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Slavery During The Antebellum Period

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Freedom is the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. The foundation of America is freedom. Freedom from Britain. However, the freedom is limited to white males who own property. When colonists started to immigrate to America, they wanted to escape from under the rule of Britain. Colonists felt that they were entitled to explore this newly found land, despite that the land was already occupied by people we now know as Native Americans. American society, which valued freedom so much, could support slavery and other forms of coercion because freedom is only applied to white males who owned property, aka the elites, because of the Constitution, paternalism, and Manifest destiny. The idea of freedom…show more content…
When slavery is paternalized, it is seen not as a necessary evil, but a positive good. People who paternalized slavery genuinely believed that slavery helped everyone. The idea was that slave owners benefitted because they gained free labor and that their business would prosper and contribute to a healthy economy. This was during the cotton boom, which is when slave population was at its peak of 1.5 million and growing (Jones, 257). The Antebellum period was a time where the amount of slaves a slave owner had, determined social status. Specifically, southern white women used this period to elevate their social status so that they could climb the social tower to gain power and compare to men. Southern women wanted to get out of the ideal that women should only be housewives, so they used slaves to relieve themselves of house chores, which brought them away from just being housewives. This elevated them socially because instead of being ridden with housework, they were give leisure time and time to focus on their husbands and wives. Slaves were thought to benefit because slave owners would take care of the slaves and that they would be better off being a slave than running around Africa. Slave owners would give slaves food, shelter, and clothing, take care of their children, and teach them christianity (Jones, 102). Slave owners felt that it was their responsibility and duty to dominate the “less fortunate and the less…show more content…
Manifest destiny was the belief that colonist were destined to expand across North America and that it was their god given right. Although Native Americans were indigenous the the land, colonist felt that it was their destiny to redeem and colonize the rest of the land. They felt that Native Americans were not making right use of the land and letting it go to waste. In result, Native Americans were not seen as anything more as an obstacle in the pursuit of Manifest Destiny. During the Indian Removal Act of 1830, Indian groups who were still inhabiting the south east would be moved across the Mississippi to designated Indian territory, which is now known as Oklahoma. Some Indians relocated peacefully, while most resisted. The Cherokee Indians were a particularly difficult tribe to relocate because they demanded to stay in Georgia. Eventually, the Cherokees settled to sell the land to the federal government for $5 million dollars. The relocation of Cherokee Indians became known as the Trail of Tears, where 4,000 Indians died because of the mistreatment of the Indians while relocating. While relocating, the military that was supposed to escort the Cherokees would take their blankets and food to sell for profit (Jones, 290). Colonists used Manifest Destiny as their justification to do whatever they needed to expand and explore all of North
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