Slavery Was A Part Of American Life Dating Essay

1325 Words Nov 20th, 2015 6 Pages
Slavery was a part of American life dating back to before the founding of the original thirteen colonies. Slaves were used to grow cash crops such as sugar cane, indigo, and tobacco; however, the emergence of the cotton kingdom in the Southern United States led to enormous growth of the use of slave labor throughout the South and even into the developing western territories. The expansion of slave labor became a major political, social, and religious issue for many northern politicians and reform activists. During the mid 1800s, the debate became more and more heated as abolitionist and antislavery sentiments became more prevalent throughout the North. To counter this trend, Southerners vigorously fought attempts by the Federal government to limit the spread of slavery to the West and used propaganda campaigns arguing that African Americans were far better off as slaves. George Fitzhugh, a prominent proslavery theorist, argued that American slaves were the “the happiest, and in some sense, the freest people in the world.” However, this was far from the case. Most slaves lived harsh lives and were constantly afraid of being whipped, beaten, raped, or being sold away from their family and friends. “Narrative of the Life of Fredrick Douglass,” written by Fredrick Douglass himself, paints a vivid picture of life on a plantation viewed from the eyes of a former slave. Douglass’s account refutes many of the arguments made by Fitzhugh such as the idea that slaves are happier and…

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