Enormity of Slavery Essay

Enormity of Slavery Essay

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In the 1800s, many slave owners thought it fair for Africans to work without pay, because they believed that this particular group of people were made by God for this sort of work, and that slave owners were ever caring and conscientious of their slaves anyway, making slavery an easy life; truthfully, however, as both Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs experienced in being slaves most of their lives, and then showed in their narratives, this cruel and unusual practice was the epitome of iniquity- notwithstanding the fact that they were created equal to their malefactors.
Among the arguers supporting slavery, Dr. Cartwright, a Southern doctor, had very popular ideas. In one of his writings, he speaks of the diseases of slaves- not alienation from masters- that cause them to run away. In this writing, he argues that any slave who attempts to run away runs away because he or she is mentally insane, and suffer from Drapetomania- a disease that causes a slave to run away compulsively. He continues to write that the African people were created by God to have an ever bent knee; this “genu flexit”, as Cartwright named it, shows that God intended for the African people to be subservient to Caucasians. If a white person puts the African in an equal level with him by treating him well, Cartwright states, the slave will inevitably run away- explaining that it is never that a master is hostile to a slave that it runs away, but that the master is too kind. Hearing this, many slave owners probably felt much more comfortable with the way they treated their slaves, and,...


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... something that is referenced clearly as a sin in the Christian text.
To most, the very thought of slavery is completely iniquitous, and consequently, many slave owners attempted maliciously to present justifications that would sanction the performance of this awful deed without compunction; truthfully, however, these ‘justifications’ were but mere smokescreens: simple fallacies to veil their injustice from the world. Whether they knew it or not, they were simultaneously contradicting the heart of the constitution by which their country was built: that “all men are created equal”. Therefore, as both Jacobs and Douglass experienced, turning what should have been human beings into animals by whipping, exploiting, malnourishing and often eventually killing them was an ultimately imperfect approach to form “a more perfect union”(U.S. Constitution).









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