Slavery has existed for thousands of years in various cultures from all parts of the world. Slavery in the United States lasted for 245 years and it was a brutal way of life for black African Americans, but it also built the foundation for America’s economy. There have been a number of arguments presented in an effort to justify slavery, as well as many advocating for the abolishment of it. The slave trade was tolerated and fought for in the United States for hundreds of years because without it, plantation owners would not have been able to produce crops as efficiently as they did without the cheap labor that the slave trade provided.
Jefferson once said that “Maintaining slavery was like holding “a wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go.” But he never quit he kept fighting for what was right and what he believed in.
When slavery was abolished in 1865, it was a critical turning point in the journey towards equality for African Americans. Prior to the eradication of slavery writers like Frederick Douglass sought to free millions of slaves in America. While slavery was a well-known and growing problem in the south, it wasn’t as widely recognized in the north. In Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave Douglass recounts his experiences and tribulations as a slave. In the narrative Douglass effectively uses rhetorical imagery, antithesis, and irony in order to expose the harsh reality of slavery during the 19th century.
This being enacted caused uproar within the enslaved community and a woman, named Harriet Beecher Stowe, found her own way to revolt against this injustice. Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which is an anti-slavery novel that changed the way many Americans viewed slavery by showing the enslaved character in “the very depth of physical suffering” (VCE 198) at the hand of the slave owner. This novel was so influential to many Americans that it became one of the factors leading to the American Civil
In the 1700-1800’s, the use of African American slaves for backbreaking, unpaid work was at its prime. Despite the terrible conditions that slaves were forced to deal with, slave owners managed to convince themselves and others that it was not the abhorrent work it was thought to be. However, in the mid-1800’s, Northern and southern Americans were becoming more aware of the trauma that slaves were facing in the South. Soon, an abolitionist group began in protest, but still people doubted and questioned it. When Frederick Douglass published his self-written narrative, people finally got a fully comprehensive view of the life of a slave. To debunk the mythology of slavery, Douglass presents the cold, hard truth, displays slaves true intelligence,
“Yon bright sun beheld me a slave - a poor degraded chattel - trembling at the sound of your voice, lamenting that I was a man”(Frederick Douglass). Mr. Frederick Douglass spoke intelligently and articulately in this well-written letter to his old master, Thomas Auld. Douglass used metaphors, wit, and irony in this sentence to his master, He sounded, “removed” and placid as he spoke very straightforward, bold, yet respectful way about the degradation of being treated as personal property instead of a human being. There is a little melodrama in there but he still remained cool and very intellectual. Mr. Douglass believed slaves deserved to be free, and should be treated equally as humans with rights.so he used his own experiences as a slave to help abolish slavery everywhere. Slaves are human and did not deserve
In “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”, Douglass narrates in detail the oppressions he went through as a slave before winning his freedom. In the narrative, Douglass gives a picture about the humiliation, brutality, and pain that slaves go through. We can evidently see that Douglass does not want to describe only his life, but he uses his personal experiences and life story as a tool to rise against slavery. He uses his personal life story to argue against common myths that were used to justify the act of slavery. Douglass invalidated common justification for slavery like religion, economic argument and color with his life story through his experiences torture, separation, and illiteracy, and he urged for the end of slavery.
The United States was built on slavery; it is woven into America’s history. Right after the Revolutionary War, slavery was abolished in most of the northern states. But it was rampant in the South where most of the citizens were farmers working in agriculture. A large amount of workers was needed for the success of the crops. The South was desperate for people to work in the fields. So when ships arrived in 1619 with African Americans the problem was solved, slaves seemed like a simple solution. Even though the Declaration of Independence states, “all men are created equal” a large group of people was ignored in this statement. While white Americans were free African American
Slave owning and slavery in general had a lasting impression on the way the South functions. The validity of the statement completely falls through; the statement makes a false argument on how slavery affected the United States. Slavery in the Antebellum South led to not only an extremely successful growth in economics, but also enhanced the social diversity and community developments between whites and blacks.
For the United States, the mid-nineteenth century is a time when social activism in American society is reflected in the writing. These writers were determined to change the way of life, if not for themselves, for someone else. Their writings would become incite to some of the deepest issues of the time.
In the novels Kindred by Octavia E. Butler and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, the immorality of slavery is constantly critiqued. Twain and Butler use the people's hypocrisy, selfishness, and gullibility to both explain the prevalence of slavery and display why it was perpetuated by otherwise good people. In a society as contradictory as the antebellum south, neither author had a lack of hypocritical traditions and beliefs to draw from in their writing.
Human rights are like armor: they protect you; they are like rules because they tell you how you can behave, and they are like judges because you can appeal to them. It should also be noted that Locke’s interpretation of freedom and liberty are directly associated with equality. Our understanding is a direct result of our personal experiences, and according to Locke, we should all have the freedom of our minds. Some of the apologists for slavery claimed that blacks were beasts, subhuman, or at least a degenerated form of the human species.
Slave narratives played an immense role in the motives of abolitionists to end slavery. The narratives were not only influential because they came from slaves themselves, but they also gave an inside look into the life of a slave through their own eyes and not the eyes of an outsider or a slave owner.
When I first heard the word slavery I thought back to times when people were treated like property and laws were unfair. Now when I hear the word I have more clarity on the subject. Slavery is a subject that has always astounded me because of how similar and different we are now and were then. It is surprising because slavery is still a problem now even though it isn’t as severe. Slavery in its whole is very unfair, but the most shocking part was the way slaves were treated. They were taken from their homes and thrown onto a ship. From there they were stacked like potatoes and brought to the North America. Olaudah Equiano was a slave, he said the voyage was intolerable and the stench of the boat was unbearable. If those were the conditions I couldn’t imagine the ride for children. When they arrived they were treated like property being sold to the highest bidder. This was most shocking because it reminds me of human trafficking in the world today.
Wesley, also analyzed slavery from the perspective of the law and of people’s faith in God. During the early 18th century, the law allowed slave ownership. The law, stated Wesley, should not superimpose what we know to be right or wrong. That is, although the law allows them to perform such actions it does not make the actions just. Accordingly, no one can claim to have been just to the slaves because many were murdered by their compatriots, others were tossed out of the boat while being transported, and many still were enslaved in Britain. Essentially, no one should defend slavery based on the law when their actions were knowingly wrong and lacking good will. Likewise, for the Methodist, no one who identifies as Christian can condone slavery. Any God-fearing people involved in the slave trade can only expect that God will rightfully judge them according to their actions and will show them no clemency, and will punish them just as they punished their fellow humans. To Wesley, one way of doing right in the eyes of God was to stop financing this trade for it encouraged the Africans to continue partaking in this activity and have complete control over the lives of those traded. Without financing there would be less motivation for slavery to continue. The people involved should also be weary of letting their monetary ambition guide their decisions. They cannot simply turn a blind eye to all the injustice that was committed against the Negroes because they know under which circumstances they were brought to be sold.