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The Preservation Of Slavery In Free World

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The Preservation of Slavery In a Free World

How is it possible that the New World, started by people who dedicated themselves to liberty and human dignity preserved such an inhuman institute such as slavery? Some could argue that the founding fathers were simply prejudice against the African people, and they believed that they were an inferior race. But according to Edmund Morgan, there were more in depth reasons for keeping slavery in the colonies that would eventually become the United States. He stated that major figures such as Thomas Jefferson, who believed in human equality, saw that was slavery was necessary to keep social and economic order in the young world. Morgan also stated that slavery offset the rebelliousness of the other white laborers and at the same time bring a sense of unity to the white inhabitants of the southern colonies.

In Virginia’s early year, it was victim to very large death rates, “In 1625 the population stood at 1300 or 1400; in 1640 it was about 8000. In those fifteen years between those dates at least 15,000 persons must have come to the colony. If so, 15,000 immigrants increased the population by 7000.”(1) As soon as this disease that had killed so many died off, the population sky rocketed. The growing economy could not support all of the immigrants that were coming into the country. This shortage of employment caused many of these white new comers to be reduced to poverty. As the poverty grew in Virginia, revolt became imminent. In about 1680, rebellion took over Virginia. In order to combat this rebellion, Virginian legislators began devising strict laws which stripped the Englishmen of their rights. Needless to say that these laws increased the discontent of the inhabitants...

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...en filled, there would still remain many men with no way to support themselves.

It is said to say that slave labor brought a sense of “balance” to the colonies. I am sure that the success of our young nation could have been attained by more humane means, but this is the path our founding fathers chose. I still consider slavery in the New World that preaches freedom and liberty to be a great paradox. Edmund Morgan put it best,

“To explain the origin of the contradictions, if the explanation I have suggested is valid, does not eliminate them or make them less ugly. But it may enable us to understand a little better the strength of the ties that bound freedom to slavery, even is noble as a mind as Jefferson’s. And it may perhaps make us wonder about the ties that bind more devious tyrannies to our own freedoms and give us still today our own American paradox.”(8)
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