MonteroAmerican Studies 1 Honors12/21/17During the 1840’s Slavery was a major issue that split America into two. The northern states of America saw slavery as evil, while the southern states saw it as a positive good. Looking back at this issue in present day, America now clearly agrees that slavery is very evil. This is because slavery was inhumane, immoral, and it took away jobs from American citizens. Slavery was very inhumane.
Slavery degraded human beings and they were treated as animals and not as humans. Slaves were worked very hard under extremely harsh conditions and environments. If a slave refused to work, or was working too slowly they would be whipped or tortured. “With this delicate weapon she would beat us upon the hands and upon the feet until they were blistered. That club will always be a prominent object in the picture of horrors of my life of more than twenty years bitter bondage (Document I).” During slavery, both male and female slaves were often raped by their plantation owners, spouses, family members or acquaintances. There was really no fear of punishment and the reasons could range from desires to acts of punishment.
Another reason why slavery was bad is because it is immoral and unethical. Slaves were treated poorly because of the color of their skin. Slaves were considered the property of their owners and had little to no basic rights that other American citizens were afforded based off the Constitution. Slavery is known to decrease the overall happiness of the human beings who are enslaved. It is also said to perpetuate the abuse of children. Slave children were often malnourished.
“Half of the slave infants died during the first year of life, twice the rate of white babies. And while the death rate declined for those who survived their first year, it remained twice the white rate through age 14 (Document L).” Francis Fredric, a slave on a Virginia plantation in 1809, described how the children on the plantation were fed, “children fed like pigs out of a troughs and being supplied sparingly, invariably fight and quarrel with one another over their meals”. Slavery is also known to leave a lifetime legacy of discrimination and disadvantage which perpetuates the immorality even after slavery has ended.The final reason that slavery should be looked at as an evil is because it took away jobs from American citizens. Many Americans struggled to get jobs in factories and other major industries during the 1840s.
“In our chase to make profit off the Negro, let us beware at lest we, cancel and tear in the pieces, even the white man’s charter of freedom (Document D).” Factories during this time period were even worse working conditions than cotton plantations. These African slaves took up jobs in the South that American men in the North could of done. White men in the northern states were having trouble trying to find various factory jobs because of all the immigrants. Plantation owners were too worried about making money off of these slaves that it really hurt white men and women. In the end, factory owners could have potentially seen a greater benefit in not using slaves and hiring American citizens because most slaves worked slowly because they didn’t want to do their job, or they were hurt.
The same could be said for the plantation owners hiring American citizens who wanted to work and needed the jobs since it is possible that they could pick cotton faster, and the plantation owner would make more profit. Inhumanity, immorality, and displacing American jobs are three major reasons why slavery should be seen as an evil. Slavery caused humans to be degraded and look upon as property and not as a human beings. Slavery also impacted the American economics by displacing American workers and giving many plantation and factory jobs to slaves just because it was cheaper labor. Slavery also left a legacy of discrimination and disadvantage, which some people argue still continues today.
Even though slavery still exists in the world, the United States must ensure that it never repeats this dark time in its American history.