The Relationship Between Slavery and Freedom Essay

The Relationship Between Slavery and Freedom Essay

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The Relationship Between Slavery and Freedom


For Edmund S. Morgan American slavery and American freedom go together hand in hand. Morgan argues that many historians seem to ignore writing about the early development of American freedom simply because it was shaped by the rise of slavery. It seems ironic that while one group of people is trying to break the mold and become liberated, that same group is making others confined and shattering their respectability. The aspects of liberty, race, and slavery are closely intertwined in the essay, 'Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox.'

The contradictions between slavery and freedom are very apparent throughout history. America started out with the intentions of becoming separate and equal. To become this kind of nation they needed a crop that would give them something to trade with the other countries. The most obvious choice was tobacco and to produce this demanding crop they used a lot of slave labor. Morgan states 'To a very large degree it may be said that Americans bought their independence with slave labor (122).' America was so obsessed with being free and equal it looks like they would go to any length to obtain it. Another example would be certain slave owners. Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington all owned slaves. This is interesting especially with Jefferson who had a major role in republican liberty. Another contradictory point made by Morgan is how England which prides itself in the l...

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