Slavery as a Positive Good

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Slavery as a Positive Good Question

When referring to the days of slavery, it is often assumed that the south was the sole force behind its continuance. However there were many factors which lead southerners as well as some in the north to quietly accept slavery as a good thing. John Calhoun declared in 1837 “Many in the South once believed that [slavery] was a moral and political evil…That folly and delusion are gone; we see it now in its true light, and regard it as the most safe and stable basis for free institutions in the world” (p. 345). This statement was justified by various reasons. There was the fundamental belief that Africans were inferior to their white counterparts. Many saw the slave population as a labor force that
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Take for example a woman whose role is to care for her master’s children. She maybe well loved by her charges but as they grow they will come to see her as less than a human being. That won’t necessarily keep them from caring about her, they will simply do so in the way they would love a cat or dog. Pro-slavery advocates were also quick to point out that the great empires of history were based on slave labor. The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians, Persians and so forth were mighty civilizations that enslaved captives of war as well as criminals. It is possible to assume that since these societies were able to focus of innovation and thinking because of their slave work force that the south too would flourish intellectually. Whether or not this is true is debatable. Yes there were several southern inventors and writers of the time but to compare it to the advances of the past would be difficult. In conclusion, the “positive good” argument was nothing short of a means for whites of all classes on both sides of the Mason-Dixie line to ease their own guilt over the institution of slavery. It is human nature to put a positive spin on something we benefit from. Wars have been waged under the precipice of uniting territories, bringing order, divine right, and alike while the true motivations have been wealth, power and glory. The south was no different from the empires of the past in that
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