UNPAID LABOR Shaped America's Politics
The Unpaid Labor System existed in America for 169 years before the United States was formed. The Unpaid Labor System helped all of the original thirteen (13) British colonies in America. Colonies are like states. In 1776, the Unpaid Labor System existed in all 13 states and was the foundation of the South's economy. But Northern states, with far fewer Unpaid Laborers, did not depend as much on the Unpaid Labor System. They started to see it as a threat to their political and economic power. During the Revolutionary War, the threat from Britain kept the states united, but once it ended, compromise would be needed to bring the 13 states together to become a nation. A compromise is a deal in which each side gives up something to gain something.
The rules that the nation’s leaders wrote to say how the government would run are called the Constitution. The Unpaid Labor System was so large and so important that the states were forced to put it in the Constitution of the United States of America before they could come together.
Political compromises were made that required the new government to protect the Unpaid Labor System. To get the southern colonies to agree to become a part of the new nation the U.S. Constitution had to include rules that said the Unpaid Labor System would continue. One rule was that 3 of every 5 Unpaid Laborers would be counted for deciding how many representatives each state would have in Congress. That increased the political power of the southern states and let them control:
1) Who would be the President
2) Who would be judges on the Supreme Court
3) Who would be the top person in the U. S. House of Representatives
The Civil War
In 1860, the United States was forced to decide if it would become a nation based primarily on paid labor or the Unpaid Labor System. Abraham Lincoln, who was against the expansion of Unpaid Labor, was elected president. He did not win a single southern state. His name was not even on the ballot! Before he started his job as president, the states of Mississippi and South Carolina withdrew from the United States. Eventually, eleven (11) states would decide that the Unpaid Labor System was more important to them than being a part of the United States. They formed their own country. It was called the Confederate States of America. They went to war against the United States to protect the system of Unpaid Labor.
Carl Von Clausewitz famously stated "War is politics by other means." The Civil War was the deadliest war in American history. Over 750,000 lives were lost in the war over the Unpaid Labor System. More American lives were lost in that war than were lost in the Revolutionary War, World War I, World War II and the Vietnam War-COMBINED.