Be the Change, Revised and Expanded Edition. Your Guide to Freeing Slaves and Changing the World

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Wishlist Wishlist. Advanced Search Links. Add To Cart. Add To Cart 0. Spanish eBook. Paperback Book Revised Edition. Unabridged MP3. One person can change the world and one did - a teenager, in fact. Read about the impact Zach Hunter is having through his work to end slavery. It's an issue that's more prevalent now than ever before and he's making a difference. Be inspired to shape the culture we live in and to submit to the passions God gives us - they can be the precursor to changing our world. Related Products. Zach Hunter. Softcover Jessica Fralin. Jessica Fralin. American planters never forgot what happened in Saint-Domingue now Haiti in , when enslaved workers took up arms and revolted.

In fact, many white enslavers overthrown during the Haitian Revolution relocated to the United States and started over. Accountings took place not only after nightfall, when cotton baskets were weighed, but throughout the workday. The uniform layout of the land had a logic; a logic designed to dominate. When enslaved workers grew ill or old, or became pregnant, they were assigned to lighter tasks. Bodies and tasks were aligned with rigorous exactitude.

In trade magazines, owners swapped advice about the minutiae of planting, including slave diets and clothing as well as the kind of tone a master should use. The Constitution is riddled with compromises made between the North and South over the issue of slavery — the Electoral College, the three-fifths clause — but paper currency was too contentious an issue for the framers, so it was left out entirely.

Thomas Jefferson, like many Southerners, believed that a national currency would make the federal government too powerful and would also favor the Northern trade-based economy over the plantation economy. So, for much of its first century, the United States was without a national bank or a uniform currency, leaving its economy prone to crisis, bank runs and instability.

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At the height of the war, Lincoln understood that he could not feed the troops without more money, so he issued a national currency, backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Treasury — but not by gold. The South had a patchwork currency that was backed by the holdings of private banks — the same banks that helped finance the entire Southern economy, from the plantations to the people enslaved on them.


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  • Some Confederate bills even had depictions of enslaved people on their backs. In a sense, the war over slavery was also a war over the future of the economy and the essentiality of value.

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    By issuing fiat currency, Lincoln bet the future on the elasticity of value. The currency was accepted by national and international creditors — such as private creditors from London, Amsterdam and Paris — and funded the feeding and provisioning of Union troops. In turn, the success of the Union Army fortified the new currency. Lincoln assured critics that the move would be temporary, but leaders who followed him eventually made it permanent — first Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression and then, formally, Richard Nixon in The uncompromising pursuit of measurement and scientific accounting displayed in slave plantations predates industrialism.

    Northern factories would not begin adopting these techniques until decades after the Emancipation Proclamation. During the 60 years leading up to the Civil War, the daily amount of cotton picked per enslaved worker increased 2. That means that in , the average enslaved fieldworker picked not 25 percent or 50 percent as much but percent as much cotton than his or her counterpart did in Today modern technology has facilitated unremitting workplace supervision, particularly in the service sector. Modern-day workers are subjected to a wide variety of surveillance strategies, from drug tests and closed-circuit video monitoring to tracking apps and even devices that sense heat and motion.

    The technology that accompanies this workplace supervision can make it feel futuristic. The core impulse behind that technology pervaded plantations , which sought innermost control over the bodies of their enslaved work force. And behind every cold calculation, every rational fine-tuning of the system, violence lurked. Plantation owners used a combination of incentives and punishments to squeeze as much as possible out of enslaved workers.

    Some beaten workers passed out from the pain and woke up vomiting. There is some comfort, I think, in attributing the sheer brutality of slavery to dumb racism. We imagine pain being inflicted somewhat at random, doled out by the stereotypical white overseer, free but poor. Punishments were authorized by the higher-ups. It was not so much the rage of the poor white Southerner but the greed of the rich white planter that drove the lash.

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    The violence was neither arbitrary nor gratuitous. Falling short of that quota could get you beaten, but overshooting your target could bring misery the next day, because the master might respond by raising your picking rate. Profits from heightened productivity were harnessed through the anguish of the enslaved. This was why the fastest cotton pickers were often whipped the most.

    It was why punishments rose and fell with global market fluctuations. Slavery did supplement white workers with what W. But this, too, served the interests of money. Both in the cities and countryside, employers had access to a large and flexible labor pool made up of enslaved and free people. Labor power had little chance when the bosses could choose between buying people, renting them, contracting indentured servants, taking on apprentices or hiring children and prisoners.

    Witnessing the horrors of slavery drilled into poor white workers that things could be worse.

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    10. Religion and Reform

    So they generally accepted their lot, and American freedom became broadly defined as the opposite of bondage. It was a freedom that understood what it was against but not what it was for; a malnourished and mean kind of freedom that kept you out of chains but did not provide bread or shelter.

    It was a freedom far too easily pleased. In recent decades, America has experienced the financialization of its economy. In , Congress repealed regulations that had been in place since the Glass-Steagall Act, allowing banks to merge and charge their customers higher interest rates.

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    Since then, increasingly profits have accrued not by trading and producing goods and services but through financial instruments. After witnessing the successes and excesses of Wall Street, even nonfinancial companies began finding ways to make money from financial products and activities. Ever wonder why every major retail store, hotel chain and airline wants to sell you a credit card? But in reality, the story begins during slavery.

    Cotton produced under slavery created a worldwide market that brought together the Old World and the New: the industrial textile mills of the Northern states and England, on the one hand, and the cotton plantations of the American South on the other. Textile mills in industrial centers like Lancashire, England, purchased a majority of cotton exports, which created worldwide trade hubs in London and New York where merchants could trade in, invest in, insure and speculate on the cotton—commodity market.