Slavery and sectional attitudes

7 July 2016

During the mid 1800’s many Americans began to have mix feelings over the issue of slavery. Many northern Americans believed that slavery was morally wrong and that it was an evil. Southerners on the other hand believed it was a good for the economy as well as for commerce. This great split of attitudes between the north and the south eventually led to threat of the civil war. The North saw the issue of slavery as an evil. They believed that slavery was an impurity that became accustomed to life in America, in which made other systems of commerce forgotten.

In a nation where freedom and equality is given, the property owning of people is wrong. In Hinton Helper’s “The Impending Crisis,” Hinton stresses the economic effects of slavery to the U. S. He goes on suggesting that the U. S cannot depend on only slavery and the staple crops to pull the nation forward. Especially, if the nation wants to become a great political nation, it should seek other means for obtaining wealth. (Document E). In every way Hinton tried to impose the idea that the north can also provide much commerce like the south.

There was no need for slavery to continue in a growing society where the nation can do more than just produce cotton. The north was able to produce and manufacture products without the use of slaves, why couldn’t the south? That’s what many northerners believed. Though if abolitionist got their way in ending slavery then there would be an end to the cultivation of cotton. The country cannot go on cultivating such a ‘prized’ crop without the hands of slaves. It was an impossible thought for the south. If labor work didn’t continue in the south then the south would fall. (Document B).

Abraham Lincoln’s speech in Illinois (Document D) warned all Americans that if the exploitation of slaves for a profit continued then the nation may dwindle and maybe even their freedom. The use of slaves in the U. S went against our very own principles of freedom and equality. But not everybody felt that way. Southerners believed that slaves were not only more reasonable and useful but also more comfortable than the factory works of England or Irish peasants. The peasants of foreign countries are treated more harshly with excess amounts of labor plus the add-ons of horrible working conditions.

However, southerners such as Governor George McDuffie argue that slaves in the south are exempt to those harsh conditions ever since the slave trade ended. Most southerners believed that they were doing a “favor” for slaves since slaves were uneducated people. They believed that by clothing them, feeding them, and putting a roof over their head they were creating a good for these people. Pro-Slavery South believed if these uncivilized people went off into the world, they wouldn’t survive, so for them to be bought into slavery was not only helping them out but it was also creating wealth for the economy.

(Document A). However, the anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” which sold up to 270,000 copies is what more or less convinced folks ­–that were against the anti-slavery reforms– that slavery was dehumanizing. This book fired up the emotions of most northerners to run to the aid of abolitionist. Though this book revolutionized the minds of many, it also depicted the south in a negative way. Many southerners were outraged because to them slaves were a common thing in life. (Document F). So common of a thing that there were even slaves that cared for white children and raised them (Document C).

Slavery in the U. S during the 1800’s was a debated topic. It was important for northerners to try and revoke slavery in the nation for it was a true evil. Then again, it was important for southern commerce, economy, and life itself. Slavery was not just an issue dehumanized people, but it was an issue that split the country. Not everyone was in favor for it. Northerners fought to prohibit the use of slavery in the country, for there were more ways to produce commerce. Southerners fought to allow the use of slavery in the country, for it created an economic boost in the cotton industry.

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