Essay on The Slavery Of The Civil War

Essay on The Slavery Of The Civil War

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“God hath set in the World, who hath ordained different degrees and orders of men, some to be High and Honorable, some to be Low and Despicable…” During the early nineteenth century, slavery reached its peak both economically and controversially. While many sided against the institution, just as many argued for its continuance, stating its superiority to the wage-labor industry that had gained prominence in the north, the argument of social class superiority, and religious reasons. Through legal, economic, and religious arguments, pro-slavery supporters were able to continue the practice until the eventual culmination of the Civil War.
‘Go through our southern states, and everywhere you see the negro slave by the side of the white man, you find him alike in the mansion of the rich and the cabin of the poor.” By 1860, the slave population had reached nearly four million in the slaveholding states, roughly one-third of the total population. With the invention of the cotton gin in 1792, and the rise of the Industrial Revolution soon after, slavery had become the backbone of the southern economy. But the importance of slavery was more than economic, it had become a cultural reality. Thus, when the abolitionist movements swept through the nation, large majorities of the south were against the sentiment, causing an increase in pro-slavery arguments. These arguments, seemingly narrow in substance, helps to understand the souths continued push for the continuance of the apparently barbaric practice. As Faust explains “Slaveholders were less troubled about whether slavery was right than precisely why it was right… proslavery advocates always saw evils in slavery, as they were sure they would in any terrestrial system of society and gov...


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...ery comes from the letters of James Henry Hammond, a pro-slavery advocate from South Carolina. Hammond claimed that the free labor system of the north breeded an “ … insatiable avidity for gain,” whereas the southern slave labor system encouraged “ … harmony, good order, and permanent prosperity in society.” Not only did Hammond claim that slavery brought about a better economic order, he claimed that it protected “ … those that require protection, the young, the aged, and the infirm” by providing for their needs instead of focusing on personal gains. Interesting in Hammonds argument is his pronounced insistence that what tied master to slave was not despised greed, but a sense of duty and responsibility.
In addition to the economic importance slavery held, many advocates cited Caucasian social class superiority over African Americans as a means of justification.

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