Virginian Luxuries Summary

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In the nineteenth century racial intolerance was prominent, but as America entered its pre-revolutionary period the emergence of anti-slavery sentiment began to awaken. The emergence of the “Virginian Luxuries” around the 1800’s lead historians to believe that an anonymous painter was intending to mock and exploit the social dynamic that shaped American society in the nineteenth century. The painting is titled “Virginian Luxuries” an evident reference to the Virginian slave population in the 1700’s. In the 1700’s, Virginia’s success was associated with their flourishing business in the tobacco fields resulting in the mass importation of slaves. By the end of the 1700’s slaves consisted majority of the Virginian population. The portion of the…show more content…
He deems this race as the superior race of all three by describing the race as “…superior in intelligence, in power, and in enjoyment…” (de Toqueville 216). In his writing, Toqueville describes the other races as inferior stating, “…European is to the other races of mankind what man himself is to the lower animals” (de Toqueville 216). Toqueville theorizes that the future of the white race would remain predominantly superior to all the other races by use of force and power, “…he makes them subservient to his use, and when he cannot subdue he destroys them” (de Toqueville 217). Toqueville also theorizes that fear of coalesce and subordination would ignite the white’s race need for dominance: “…Southern states have two powerful passions which will always keep them aloof…fear of being assimilated to the Negroes…dread of sinking below the whites…” (de Toqueville 219). Toqueville was of European descent, therefore, it is evident that Toqueville findings are biased because of his prior conceived notions and common shared ideology. However, his predictions of the future were accurate. The white race has remained predominantly in power; a majority of appointed officials in the country are white. There is an expectation for immigrants to assimilate to “traditional American culture”. Toqueville was also accurate in predicting the fears of the white race. Fear of assimilation to other races has caused an emergence in white…show more content…
The black race was seen as only having the purpose of servitude, “Violence made him a slave, and the habit of servitude gives him the thoughts and desires of a slave…” (de Toqueville 217). Toqueville described the slaves as devoted followers to the white race and willing to meet extremes to be recognized as an equal: “The Negro makes a thousand fruitless efforts to insinuate himself among men who repulse him; he conforms to the tastes of his oppressors, adopts their opinions, and hopes by imitating them to form a part of their community” (de Tocqueville 218). However, even with all their efforts to integrate “… he remains half-way between two communities, isolated between two races; sold by the one, repulsed by the other…” (de Tocqueville 217). Toqueville saw the slaves desire to integrate leading him to theorize two possible resolutions: (1) emancipation and integration or (2) a life of servitude. Toqueville theorized that the emancipation of the slaves would not suffice; they would protest for their civil rights and revolt. “The Negroes…if raised to the level of freemen, they will soon revolt at being deprived of almost all civil rights; and as they cannot become equals of the whites, they will speedily show themselves as enemies…” (de Toqueville 219). Tocqueville was accurate in his predictions. Following emancipation, the black race demanded equality. The rise of many
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