Civil War Slavery

Improved Essays
Throughout American history the most horrific action was argued against and sought as a positive activity. Before the Civil War, there were many debates on the topic of slavery. As Northern abolitionist attacked slavery and an unjust event, white Southerners had to defend the attacks made on slavery from the North. The North’s economy was set up through industrial work, employed by many immigrant workers who were paid less than the average worker. While the South’s economy was based through agriculture work, employed by African American slaves. Southerners placed a high value on agricultural labor. Slavery was primarily a labor system intended to produce wealth for landowners. The profits produced by slavery for the South and the nation as …show more content…
According to Gary B. Nash, “The American People” textbook, “George Fitzhugh, a leading advocate of this view, argued, “the Negro is but a grown child and must be governed as a child,” and so needed the paternal guidance, restraint, and protection of a white master.” (273). Many white southerners believed enslavement was the natural and proper status for people of African descent. Stephen Currie’s book “Slavery” writes, “Moreover, nature has made Africans obvious candidates for slavehood. Blacks cannot govern themselves without the steadying hand of the civilized slave owner” McDuffie inputs that “[Africans] have all the qualities that fit them for slaves” (30). In Robert A. Divine textbook, slavery arguments changed frequently. “Before the 1830s, open discussion of the rights or wrong of slavery had been possible in many parts of the South. Apologists commonly described the institution as a “necessary evil.” The argument that slavery was a “positive good” rather than an evil slated for gradual elimination, won the day. The “positive good” defense of slavery was an answer to the abolitionist charge that the institution was inherently sinful” (260). Slave owners attempted to argue that slaves were living the luxury life because they were taken cared of and is being educated by their owners. In the excerpt “Moral Debates on Slavery” according to U.S History in Context, “Stephen …show more content…
The Bible was used against slavery and used to protect slavery. As abolitionists tried to attack slavery with The Bible, white southerners used the same source to protect slavery.In the excerpt “Aboltionists proposed a brotherhood of humakind wherein, as Jesus had taught, each person would treat another person as he wished to be treated by any and every other person.The abolitionists’ assumption was that no one would want to be treated as a slave but would want to be a liberated person living in freedom” (2). Abolitionists wanted everyone to be treated equally no matter what race or color. In the “American People” textbook by Gary B. Nash, the biblical justification states, “Biblical justification-was based on the son of Ham, one of Noah 's children, and in the Old and New Testament admonitions to servants to obey their masters” (273). Southerners believed since the Bible says it’s ok for servants to obey their masters then God must think slavery is not wrong nor bad. In Currie’s book “Slavery”, “According to the Old Testament, for example, the ancient Israelites held and sold slaves. At no point in the Bible does God condemn this activity. Indeed, in several passages, God is seen to encourage the Hebrews to enslave non-Jews. In Leviticus 25: 44-46, for instance, God goes further, ordaining slavery as a proper and just system. Nor does the New Testament override this view. Nowhere in the Gospels does Jesus

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    Slavery is known to be one of the most significant contributions to the United States. The colonies thrived off of slavery because of labor forces which gave them more resources and opportunities. In the 1800s slave owners thought it was reasonable to force African Americans to work with no pay because they believed that this particular group of people were created by God for this type of work (233 Oshatz). In Molly Oshatz’s article, “The Problem With Moral Progress”, she breaks down the debates dealing with slavery. She talks about the conflict between the protestants and the moderates throughout her article and uses a abundant amount of primary resources.…

    • 1272 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The article Pro Slavery Arguments in the Antebellum South illustrates, “Much of the American South believed that slavery was vital to the continuation of its livelihood and lifestyle and therefore defended the institution of slavery.” But Douglass’ position differed from those who supported slavery. Douglass had escaped to the North and had seen that in the North, people could survive without slavery. All types of people worked, not just Black people. Douglass also believed that he was not so different than white people. He knew that he learned how to read and probably believed other slaves could learn how to read if they had the opportunity.…

    • 1051 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In the eyes of Colonial Americans, African Americans were destined to a life of slavery and destined to labor for their success. What was once seen as a "necessary evil" transitioned into a justifiable right. Moral/ethical conflicts were overlooked and political compromises were made. They adopted the notion that because African Americans were not on their level (socially, mentally, and physically), it was okay to make them their slaves. Pro-slavery activist even went as far as to incorporate religion, claiming that because slavery was referenced in the Bible, it was only natural for them to have slaves as well.…

    • 887 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    He was aware of the social injustices that affected the lives of slaves across America. He realized that he could become educated just like a white man could and that he was not an animal without an identity that his slave owners led him to believe. He said, “I have observed this in my experience of slavery, that whenever my condition was improved, instead of its increasing my contentment, it only increased my desire to be free, and set me to thinking of plans to gain my freedom.” (Douglass ??) He uses this example to demonstrate that a slave’s awareness of their oppression only escalated their desire for education, intelligence and freedom. Douglass said many times throughout his memoir that he envied the other slaves for having the bliss of ignorance because they did not know the terrors and truths of slavery.…

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    In this work Fitzhugh claims that a state of dependency is required in order for reciprocal love to exist between people, allowing for a kind of paternalist care between the master 's family and their slaves. This argument leads many in the South to believe that slavery was justified since the slaves were dependent on whites for care alleviating them of stress and worry. Another argument Fitzhugh makes is about the existence of slavery throughout time and civilization comparing the South to the ancient Greeks and Romans pointing to them as a defense of the institution and trying to prove how alike and noble the South is to these societies. Richard Furman touched on an argument that was very important to the South as well as the North. God’s views on slavery.…

    • 911 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Great Essays

    19th Century Slavery Essay

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages

    However, Turner and those slaves were later being executed. Although the revolt frightened many white southerners, it was used as a reason to continue slavery system. George Fitzhugh, an American social theorist, was one of the slavery supporters. He advocated slavery and claimed that it was beneficial to both slaves and slaveholders. Fitzhugh explained that Negros were inferior to White people and needed protection from being enslaved.…

    • 1453 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Massachusetts was one of the first states where the abolition movement started. They believed that slavery should be abolished because every person should be treated equal. As the number of abolitionists began to expand, so did the number of northerners opposed to slavery. Many northerners began to see the problems of slavery from a moral perspective. They believed that it morally right to own slaves because they deserved to be treated as equal citizens.…

    • 1375 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    He’d eventually joined The Pennsylvania Abolition Society and they “set out not only to abolish slavery, but also to set up programs to help freed slaves to become good citizens and improve the conditions of free African Americans” (Lopez). During the Revolution, he signed a petition that said, “The slave trade were incompatible with the values of freedom of the American Revolution” (Lopez). All these examples show Franklin’s opinion on slavery, are the same as Equiano’s. This is because Franklin’s opinions carried weight, so when he started voicing his opinion about slavery the abolitionist movement to get a foothold. Equiano, being a former slave, joined the movement and tried to influence it with his first-hand…

    • 1043 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    “Slavery is such an atrocious debasement of human nature, that its very extirpation, if not performed with solicitous care, may sometimes open a source of serious evils (Franklin).” Franklin also believed that black people have the ability to learn the same as the whites and therefore they should have the opportunity for education. In Addition, both Jefferson and Franklin tried to get a constitutional support for the abolition, but they died with failure. At the time, it was hard to end slavery because it was such an economic basis, especially in the north. In most cultures, obtaining liberty requires sacrifices, hence the civil war in 1861-65 was inevitable. Black people were freed, but still inferior to some…

    • 912 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Fix These Problems Slavery was one of the biggest struggles faced by the United States, tearing the country in half between those who oppose it, and those who support it. There was many conflicts about slavery back in 1860 when both these documents were written. The rights of citizens is more broad than the rights of the states as a whole. The north and south had completely different ideas on how the united states should be run. With the southerns seeing the slaves as property they believed it was that the Constitution gives them a right to property.…

    • 1601 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Improved Essays