Essay on Paragraph On Morality : The Institution Of Slavery

1129 Words Feb 24th, 2016 5 Pages
Delete parentheticals and replace with endnotes

Paragraph on morality: The institution of slavery created a materialistic value system in which the pursuit of material wealth is and always should be the foremost goal, regardless of moral consequence. This idea of the individual chasing profit no matter the costs is a fundamental tenet of capitalism, where self-gains are held above all else. To illustrate that the common belief was that slavery was just another industry and not an immoral act of forced enslavement of human beings, historian Eric Williams found that the majority of the English population approved of slavery in the late 18th century solely due to the fact that its economic advantages outweighed any small moral qualms. Rather than fight against an institution that dehumanized millions, many Englishmen ignored those harms so they themselves could attempt to profit from the wicked establishment of slavery. Additionally, people began to not just view slavery though a materialistic lens, but also began to view their daily activities through a cost-benefit analysis, where economic benefits held the most weight. As Williams writes, “(the) rising capitalist class was beginning to reckon prosperity in terms of pounds sterling, and . . . becoming used to the idea of sacrificing human life to the deity of increased production”. In other words, the rising capitalist class, which encompassed much of the general British population, was fine with slavery as long as it…

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