Progress, Not Always a Good Thing Essay

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One of the few things that Americans can agree on is progress, it moves us forward, fuels the economy, creates opportunity, and is always I good sign for the future. But not for everyone. There is a dark side to progress, one that is usually swept under the rug in the modern world, but in early America it was much harder to just ignore the exploited paying for the progress they would most likely not enjoy. As a concept progress brought people together in spirit, but in reality stratified the society so only a few could reap the rewards of others' sacrifice. Progress was intended to bring America greatness, but not everyone could agree on that, some thought the idea was to have land and be able to produce for yourself, while others saw…show more content…
These concepts, which are all versions the concept of progress were able to bring about the building of the canal over those who saw that the canal would lead to a stratified society (Sheriff, 26). From looking at the reasons given for building the canal it seems like the negative is a minor trifle compared to the vast bounty of progress. Another example of progress as a concept in action can be found in the arguments of planters against any prohibition on slave trading in the Louisiana Purchase area. These planters argued that they could improve the land, increase their economic well being, that they were a family, of sorts, with their slaves, and that " the region's civilization would collapse without African slaves" (Rothman, 32). Though, there were many advocates against the expansion of slavery for moral reasons, this concept of progress was able to have this area opened to slavery and for a time the international slave trade as well. So influential was this argument that in the Constitution, slavery was allowed to continue, and even non-amendable protection of the international slave trade until 1808 (Constitution, Article 1, Section 9). The slaves were counted as three fifths of a person, giving the

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