his slaves upon his death, Martha agree to give up her rights to those same slaves after his death. Given the law in Virginia at that time period, that was the best time for them to free their slaves.

Please note, after 1800, the ability to free one's slaves slowly declined in the South, as did the rights of Slaves. The period of 1800 to 1865 is unique in slave history, it is the only time where the rights of slaves did NOT increase, but in fact declined. Slaves not only lost the right to be freed by their owners, but to buy their own freedom (a right most states gave slaves in the 1700s, but withdrawn in the south in the early 1800s).

Thus when Washington freed his slaves, the price of slaves had bottomed out and started to increase. Cotton became more and more important in the south, which in turn was shipped to England to be made into cloth. Starting in 1808, New England became the source of the Wheat for the Duke of Wellington's Army in Spain, thus drawing New England to England at the same time the South was being drawn to England, while the American West wanted war with England over English trading with Native Americans (and the South saw those same Natives Americans in the way of their expanding Cotton Culture, thus they wanted the Native Americans out, so they could plant Cotton to ship to England, who in 1812 was still relying on American Native Americans as a source of Beavers and other furs for the European Markets, yes, trade partners and who goes to war with whom can be confusing.

Back to Washington. He died as the area between the Appalachians Mountains and the Mississippi River became the heart of the United States. The South wanted that area for Cotton production, the North wanted it for wheat production (and both crops were aimed for English markets) AND the English wanted it for the very profitable European fur market. Thus the war of 1812 (which had nothing to do with impressed Sailors by the British, that was the EXCUSE for the war not the reason, the reason was to defeat the last real serious Native American resistance to US westward expansion). Once Tecumseh was defeated, the war was effectively over, through technically it lasted another year.

Washington had help start the series of war that started in 1754 and lasted till 1814 that saw Native Americans defeated and driven out of control of the area between the Appalachians Mountains and the Mississippi River. Washington did this for the money. In many ways he help set up the US for the Civil War, by making sure both the North and South would go in two different directions, not only in slavery but in the crops each planted. Thus he saw slavery as something evil, but also something profitable, but its profit was dropping for people like him living in Virginia and thus he wanted it abolished.

Washington did nothing to end the demand for slavery, cheap labor for planting and harvesting crops. He lived long enough to see Cotton becoming the dominate export of the US and an export depended on slavery.

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