White Slavery Pros And Cons

1673 Words 7 Pages
In the early nineteenth century, slavery was already an integral part of American society, permeating both economic and social factors of the country’s growth. Much of the United States’ exports involved raw goods produced by slaves in the South – sugar, tobacco, and cotton. The prospect of making large amounts of money led owners of farms and plantations to work their slaves as hard as possible and find ways to maximize profit as their greed surged. Frederick Douglass, in the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, saw the institution of slavery as unjust and inhumane for slaves, but also a detrimental aspect in the lives of the whites. Slaves were subject to multitudes of whippings and punishments, turning white slave owners into corrupt …show more content…
Slavery, a form of forced labor, had no wages to influence their workers’ behaviors and morale. The behavior and productivity of slaves were enforced through one method only – direct punishment. Douglass recalls times when slave owners would whip their slaves for any reason possible. For example, a slave owner owned many fine horses and had two slaves watch over these horses. The behavior of these horses was at times uncontrollable, regardless of whether the slaves were there or not, yet the slaves were found to be at fault and were severely whipped (Douglass, 3). At many times, slaves had to fear speaking truthfully out of fear of receiving punishments. If a slave was accused of something, he was automatically convicted and punished. A slave could not escape punishment. There were no due process and no jury, there were only the slave owner and his decision. Douglass brings up another time in which Mr. Gore, a slave owner Douglass worked for while young, shot a slave in the face for not responding to his calls. Killing a slave was not even considered a crime where Douglass was at. Gore simply had to explain his actions to his overseer Colonel Lloyd, and Gore’s response that the slave was disrespectful and unmanageable was satisfactory enough for taking away the life of a person. Slave owners had little to no sympathy for their slaves. They were willing to punish …show more content…
The power that an individual gets with owning a slave is too much for one to handle, and this was clearly seen with Sophia Auld. Mrs. Auld, a caring and nice woman compared to the previous owners Douglass had, was a first-time slave owner when Douglass came along. Mrs. Auld is portrayed as a woman who seems to help Douglass, initially schooling him and being affectionate. However, upon learning about the dangers of schooling a slave, Mrs. Auld “became even more violent in her opposition than her husband himself” (Douglass, 7). Mrs. Auld turns from a pious and loveable woman to a commander with no desire of treating Douglass as a human being anymore. Her qualities as a person completely flipped as soon as she received this great power of enslaving another person. In a more physical sense, the fears of rebellion and attacks by a slave are very real. As Douglass’s relationship with Mr. Covey continued to grow toxic, Douglass used his last resort and risked it all. Douglass fought Covey and asserted that he was not going to let Covey keep abusing him, but instead was ready to fight and show his power. For Douglass, this gave him even more motivation to become free and grow up to be a man (Douglass, 10). Covey was injured, both physically and emotionally, as he realized now that he was no longer all powerful. He could not report Douglass,

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