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9/19/2017 7:27:10 PM
Posted: 2/12/2006 11:52:58 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 11:53:55 AM EDT by PBIR]
Consider this if you will, but please leave racist stuff out of replies:


We were studying the "Civil War Amendments" to the US Constitution the other day and of course segregation came up. The 13th Amendment ended slavery and was ratified in 1865. Brown v. Board of Ed was almost 90 years later and finally mandated integration. So our Country takes 89 years from when we end slavery to when federal law forces the end of segregation.

I started wondering about that, about why the government took so long. One thought I had: "Was segregation useful for social order immediately following the ratification of the 13th Amendment?" - That is, what if it served as a sort of "cooling-down" period for the whites and freed slaves to get adjusted to the new situation without constantly being in each other's face? And if so, what if the gov. put/left it in place for that purpose?

What I was really wondering is if it were possible that time period (ie immediately post-civil war where a huge number of American men had been in war and were thus no stranger to seeing and causing violence) might have been much more bloody if there had not been a buffer in place for several years/decades to largely seperate the two races in day to day affairs.

I caught the PHD teaching the class off-guard when I asked her about my "theory", and subsquently I just got a summary dismissal of the notion but it almost seems plausible in a way, at least for the first few years following ratification.

So what do you think? If that strikes you as BS, tell me what you think would have happened in 1865 if blacks had been immediately integrated. Would everything have been fine, with former slave owners buying a beer for the former slave they had just beaten a week or two ago? If any of you have ever heard a legitimate source speak about this (supporting it or shooting it down) I'd appreciate being pointed in that direction.

Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:06:28 PM EDT
I've always thought that was at LEAST in the "back of the minds" of some of the "good guys". A sad but true fact, IMO.

Humans don't "take" change well, especially when they hold "beliefs" as strongly as some of the bigots back then, even bigots not THAT long ago (last 40 or so years).

That's why I think that they won't "go for" gay marriage right off... nice ytry, but unrealistic, IMO. First "civil partnerships" or WTF ever, then in 30-50 years... JMO, YMMV.


Originally Posted By PBIR:
Consider this if you will, but please leave racist stuff out of replies:


We were studying the "Civil War Amendments" to the US Constitution the other day and of course segregation came up. The 13th Amendment ended slavery and was ratified in 1865. Brown v. Board of Ed was almost 90 years later and finally mandated integration. So our Country takes 89 years from when we end slavery to when federal law forces the end of segregation.

I started wondering about that, about why the government took so long. One thought I had: "Was segregation useful for social order immediately following the ratification of the 13th Amendment?" - That is, what if it served as a sort of "cooling-down" period for the whites and freed slaves to get adjusted to the new situation without constantly being in each other's face? And if so, what if the gov. put/left it in place for that purpose?

What I was really wondering is if it were possible that time period (ie immediately post-civil war where a huge number of American men had been in war and were thus no stranger to seeing and causing violence) might have been much more bloody if there had not been a buffer in place for several years/decades to largely seperate the two races in day to day affairs.

I caught the PHD teaching the class off-guard when I asked her about my "theory", and subsquently I just got a summary dismissal of the notion but it almost seems plausible in a way, at least for the first few years following ratification.

So what do you think? If that strikes you as BS, tell me what you think would have happened in 1865 if blacks had been immediately integrated. Would everything have been fine, with former slave owners buying a beer for the former slave they had just beaten a week or two ago? If any of you have ever heard a legitimate source speak about this (supporting it or shooting it down) I'd appreciate being pointed in that direction.


Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:20:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/12/2006 1:25:18 PM EDT by BigButch301]
I have to respectfully disagree. It was not a cooling off thing, it was a socially acceptable thing.

Integration as it was laid down in Brown was unthinkable in the nineteeth century. It would have been seen not only as a terrible punishment for the South but would have also been unacceptable in the North. The ammendment was not meant to declare true equlity in the same way Brown was. remeber that most white fearede "misegination" as much as they feared anything else. freedom was as far as the 19th century mind could go.. true equality was harder...integration:no way.

I think you may need to look more at the writings of the liberals of the day to understand the real limits of social equality prior to 1900. Read some of David Donalds work on the post war South to get a better handle on this. There is also a great series of essays in the book Liberty and Union (published back in the 60's) that has some great insights into both pre and post war culture.

as to waht would have happended, look at the 1863 NY riots and then spead that level of discontent to ever major city North and South. fear of true equality lay jsut beneath the surface of every norther working man as well as those in the reconstructed South.


Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:30:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PBIR:
Would everything have been fine, with former slave owners buying a beer for the former slave they had just beaten a week or two ago? If any of you have ever heard a legitimate source speak about this (supporting it or shooting it down) I'd appreciate being pointed in that direction.




The mindset of the slave owners of the slaves being less than human would have precluded that beer buying scenario from happening. A slave owner isn't magically going to consider a formerly enslaved Black man as a drinking buddy. That generation of people had to die off before that would even have a possibility of happening. Actually, MORE than that generation would have to pass to begin to see any change, because you have to figure that that generation would have passed its way of thinking to at least the second generation removed.Hence the gap in decades that you mention.

The second wave of laws, etc was needed because of the efforts of the white Southerners in continuing to discriminate. Its as simple as that. They weren't going to voluntarily agree to equal treatment.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:34:32 PM EDT
tc556guy.

I totally agree with your comments. But what about Norhtern opposition to equality? Don't forget that the largest KKK states in the early 20th century were Ohio and Indiana..both Union states. There was as much racism (as we know know it) n the North as in the South.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:40:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By BigButch301:
tc556guy.

I totally agree with your comments. But what about Northern opposition to equality? Don't forget that the largest KKK states in the early 20th century were Ohio and Indiana..both Union states. There was as much racism (as we know know it) n the North as in the South.


Racism was/ is not limited to the South, but went much further to institutionalize it. My own county had a significant KKK membership just 90 years or so ago. Of course, they fed as much off fear of immigrants as they did of Blacks. Don't forget that for many decades after the War, there was no real migration of Blacks from the South. You simply didn't have the same per centage of minority population up North, so those who had those ways of thinking didn't have the same opportunities to act on their beliefs on that portion of the population.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:45:10 PM EDT
It's amazing your PHD didn't know about Plessy v. Ferguson.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 1:55:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By dport:
It's amazing your PHD didn't know about Plessy v. Ferguson.



Actually both her and I know about it. We even went over it again in class as the overall theme for that day's lecture was the evolution of civil rights in the US. Not sure how you are angling that as far as to address the issue I raised though except it continued segregation. Can you explain?

Interesting comments all around so far. BTW- I don't think instant integration would have a former slave owner buying a former slave a beer in 1865. I put that out as an illustration of just how overly-optomistic it seems to be to think that all would have been well without the buffer because most of the 18-22 yr olds in the class seemed to feel it would have been no problem. I will definitely look into the social feelings of the time more in-depth, even though I'm aware that even Lincoln espoused a pro-segregation society.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 2:00:32 PM EDT
Good one dport!


Now that you have joigged my grey matter I remember a book I ran across a few years ago called The Demons of Disorder by dale Cockerell. It is about black face minstrelsy but goes into depth on legal cases involving a mixing of the races in "disorderly" houses in and around Boston. These include but are not limited to interracial marriage. While it shows a remakable lower class mixing of races it also showes the official legal and social outrage against such "abuses". The fact still remains that America was simply not ready until (as was stated so well by tc556guy) that generation had to die before feeling softened enough for Brown to come along.
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 2:46:52 PM EDT
one thing to keep in mind regarding the law of the land vs equality is
until after the first world war,
the Irish were not white enough
the Welsh were not white enough
the Jew was not white enough
and the Itialians,,well thats another story..
this is of course in keeping with the thinking of the uppercrust of
New York, Boston, Hartford and Washington..
the majority of leaders of this time were of English, German or Dutch herritage..
Lincoln was looked at as a sub standard Dolt to this elitest group that really held the power of the day.
still today, look at the power weilded by Kennedy, Leobowitz, Kerry, Clinton, all east coast demigogs but still leaders of the pack...
and most of which, dirt poor irish that made it good and bought their way into power..
Link Posted: 2/12/2006 3:07:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PBIR:

Originally Posted By dport:
It's amazing your PHD didn't know about Plessy v. Ferguson.



Actually both her and I know about it. We even went over it again in class as the overall theme for that day's lecture was the evolution of civil rights in the US. Not sure how you are angling that as far as to address the issue I raised though except it continued segregation. Can you explain?


Where exactly in either the 13th, 14th or 15th ADTs did it say there had to be integration? The only directive was equality. P v. F maintained that it was possible to have seperate but equal societies.

There are several issues going on here. One is equality, the other is integration. It wasn't unitl B v B did the two issues come together in the right way. There was no conspiracy for a cooling off period. Merely the changing attitudes of society and the Court.
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