“Slavery and Freedom: the American Paradox”
Morgan starts off his paper with a strong statement about how colonial historians have ignored slavery and treated slavery as an exception. He wants our generation and future generations to realize just how much slavery played a part in American history. His thesis is that we have a paradox, and that paradox is that America wouldn’t have liberty and equality without slavery.
Morgan gives several examples of how this paradox works. In the beginning of the Revolution, America didn’t have many ships or arms, but they were growing products to sell and trade to other countries. Almost all of the crops were produced by slave labor. Morgan says it perfectly: “To a very large degree it may be said that Americans bought their independence with slave labor”.
Morgan claims that slavery has a strong connection to Virginia. Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and James Madison were all from Virginia. It is ironic, because even though these men were spokesmen for freedom they all owned slaves. Morgan then goes on to explain how these men got their beliefs. He substantiates his thesis by then giving a detailed history of Virginia and how slaves were brought about.
Nicole Tatro 2
I think Morgan’s thesis of how America couldn’t be free without slavery is very true. It is a sad thing that it has to be true, but all the evidence in his paper points out the facts. I believe that he provided adequate evidence to support his thesis. I felt that he kind of went off track when explaining the Virginia stories, but those had to be told so the reader could get a mindset of what people back then were thinking. Overall I thought it was a good article and that it made a lot of sense.