Edmund Morgan’s “ the Paradox of Slavery and Freedom”

Topics: Slavery in the United States, Slavery, Thomas Jefferson Pages: 1 (264 words) Published: March 3, 2013
Edmund Morgan’s “ The Paradox of Slavery and Freedom” is about just that, the word paradox according to Dictionary.com meaning a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth. It would seem crazy to say freedom and slavery grew and the same time but it is what Morgan calls the “ American Paradox”. Morgan tells stories about how American slavery and freedom began and grew in Virginia.

One argument Morgan has is that racism is the main issue of slavery. White men were considered superior of black males even if that was not the case socially. Morgan goes on to mention how our four father that believed so strongly in equality and freedom were slave holders their selves. Another example of racism was that the punishment for misbehaved slaves where different if you were black. For example killing your master pig could get you 2 more years added on until you could be freed. Which are way more expensive then a pig. They did this so it would keep slaves from being freed.

To me the most important point that Morgan made in this essay was that many historians ignore writing about the formation of American freedom because the rise in slavery was the sculptor of it. Without slavery there would have been no production, no products, no economy.

One thing I learned from reading this essay was that 40% of all the slaves in the United States were in Virginia. Ironically George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson were all from Virginia and slaves holders.
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