Justifying Slavery Essay

Justifying Slavery Essay

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The institution of slavery has existed throughout the history of humanity, although it's configuration has continuously transformed over time. Slavery played a major role in the United States, due to being economically advantageous to the South. America's Civil War, partly due to the issue of slavery, nearly brought the young nation to its knees, in face of utter and complete destruction. Slavery has played a pivotal, yet sinister, role in the development of the United States. The 55th Governor of South Carolina, George McDuffie, held strong views in his support of the institution of slavery. He used his address to the state legislature in 1835 to express his views on slavery and justifications for the institution. McDuffie used religion as a means for legitimizing slavery and continued to fight against external pressures to abolish the institution.
McDuffie opened by recognizing his state's rights and the protection of its sovereignty from any foreign authority. Although he was likely targeting other nations, it seemed he was speaking mainly referring to the federal government. He continued to say that external pressure had interfered with the peace and stability of South Carolina and that it was essential for the state to retain its autonomy. This is an example that the view on slavery had begun to change and the institution had started to gain tremendous criticism. McDuffie looked at the past as justification and believed the institution of slavery was consistent with God's will. He stated that blacks best fit in the category of slavery. He justified his belief in both Judaism and Christianity by pointing out that, "the patriarchs themselves, those chosen instruments of God, were slave-holders." The governor...


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...f the institution, due to the need to preserve the social classes. George McDuffie made an attempt to legitimize slavery by referring back to humanity's history with the institution of slavery and determined the necessity of it in an unfair world, a world which needed proper structure. The views of McDuffie indicate that the South was trying to maintain the institution of slavery, while the rest of the nation and the world began to denounce the institution. Thus, it seemed that the more criticism of slavery led to more defensive approaches by its supporters. McDuffie's speech highlighted the split that began to divide the nation and which will eventually lead down the road to the Civil War.



Works Cited

McDuffie, George. "The natural slavery of the Negro." Natural Slavery of Negro (January 10, 2009): 1. Primary Search, EBSCOhost (accessed September 12, 2011).

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