The Contrasting Views of Pro-Slavery vs. Abolitionist

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Throughout the history of mankind, slavery has existed in one form or another. Since the times of ancient civilizations to modern era subjugations, there have forces who feel strongly of its necessity and purpose, while others have devoted themselves to seeing the ideas and acts of slavery abolished. America is not an exception to the concept of slavery and during the nation’s early history, parties from both sides have been made famous for their beliefs in the continuation or the denouncement of slavery in the United States. To understand the contrasting views of pro-slavery advocates versus abolitionists in antebellum America, a comparison of the individual positions must be made to further understand the goals of each party. A common theme of the pro-slavery advocates in the 1800’s was the continuation of slavery for the wellbeing of the enslaved and country. During this time in American history, it was believed African-Americans were inferior to whites and without bondage, they would reduce themselves to animalistic acts and barbarism. George Fitzhugh, an American social theorist who wrote “The Universal Law of Slavery” said, “He the [African-American] is but a grown up child, and must be governed as a child, not as a lunatic or criminal,” (Fitzhugh). Interpretation of Fitzhugh’s writings reveals his stand on slavery and his belief that through bondage, African Americans have become more civilized and protected from worst fates. To further persuade his position he introduced the quality of life and happiness slaves in the southern states experience. Fitzhugh illustrates that the children and elderly are excluded from work and the women are guarded by overzealous husbands through their master’s protection. He also... ... middle of paper ... ...heir goals and beliefs. The common theme for pro-slavery was African-Americans were inferior to whites and unable to function in normal society without constant supervision. Abolitionist would have returned the statement addressing that slaves are the ones who care for the whites and their families. Slavery advocates viewed the subjugation of African-Americans as fundamental to the social hierarchy and economy. In return, abolitionist believed pro-slavery advocates would not have their way of life or luxuries if not for the suffering of slaves. Where a pro-slavery advocate viewed slaves as ungrateful and selfish, an abolitionist would question why should they be grateful? The importance of comparing and contrasting the different views during this time allows for a better understanding of American history and gives insight on the events that shaped this nation.

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