Essay on Slavery And Its Impact On Slavery

1324 Words Nov 17th, 2016 6 Pages
The cruelest thing about slavery might not have been just slavery itself, but the fact that people had to argue whether or not it was immoral to limit someone’s ability to a mere piece of property. Slavery became more controversial during the 1850s in America after arguments were brought up about the morality and benevolence of the whole system. Slave owners, southern planters, and social elites such as Thomas Dew, a professor at William & Mary College, saw nothing wrong with slavery. In his Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature of 1831 and 1832, Dew made claims that slavery was neither immoral nor against Christian doctrine. There were several counterarguments, by the slaves who had first-hand experience of the deleterious system, to each of these claims by Dew. These contrasting arguments are presented in letters by two female slaves, a personal account of a brutal auction that takes place for slave sales, a speech by a fugitive slave named Henry Watson, and confessions by the infamous Nat Turner who led a bloody revolt against white planters. The idea that slavery was not unchristian was an assertion that was furthered by Christian biblical doctrine interpretation. In Thomas Dew’s argument that slavery was a thing placed on Earth by God, he points out that Israelite patriarchs in the Bible owned slaves, and some were their own kids (Goldfield, 1998). This a popular citing by pro-slavery advocates arguing that patriarchal authority was the “basis for Christian…

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