Essay on Americans Attitude Towards Slavery

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Harvey Mudd College
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Slavery was an arduous work that was sustained by force and humiliation threats as well as separation from the family and the community (Frey 402). It was institutionalized primarily in the colony of Virginia following the laws that were enacted by Virginia assembly and then approved by the British monarch (Frey 403). Most of the slaves were Africans while others happened to be Native Americans. This institution of oppression happened to be central to politics and economy of America from the colonial period up to the civil war. People had different views regarding slavery whereby some supported the act while others were against it. The conflict that occurred between slaveholders in the south and abolitionist in the north was what led to the civil war.

The first wave of antislavery reform occurred oppression became more entrenched in the southern states (King and Haveman 495). People from this region believed that slavery was crucial for the continuation of its lifestyle and livelihood what made them support it. They even went ahead and formed their movement called pro-slavery to counter the abolitionist movement. They maintained their firm stand on enslavement as the tension piled leading to revolutionary war. The northern state opposed slavery and termed it as inhuman. They thought it morally wrong as political thinkers like Montesquieu described it as a violation of the natural rights (King and Haveman 520). Antislavery movement was adamant to stop oppression in America following cruelty that emerged from it. One of the enlightenment writers condemned enslavement on the humanitarian ground.

The American Revolution came with a profound impact on slavery. Some of the slaves were manumitted as thousands of them got their freedom by running away (King and Haveman 525). The decline in oppression was most noticeable in the northern state whereby the outlawed slavery laws were passed massively. The emancipation of these rules took quite a long time whereby most countries freed only children below 28years of age (Clifford 31). Even in the southern parts of America, some of the slaves were released especially in regions where tobacco production no longer needed many workers. Though law also prohibited oppression in the north, the southern states continued with the act until the 19th century (Clifford 54). The religious, political, social and economic arguments in the south supported the continuation of slavery. They thought it proper to have slaves as others argue slavery is an institution of God. Slavery contributed a lot to their economy, and they feared that ending it may adversely affect their economic growth. Even after the revolution, they were still determined to keep slaves especially those working on the cotton plantations. Their determination receives support from their religious leaders as well as politicians.

Slavery infringes on the human rights, and most masters mistreat their workers. In America, most slaves were black, and they received harsh treatment from their bosses. Every human being has the right to life, liberty, and happiness what most workers in the plantations never enjoyed (King and Haveman 498). We all deserve equal treatment regardless of the color or race. Africans are not inferior and therefore should be treated equally to others. The white masters handled the African slaves in such a way that portrays they are inferior. Slavery made Africans suffer as many of them preferred death to being transported to America. Most people lost their lives on the voyage to the Caribbean following the condition of the ship. These slaves were also subjected to heavy duties with fewer hours to rest what lowered their life expectancy. The slaves were separated from their loved ones taken to a foreign country making life hell for them. Biblically, oppression is wrong and in Luke 16:13 it states, "No man can serve two masters." (King and Haveman 521). In this case, God is the only master that we serve as Christians.

Tobacco was the most successful cash crop in colonial Virginia (Frey 403). It formed the basis of Virginias economy since they used it to hire indentured workers and slaves to cultivate it, to pay tithes and local taxes. They also used the income to purchase manufactured goods from England. In as much as the crop contributed heavily to the economic growth, tobacco was labor intensive (Frey 408). The farmers needed as many workers as possible to assist them in their plantations. Slaves did almost all the duties what made slavery more entrenched in Virginia. It was in Virginia where slavery was first legalized among all colonies. Planters needed more laborers to work in their firms after the source of indentured servants dried up. Increased slavery led to the high amount of tobacco being shipped what made most planters to support servitude. Since it was the major contributor to the economy, the abolition of oppression may hurt the economic growth. Any farmer that entirely dependent tobacco farming can dispute the eradication of slavery in the region in the best manner possible. They all depend on the slaves to all their sorts of jobs both in their houses as well as in the farms.

Work cited

Clifford, Mary Louise. From Slavery to Freetown: black loyalists after the American revolution. McFarland, 2006.Frey, Sylvia R. "Slavery and Anti-Slavery." A Companion to the American Revolution, pp. 402-412.

King, Marissa D., and Heather A. Haveman. "Antislavery in America: The press, the pulpit, and the rise of antislavery societies." Administrative Science Quarterly 53.3 (2008): 492-528.



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