Antebellum Slavery: The Great North-South Divide

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The people of a country will not always agree on national policies; such was the case after the American Revolution. As what is known as the antebellum period began, the American Nation was divided into the North and South by many issues but most economic issues arising from western expansion and slavery. While the North had abolished slavery, the South insisted on slavery for the cultivation of their cash crops especially cotton. The south had religious and racial justifications for the institution of slavery and even went so far as to proclaim slavery was for the slave’s own benefit. The North, motivated by the second Great Awakening however, had women and the Abolitionist movement that regarded slavery as evil and an institution that…show more content…
Mercilessly whipped for no reason, slaves were also raped and shackled or muzzled. While the North was horrified by such atrocities, the South saw this as acceptable.

In terms of slavery the North and South were divided in that both parties believed they were right and that their different stances on slavery were each backed by God. While the North believed God’s word deemed inhumane, the South believed that it was their God given right to own slaves.
The South defended slavery felt they had the religious, racial backing to support their stance and were ultimately doing the slaves a service as they would not succeed if left to fend for themselves. Southern slave owners also deemed slaves intellectually inept to do anything more than be slaves as was seen in the mockery of slaves in minstrel shows. Southern slave owners also believed the slave was so racially inferior having a master to feed and clothe him was his salvation and therefore slavery was a good thing for black people. “Except that from inferiority, or rather peculiarity, of race, almost all negroes require masters” (Fitzhugh). Justifications for slavery even went so far as to say it was religiously acceptable as it dated back all the way back to the Egyptians and the Bible spewed verses asking servants to obey their masters. Ironically, opposition for slavery also stemmed from religion.

The North opposed it however slavery backed by religion and the Constitution felt
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