Slavery Justified I, George Fitzhugh, was born in the slave state of Virginia and I am in support of slavery. As a lawyer, painter, and political writer, I became an advocate for the movement referred to as the “Reactionary Enlightenment” of the antebellum American South. With two books and countless journals and pamphlets defending the Slave South, my thoughts on not only the legalization of slavery, but also the expansion of it is unique at a time when the abolition movement had gained momentum. Not only do I not believe in the justification of the Constitutional argument, I rather champion the idea of forgoing the idea of Negro inferiority and insisting that anyone of any race could become a slave if caught early enough in their childhood. I argue that 1 in 20 people are unable to govern themselves. My rhetoric is one that rejects capitalism and is in favor of a socialist economy. I believe there is the need for the South to diversify her economy from an agricultural one to an industrial one to advance the South’s economy and education all with the labor of slaves. One of the most prominent aspects of my argument is that I champion a society, a world in fact, based on slavery; not a race based slavery but the institution in general. In fact, I believe that a defense of slavery in racial terms is absurd. It is evident that for the effective economic growth of any society, some people need be enslaved because of the labor that is required to build, establish and
There has been many historians and theorists who have tackled colonial slavery. One of them is Ira Berlin whose book Many Thousands Gone is his take on slavery diversity in American history and how slavery is at the epicenter of economic production, amongst other things. He separates the book into three generations: charter, plantation and revolutionary, across four geographic areas: Chesapeake, New England, the Lower country and the lower Mississippi valley. In this paper, I will discuss the differences between the charter and plantation generations, the changes in work and living conditions, resistance, free blacks and changes in manumission.
This highly regarded and scholarly book examines the fundamental paradox of freedom and the establishment of slavery in American history. The central question posed by Morgan is “how a people could have developed the dedication to human liberty and dignity exhibited by the leaders of the American Revolution and at the same time have developed and maintained a system of labor that denied human liberty and dignity every hour of the day” (Morgan 1975, 4-5). The location in Morgan’s research is colonial Virginia, once the largest slave state and home of proponents of liberty. Morgan’s detailed discussion of: the rise of race slavery over indentured servants and poor Englishmen as the solution to workforce growth, a ruling class bound to the English tradition of superiority, and acceptance of lifelong denial of human equality in the face of the fight for liberty demonstrates the paradox for the reader.
While many have described the civil war as simply the war between the States, Bruce Levine in his book “Half Slave and Half Free: The Roots of Civil War” has put together an 80 year survey from around 1773 the pre-revolutionary era to the Civil War with well documented evidence of the social, cultural and political idealisms of our once divided nation. This book review will emphasize points on each of the book’s chapters which are put chronologically and particularly comparing the southern slave labor system to the free labor system in the north. Levine’s thesis statement on page four of his book reads as follows, “What impelled so many-rich, middling, and poor; white and black; native-born and immigrant- to risk and sacrifice so much? To answer such questions, this book reexamines the antebellum political history in the light of the broader economic, social, cultural, and ideological developments that shaped the lives of the American people”. (p. 4) Clearly the author of the book has researched numerous historical papers and has placed them in the direction his thesis will be provided with hard evidence from the founding fathers’ letters, written memos and of course the laws put into the United States constitution.
As we already noted – in the 1800s expediency of slavery was disputed. While industrial North almost abandoned bondage, by the early 19th century, slavery was almost exclusively confined to the South, home to more than 90 percent of American blacks (Barney W., p. 61). Agrarian South needed free labor force in order to stimulate economic growth. In particular, whites exploited blacks in textile production. This conditioned the differences in economic and social development of the North and South, and opposing viewpoints on the social structure. “Northerners now saw slavery as a barbaric relic from the past, a barrier to secular and Christian progress that contradicted the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and degraded the free-labor aspirations of Northern society” (Barney W., p. 63).
In The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United States, Berlin draws attention to various parts of anti-slavery resistance that often escape consideration. He emphasizes the efforts of African Americans themselves. Berlin brings together main ideas, events, and people who made slave emancipation in the U.S. possible and that American freedom as a complex, disputed process. The author is not focused on speeches, written arguments, and petitions against slavery but with how slaves and free blacks took steps to permanently pull apart forced servitude in the face of crushing hostility. Author Glenn David Brasher of The Peninsula Campaign and the Necessity of Emancipation: African Americans and the Fight for Freedom zooms in and focuses
In 1928 Ulrich B. Phillips wrote an argumentative essay about the reasons for the massive support that slavery received from both slaveowners and Southerners who didn’t possess slaves. The essay was well-received and supported by critics in the 1930-s. However, closer to 1950-s critics started doubting the objectivity of Phillip’s writing. It’s important to note that Ulrich B. Phillips is a white historian from the South, writing from a perspective of a white Southerner. When he was writing his article he failed to step back from his bias and provide fully objective support for the main theme of his argument, setting a doubt to the reliability of his work.
The emancipation of slavery is an issue that I feel most strongly about. Slavery is an evil, and the treatment of these people is the vilest. A man taking it upon himself to own and force into labor another man, and control his every move, is not one that has a high understanding of ethics and morals. We might fight to cease this cruel treatment and allow these people equality and liberty, just like what we bravely fought for against the British. A pro-slavery supporter, George Fitzhugh, makes the claim that slavery is beneficial for both the slaves and white people, and makes a comparison between slavery and white factory workers. The flaws in this are apparent, and slavery is not something to ignore and deem acceptable with no insight to the truth.
Slavery was brought to America in the 1600’s taking millions of Africans from West Africa. But in 1804 the North voted to abolish slavery but the South refused making states escape the union.Slavery in the South had an effect on the economy, but also on the slaves.Frederick Douglass, who was once a slave with his family in Maryland suffered greatly, but still pushed on and finally escaped and became a national leader of the abolition in the south movement.He made a narrative about his life as a slave and stated that the purpose of the narrative is to “throw light” on the American slave system.The goal of this paper is to discuss three aspects his narrative discusses that he “throws light” on, his position against the feelings of defenders of
Edmund S. Morgan’s famous novel American Slavery, American Freedom was published by Norton in 1975, and since then has been a compelling scholarship in which he portrays how the first stages of America began to develop and prosper. Within his researched narrative, Morgan displays the question of how society with the influence of the leaders of the American Revolution, could have grown so devoted to human freedom while at the same time conformed to a system of labor that fully revoked human dignity and liberty. Using colonial Virginia, Morgan endeavors how American perceptions of independence gave way to the upswing of slavery. At such a time of underdevelopment and exiguity, cultivation and production of commodities were at a high demand. Resources were of monumental importance not just in Virginia, but all over North America, for they helped immensely in maintaining and enriching individuals and families lives. In different ways, people in colonies like Virginia’s took advantage of these commodities to ultimately establish or reestablish their societies.
Thaddeus Stevens, a political man, held a place in the House of Representatives. His main concern was the economic opportunity for slaves. Stevens wanted them to be able to make a living on their own, and not depend on the “white man” as they had done all their lives. Thinking almost on these same lines was
Throughout the history of mankind, slavery has existed in one form or another. Since the times of ancient civilizations to modern era subjugations, there have forces who feel strongly of its necessity and purpose, while others have devoted themselves to seeing the ideas and acts of slavery abolished. America is not an exception to the concept of slavery and during the nation’s early history, parties from both sides have been made famous for their beliefs in the continuation or the denouncement of slavery in the United States. To understand the contrasting views of pro-slavery advocates versus abolitionists in antebellum America, a comparison of the individual positions must be made to further understand the goals of each party.
Defending slavery demonstrate the opinions and knowledge that the Southerners held concerning blacks and slavery. Paul Finkelman talks about slave legitimacy in colonial America. He argues that the first defense of slavery became visible after the end of American Revolution; it attempted to justify continuous forced labor with the Declaration of Independence. This essay aims at critically analyzing ideologies and racial theories that Southerners promoted to defend slavery, which included racial, political, legal, economic, and religious ideologies. Most specifically, this essay will discuss the legitimacy of slavery, in the earlier days, and justify this idea by using the religion and
During the 1840s, America saw increasingly attractive settlements forming between the North and the South. The government tried to keep the industrial north and the agricultural south happy, but eventually the issue of slavery became too big to handle, no matter how many treaties or compromises were formed. Slavery was a huge issue that unraveled throughout many years of American history and was one of the biggest contributors leading up to the Civil War (notes, Fall 2015). Many books have been written over the years about slavery and the brutality of the life that many people endured. In “A Slave No More”, David Blight tells the story about two men, John M. Washington (1838-1918) and Wallace Turnage (1846-1916), struggling during American slavery. Their escape to freedom happened during America’s bloodiest war among many political conflicts, which had been splitting the country apart for many decades. As Blight (2007) describes, “Throughout the Civil War, in thousands of different circumstances, under changing policies and redefinitions of their status, and in the face of social chaos…four million slaves helped to decide what time it would be in American History” (p. 5). Whether it was freedom from a master or overseer, freedom from living as both property and the object of another person’s will, or even freedom to make their own decisions and control their own life, slaves wanted a sense of independence. According to Blight (2007), “The war and the presence of Union armies
One of the most, if not the most, controversial and heated debates following the United States independence was regarding the institution of slavery. In the introduction to his book Half Slave and Half Free, Bruce Levine quotes Carl Schurzs’ observation as the “slave question not being a mere occasional quarrel between two sections of the country divided by a geographic line, but a great struggle between two antagonistic systems of social organization (p.15)”. The Nouthern states that allowed slavery benefited from the agricultural labor that those slaves provided. The Northern states that prohibited slavery did so for moral and pragmatic reasons; they felt it was morally wrong to deny another human any form of rights, and did not like the economic advantage it gave to the Southern states. With the use of slavery largely concentrated in the South, the movement against it came from the North and was led by abolitionists; those who were committed to bringing an end to the practice. In this course we have defined “Practice” as the conduct of policy, such as opinion, election, parties and law-making (Lecture). We define Policy as the goals of politics, those being sovereignty, defense, and a collective well-being (Lecture). The following analytical essay will examine antislavery sentiment and practices in the Northern states and the reaction of Southern states. Additionally how the pressures from both sides influenced the Policy of the United States following independence then
Slavery, especially in America, has been an age old topic of riveting discussions. Specialist and other researchers have been digging around for countless years looking for answers to the many questions that such an activity provided. They have looked into the economics of slavery, slave demography, slave culture, slave treatment, and slave-owner ideology (p. ix). Despite slavery being a global issue, the main focus is always on American slavery. Peter Kolchin effectively illustrates in his book, American Slavery how slavery evolved alongside of historical controversy, the slave-owner relationship, how slavery changed over time, and how America compared to other slave nations around the world.