Benjamin Rush's Argument Analysis

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The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution lay out the framework for a representative government by the people, for the people where you were granted the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These documents sought to create a place free from persecution and to establish a place where the government represents the will of the people, for the betterment of the social good. The oppressive institution of slavery seeks to strip such freedoms from the individual to create a legal, tyrannical system. Over time challenges to the system were met with much futility and once promising signs of rights being extended to blacks by way of voting as well as emancipation being left to the slave master, in some states, soon turned …show more content…
He took the common arguments made by slave owners as well as their sympathizers and revealed the flaws in their logic. One such argument was that slaves were socially deficient. Rush argued that they appeared to be socially deficient because they are trapped in a state of slavery and not their natural social environment back in Africa. Another common argument that was commonly made was that the actual color of their skin was enough of a distinction to justify unequal treatment. Rush thought this was a ludicrous argument, “The vulgar notion of their being descended from Cain, who was supposed to have been marked with this color, is too absurd to need a refutation.” This was a common issue that most could not get past due to the very clear difference it established between the appearances of whites and blacks. It allowed for people to point to a clear distinction between the two races, allowing for prejudices to be formed based solely on a physical attribute. A major concern for southern slave owners as well as slavery supporters was what impact the abolition of slavery would have on a large, agricultural based economy. Many slave proponents argued that the abolition of slavery would lead to a collapse of the economy due to labor being taken away or becoming too expensive. However, Rush saw this as the slave owners worrying more about their own financial and distribution interests, not those of the entire nation. Lastly, Rush argues that slavery is a violation of the scriptures of Christianity. The very idea of slavery goes directly against the golden rule of treat others like you would like to be treated. For slaves to enter society, he thought that, the young slaves should be educated and hold apprenticeships that would allow them to contribute to the common good when they were set free. However, he supported keeping the elderly and

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