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Slavery

Uploaded by Admin on Jan 22, 1999

For purposes of this discussion, it is the intent of this author to assess the plight of African Americans at a time when they were merely slaves, captives taken forcibly by rich white American merchants to a new and strange land called America. Right from the very beginning, slavery was a controversial issue. It was fraught with the constant reminder of man's inhumanity to man. This was evidenced in the literature as well as movements such as the abolitionists, and one most notably John Brown, who has been portrayed as a kind of maniacal character, who would stop at nothing to see this God given mandate carried out. Similarly, books such as "Uncle Tom's Cabin" by Harriet Beecher Stowe did much to fuel the controversy that was slavery in the United States. Of course we now know that slavery as it was understood in the 19th century lasted up until the officiation of the Emancipation Proclamation, or slaves, or now newly pronounced African Americans were given their freedom, and their struggle assumes a new direction in attempting to gain equality for themselves. This is a struggle which continues today, and is not much less controversial. Nevertheless, for historical purposes, I should like to further attempt to dissect events as they existed at that time. Slavery was a practice which was much favored by the South. In the North, Americans were more industrial oriented, and had little use for slaves. They could afford to be more moralistic about the issue. However, when it came to the plight of land owners and Americans who lived in the Southern part of a very young country, that was America, they were highly preoccupied with their agrarian lifestyle. It is a fact that even George Washington, and Thomas Jefferson had slaves as did many of the forefathers of the new country. It is also true that many of these individuals had children with their Black slaves, and although it is similarly a matter of historical record that they did free their slaves, if not while they were alive, in their Last Will and Testament. What this means is that slavery was an issue of economics to the South, and a moral dilemma for those Americans who lived in the North. By the mid-1850's the spirit of accommodation had all but vanished. Northern interest in Emancipation pushed by abolitionists, eroded relations between families North and South....

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   01/22/1999

Category:   Slavery

Length:   6 pages (1,405 words)

Views:   1733

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