OtherPapers.com - Other Term Papers and Free Essays

Slavery and Sectional Attitudes

Essay by   •  November 30, 2017  •  Essay  •  649 Words (3 Pages)  •  364 Views

Essay Preview: Slavery and Sectional Attitudes

Report this essay
Page 1 of 3

Today, in modern times, Americans can look back upon slavery and easily determine that it was a demeaning, inhumane, and evil institution that should have never happened, but is a part of our history. In the 1840s, however, Americans saw slavery as a controversy and picked sides (that were separated by North and South) on the issue. In the South, white Americans claimed that slavery was essential in order for the nation’s economy to succeed, and that it was Biblically destined, whereas in the North, people challenged the morality of using blacks as property, and the overall effects that slavery had on America.

Many people of the South viewed slavery as a “positive good” for the nation as a whole. The United States had an economy based mostly on cotton production, which was argued by Southerners, was the purpose of slaves. Slaves planted, grew, and harvested cotton in their masters’ plantations; white, plantation-owning men were far too proud to do a task as such, and that was why they had slaves. If there were no slaves, then there would be no one to pick the cotton, which would have potentially led to a great economic decline in the United States (Doc 2). Slaves were a necessary component of American “society,” even though they were only considered property rather than people (Doc 3)

The first opposition of slavery from white Americans was from those of the North, who argued that slavery created competition for white men to find work. This was known as “free-soil” ideology. In 1848, the Free-Soil Party was created to oppose the further expansion of slavery, a debate that was already causing much conflict throughout the country. The Free-Soil Party’s intentions of ending slavery would have been partially fulfilled through the Wilmot Proviso, a proposed American law that slavery would be banned from any land that was acquired from Mexico; however, this law was defeated in Congress.

In the Bible, the story of The Curse of Ham was used by many southers to justify that black people were destined by God to be nothing, except servants. The story goes back to a man mentioned in the Bible, Ham, who is described to have had dark skin. Ham saw something that which he was not intended to see, and therefore, was cursed; all of Ham’s descendants, also dark-skinned, were servants, inferior to others. Southers of the 1840s interpreted this story to mean that all black people were intended to be slaves (Doc 7); black people were savages who were incapable of being governed, and the only way the whites and blacks could coexist was through the slavery system (Doc 3).

Unlike the “free-soil” ideology that slavery was lowering the success rate of white men of finding work, abolitionists wanted to entirely abolish slavery because of the moral aspect of it (that slavery was not only physically and psychologically damaging to slaves, but also inhumane) (Doc 4), and supported social justice; they



Download as:   txt (3.9 Kb)   pdf (60.8 Kb)   docx (9.6 Kb)  
Continue for 2 more pages »
Only available on OtherPapers.com
Citation Generator

(2017, 11). Slavery and Sectional Attitudes. OtherPapers.com. Retrieved 11, 2017, from https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Slavery-and-Sectional-Attitudes/62683.html

"Slavery and Sectional Attitudes" OtherPapers.com. 11 2017. 2017. 11 2017 <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Slavery-and-Sectional-Attitudes/62683.html>.

"Slavery and Sectional Attitudes." OtherPapers.com. OtherPapers.com, 11 2017. Web. 11 2017. <https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Slavery-and-Sectional-Attitudes/62683.html>.

"Slavery and Sectional Attitudes." OtherPapers.com. 11, 2017. Accessed 11, 2017. https://www.otherpapers.com/essay/Slavery-and-Sectional-Attitudes/62683.html.