Abolitionist Differences

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In their passages, Garrison and Douglass took an abolitionist stance towards the subject of slavery, whereas Fitzhugh defended slavery and listed why, in some ways, it was better than free labor. As a result, there seems to be very little agreement between the two sides on the subject of slavery.

Both Garrison and Douglass speak out against the injustices of slavery, and try to arouse the abolitionist spirit in the people. Garrison referred to the statement in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal, and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights-among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Garrison used this as a basis for the abolishment of slavery. Douglass uses the fact that there is not equality in the manhood for Negros and for the white man. He says that there were “seventy-two crimes in Virginia in which a black man would be sentenced to death, whereas a white man would only receive the death sentence for two of those crimes.” Fitzhugh described the benefits of slavery for the Negros. He talked about how slaves have all the necessities of life provided to them and never have to worry about starving, whereas the free laborer has to work or else he will starve. The one point in which Fitzhugh does agree with Douglass and Garrison is that he, and much of the South, admitted that they were aware that slavery in general is morally wrong and is a violation of human rights.

Although Fitzhugh and the other pro-slavery people opposed the abolitionists, both groups understood that the slavery existing in the United States was morally wrong. The main difference was the slaveholders simply ignored this fact and continued to defend slavery.
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