Molly Oshatz The Problem With Moral Progress Analysis

Decent Essays
Slavery is known to be one of the most significant contributions to the United States. The colonies thrived off of slavery because of labor forces which gave them more resources and opportunities. In the 1800s slave owners thought it was reasonable to force African Americans to work with no pay because they believed that this particular group of people were created by God for this type of work (233 Oshatz). In Molly Oshatz’s article, “The Problem With Moral Progress”, she breaks down the debates dealing with slavery. She talks about the conflict between the protestants and the moderates throughout her article and uses a abundant amount of primary resources. The protestants believe that the bible justifies slavery whereas the moderates disagree. …show more content…
The Protestants believed that slavery was justified by the Bible whereas the moderates believed it was sinful. Oshatz main argument throughout her article is that the protestants tried to use the bible as a “scriptural case” against slavery. The moderates argued that although slavery had been accepted in biblical times it had become a sin (Oshatz 225). She makes the argument saying that once slavery had been accepted as a social institution it had become “moral horror” (225 Oshatz). The cruel acts of slavery were deemed acceptable and normal by the society of the 18th century. She supported her argument using primary quotes from those who used the bible as justification and for those who said the bible described slavery as a …show more content…
Throughout his article he answers this question/supports his argument in several paragraphs giving proof for the meaning of all the listed events. He splits the arguments up into phases of the struggles. On page 23 he talks about the political debates over the status of slavery. He talks about the significance of Article 6 which outlawed slavery and involuntary servitude unless used as punishment (24 Rothman). Rothman talks about how it was widely believed throughout the colonies that social and economic development on the southwestern frontier required slavery because “free white people” refused to perform the hard work of clearing the wilderness in a hot climate. While other groups disagreed and said that ending slavery would lessen the danger of slave revolt (23 Rothman). Another meaning for slavery in the 1850s was the Louisiana Purchase raising the stakes in the debate over expanding slavery. Upper Louisiana argued argued that they needed slaves to maintain the levee along the Mississippi River or it could “cease the improvements of a century to be destroyed.”(25 Rothman). Adam Rothman includes other factors that played a huge role in slavery such as US expansion. He takes primary quotes from politicians who talked about the prohibition of slavery (26 Rothman). His conclusion

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