The balance of power was beginning to shift as the antebellum South’s dependence on free labor economically tied their existence to the heinous practice of owning slaves. Slavery was in many ways a dream come true for southern culture in its ability to relieve the issue of finding labor and keeping costs low, but this inhumane practice became the downfall of the antebellum South in how its practice became so common in its culture that it became more of an economic addiction. Their entire economy was seemingly tied to this need for free labor under the impression that slavery was there to stay, shamefully allowing the gruesome, inhumane, nature of slavery to transcend societal values to the point of widespread acceptance. This accepting culture marked the downfall of the antebellum South.
Research Paper Slave Resistance Through Culture When slaves were brought from Africa to the United States, they were stripped of their human rights and forced into a life of oppression. The conditions of harsh labor led them to resort to different forms of resistance to help them cope with the reality of the situation. One of the ways the slaves found resistance was through their culture. Culture helped the slaves stay resilient because it was all they managed to hold on to after they had been removed from their home in Africa and were forced to develop in their new home. Besides this, culture was a way to secretly protest and criticize slavery without having the slave owners punish them.
This relationship of master-slave was reciprocal. This relationship provided the master with status and power while slaves received autonomy in a sense. On the Silver Bluffs plantation, the slaves negotiated through resistance. The slaves “instead of seeking indirectly to avoid the domination inherent to slavery, these individuals confronted it, turning to arson and escape as overt expressions of their rebelliousness”. The slaves used this to negotiate with Hammond for autonomy and it worked.
Recent studies of slavery attribute these observed characteristics to the slaves, defiant determination to resist slavery’s worst manifestations and to make the institution as livable as possible. Slaves recognized that they could take day-to-day action on an individual or small group basis, engaging in what historians has termed “personal or communal foot dragging.” Such resistance successfully thwarted the master’s attempt to gain total control over their lives. The extent and success of this day-to-day resistance depended upon the support of a strong and close-knit slave community. Despite white society’s belief that slaves were nothing more than laborers, they were in fact part of an elaborate and well defined social structure that gave them identity and sustained them in their silent protest. In slave quarters, slaves expressed themselves with relative freedom from white interference.
Also, we will talk about the power that the slaveholders got from controlling their slaves and the fear that the slaveholders maybe had to understand how they were changed. Thomas Auld had been a poor men and he came into possession of all his slaves by marriage. He was a cowardly cruel slaveholder and he didn’t have the ability to hold slaves. He also realized that his incapable of managing his slaves. However, he wanted the power and wished to be called master by his slaves (Douglass, p. 76~77).
Yet, they did not wish to abandon their system suddenly and without an adequate replacement. They were also concerned that free labor promoted infidelity, secularism, liberal theology, perversities, egotism and personal license to the detriment of God-ordained authority and the Christian social order. In studying the Southern defense of slavery, it appears that southerners were defending a way of life. Many believed that the institution of slavery was the lesser of two evils in terms of providing benefits for workers, others believed that it was at the very foundation of a free society to own slaves and still others saw it merely as an expedient means to an economic end. Although one may acknowledge that the South had understandable political, social and religious reasons for supporting the institution of slavery, the fundamental moral obligation to treat all humans as equals supercedes them all.
In the narrative Douglass shows us how slave owners and their sympathizers described blacks in terms of negative stereotypes to justify treating them as property. These stereotypes provided the foundation for the mythology of the plantation. Slave owners liked to think of themselves as the masters and even father-figures of a class of inferior, childlike people who could not survi... ... middle of paper ... ...her former slaves struggled hard to reclaim the right to define his own identity. To name himself was a huge accomplishment, carrying with it the right to tell his own story. Therefore, by him establishing his own identity on his own terms he catapulted his career as an abolitionist and his own claim to freedom.
The southern slave owners viewed the act of running away as disrespect. They had paid money for the slaves and therefore owned them as their property. The advertisements served as a resource for them to regain their possessions, both the human and material possessions. The descriptions of the indentured servants and slaves that were given in the advertisements clearly attest to the fact that slaves were viewed as property. The advertisements offer great insight into what the life of a slave was like, and why they would risk running away.
I agree with Mullin’s opinion about how the slave merchants and slave owner treat the slaves. There are some people define the characteristics of slaves as their labor or services are obtained through force; their physical beings are regarded as the property of another person, their master; they are entirely subject to their master's or owner's will. Slaves had no own time ... ... middle of paper ... ...es much of the potential for rebellion, since Africans from different regions and tribal cultures were grouped together. They also replacing their African names with English ones, and insisting that the slaves adopted Christianity and abandoned their own religions. These kind of methods not only ensured that plantation slaves were tractable and obedient due to the way in which they had been subjugated, but also reduce the impact of the African countries that the slaves come from.
It created an awakening for slaves since he was one of the first slaves that wrote a biography of his life even though slaves were expected to be uneducated. It showed cased slavery as evil and immoral and more people began to support the abolitionist movement. Thus caused conflict between the south and the north because many whites had different opinions and beliefs about slavery. Since they claimed slavery was a good thing because slaves were given a place to live and a place