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The Pros And Cons Of Slavery

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Slavery has widely been considered to be one of the darkest periods in American history. However, many historians have a multitude of opinions and interpretations when it comes to how slaves reacted to their bondage. Such is the case when analyzing the works of Kenneth Stampp, Robert Fogel and Stanley Engermann, and Eugene Genovese. Stampp stated that slaves were complicite with forced labor, only on the basis that they did not know anything other. Furthermore, he states that once slaves tasted freedom in any capacity, they began to rebel against their masters. Fogel and Engermann describe how slaves enjoyed their work, mostly due to the fact that they divided their labor into “gangs”, which made work easier. Above all, Fogel and Engermann’s work has an overall tone that conveys the message that slavery benefited the American economy. Finally, Eugene Genovese states that slaves were regarded as lazy in Antebellum America. This was mostly due to their low social ranking and being subservient to the white man.
Kenneth Stampp describes how slaves accepted their bondage, and they rebelled in order to receive miniscule amounts of freedom. He states that slaves went to great lengths in order to escape their duties. “They often suspected that they were being victimized, for feigning illness was a favorite method of avoiding labor” (Stampp 298). Stampp describes that slaves often made far-fetched excuses in order to get out of work, including faking being sick or purposely hurting
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