Tocqueville Summary: The Issue Of Slavery In The North

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Southern vs. Northern Slavery For what seems like forever, the Northern and Southern States in America have differed drastically. From landscape to people’s behaviors, there are numerous variations between the two areas. One of the most historically prominent distinctions is the difference in the presence of slavery. In the mid 1800s, Alexander de Tocqueville took notice that slavery persisted heavily in the South, yet in the North, slavery was sparse. In Democracy in America, Tocqueville distinguishes material and moral differences being the cause, and concludes that states distinguished by slavery are intensifying their hardships. When Tocqueville discusses slavery of the South, one of the first things he mentions is that it originated there. The southern states were the first to receive slaves, and the further north you traveled, the more the number of slaves decreased. This is due to a difference in material need. “The question of slavery was, for masters in the North, a commercial and manufacturing question; in the south, it is a question of life or death.” (Pg. 346). As Tocqueville describes, the South needed slavery, due to the amount of labor required to reap the sows of the…show more content…
Moral reasons combined with the material reasons, which contributed of the scarcity of slavery in the North. The main moral cause in the North was that the white population did not want to be outnumbered and overly influenced by the black slave population (Pg. 329). Therefore, it is “not in the interest of Negros, but of whites” that slavery was rare in the North. Even in states where slavery was abolished, the white population oppressed the black population in order to maintain white superiority. The black populations in such states were been given voting rights, but if a black man were to actually vote, he would have been seriously oppressed. The black population in the north is “free”, but he has virtually no
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