Slavery During Nineteenth Century America Essay

1346 Words Nov 8th, 2016 6 Pages
In nineteenth century America, slavery was a colossal source of tension and discord. Many southern Democrats based their livelihoods on the very existence of slavery. In the early 1800’s, the Abolition of the Slave Trade made it illegal for anyone to import slaves from outside of the United States. Furthermore, the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 rebooted the economic preeminence of slavery in the United States. Cotton was becoming a crucial cash crop in these newly inherited western territories, and ambitious slave owners needed slaves to work the fields. Due to this, the price of slaves previously existing inside of the United States was raised significantly. Slavery became even more of a brutal business practice than it was before. Many slaves went without adequate food, water, clothing or rest. Countless slaves harbored resentment towards the institution or the masters themselves for ripping them away from their families and giving them nothing in return. The few slaves that felt indebted to their masters for their kindness and generosity were lucky rarities. However, the viewpoint taken by many self-proclaimed “paternalist” slave owners was one possessing justification. They claimed that “[God…] made it the duty under the most solemn commands of all who possess the Gospel to impart it to those who are destitute of it” (Scott 66). Religion became the go-to vindication of the slaves’ hardships.

Consequently, the subject of slavery eventually became a dominant means of…

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