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The Southern Argument for Slavery Southern slaveholders often used biblical passages to justify slavery. Those who defended slavery rose to the challenge set forth by the Abolitionists. The defenders of slavery included economics, history, religion, legality, social good, and even humanitarianism, to further their arguments.
Defenders of slavery argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the South where reliance on slave labor was the foundation of their economy.
The cotton economy would collapse. The tobacco crop would dry in the fields. Rice would cease being profitable. Defenders of slavery argued that if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos.
This would lead to uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy. They pointed to the mob's "rule of terror" during the French Revolution and argued for the continuation of the status quo, which was providing for affluence and stability for the slaveholding class and for all free people who enjoyed the bounty of the slave society.
Some slaveholders believed that African Americans were biologically inferior to their masters.
During the s, this arguement was taken quite seriously, even in scientific circles. Defenders of slavery argued that slavery had existed throughout history and was the natural state of mankind.
The Greeks had slaves, the Romans had slaves, and the English had slavery until very recently. Defenders of slavery noted that in the Bible, Abraham had slaves. They point to the Ten Commandments, noting that "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, Defenders of slavery turned to the courts, who had ruled, with the Dred Scott Decisionthat all blacks — not just slaves — had no legal standing as persons in our courts — they were property, and the Constitution protected slave-holders' rights to their property.
Defenders of slavery argued that the institution was divine, and that it brought Christianity to the heathen from across the ocean. Slavery was, according to this argument, a good thing for the enslaved. Calhoun said, "Never before has the black race of Central Africa, from the dawn of history to the present day, attained a condition so civilized and so improved, not only physically, but morally and intellectually.
They said that their owners would protect and assist them when they were sick and aged, unlike those who, once fired from their work, were left to fend helplessly for themselves. James Thornwell, a minister, wrote in"The parties in this conflict are not merely Abolitionists and slaveholders, they are Atheists, Socialists, Communists, Red Republicans, Jacobins on the one side and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other.
Such unrest was used by many as a reason to continue slavery. When a society forms around any institution, as the South did around slavery, it will formulate a set of arguments to support it.
The Southerners held ever firmer to their arguments as the political tensions in the country drew us ever closer to the Civil War. The Peculiar Institution Quiz What invention led to the increased concentration of slavery in the South?Slave Labor Of all the crops grown in the South before the Civil War including sugar, rice, and corn, cotton was the chief money-maker.
Millions of acres had been turned to cotton production following the invention of the cotton gin in The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South [John W.
Blassingame] on alphabetnyc.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Examines Black pre-Civil War culture and the slave family, detailing sexual attitudes, courtship practices and .
Slavery in the American South. O Lord, O my Lord!
O my great Lord keep me from sinking down. — From a slave song. No issue has more scarred our country nor had more long-term effects than slavery. In parts of Brazil and the Caribbean, where African slave labor on sugar plantations dominated the economy, most enslaved people were put to work directly or indirectly in the sugar industry.
There was a complex division of labor needed to operate a sugar plantation. It is inconceivable that European colonists could have settled and developed North and South America and the Caribbean without slave labor.
Moreover, slave labor did produce the major consumer goods that were the basis of world trade during the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries: coffee, cotton, rum, sugar, and tobacco.
Sixty-nine extraordinary photographs of children at work from , taken by Lewis W. Hine, the investigative photographer for the National Child Labor Beareau.