In examining the reasons for Christianity’s support for slavery, racism was not the only motivation. The relationship between southern, white Christians and slavery was more complicated than is remembered in modern America’s collective memory. For many white Southerners, slavery was not just a syste...
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...tion that would truly decide if slavery was meant to stay or go. Although Christianity was used as justification for the war for most of the South, it had more economic and social significance. Southerners were more afraid that they would lose their wealth and status is slavery was abolished, than they were afraid that African-Americans being free would jeopardize Christian morals. For many southern families, the destruction of a slave labor system was synonymous with the deterioration of wealth. In part, the fact that slaves served as a relief from menial household chores and labor, was the foundation of wealth in the south and had a great deal to do with status. So as slavery began its’ demise right before their eyes, southerners of considerable status found themselves performing household tasks and consequently began to feel as if their wealth was slipping away.
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