In Professor Edmund S. Morgan’s, The Challenge of the American Revolution, he eloquently articulates the past’s justification with the norm of slavery in America. In this particular respect, Americans capitalized on the resources of slaves because of their fear of economic turmoil, which was a widely shared belief of the populace during the eighteenth century. While it was considered to be a norm, slavery is currently characterized as an atrocious act defined as being in bondage and oppression. The establishment of slavery in American history was presented to be a conundrum in terms of exploring its ethics and essential values in America. In this paper, I will examine the context of Morgan’s concept of Americans’ fear of debt and Hannah
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In order to avoid being in the lowest level of society, whites living in poverty had a preference for having slaves be at the lowest. The general concept is that slaves could not achieve a higher social status or wealth, which ensured that white Anglo-Americans could retain their social status. Thomas Jefferson, an avid opponent of debt, came to the unfortunate realization that the perils of debt could be decreased with the ownership of slaves, which was why he was unable to free his slaves until his debt was cleared (Morgan, 3). While Jefferson had contemplated on the idea of the abolition of slavery, the main takeaway point that continued to roam in his head was that slaves would be part of the idle poor—a half million poor. By observing the consequences that occurred in Europe when slaves were freed, Jefferson concluded that eradicating slavery was not the ideal solution at the time, especially when America was in the progress of being built as an economically viable country.
In Edmund S. Morgan’s, Slavery and Freedom: the American Paradox, he analyzes the historical context of the abolition of slavery in the European states. In Europe, the slaves who were freed did not have any incentives to work, which in return created an economy where former slaves did not support themselves, nor did they contribute to the advancement and economic progress of society. In essence, history has taught us that slaves