Justifications for the Institution of Slavery during the Antebellum Era
In Chapter 11 , it was stated that Slavery is primarily a labor system intended to produce wealth for landowners .It increasingly became a capitalistic enterprise intended to maximize profits . As such , it was tied to a growing international web of economic relations
By 1820 , the South became the world 's largest producer of cotton . Cotton required continuous development , land , labor demand and a global system of trade . As such , it depended increasingly on the slave-based economy However , the Upper South was experiencing a long depression and it affected prices . To survive , either the planters move or stay and diversify . Diversification meant shifting to grains and to selling slaves . Soon , the internal slave trade became a multi-million dollar industry
Until the 1830 's , slavery was explained as a necessary evil However , the call for abolition of slavery was becoming stronger and they had to change their justification for maintaining slaves to make it more acceptable . The Southerners started to label slavery as a positive good ' They based their justifications on five sources - the bible , history , the Constitution , science and sociology
The biblical justification makes reference to the curse imposed upon Ham , Noah 's son and the various verses from both the Old and New Testament reprimanding servants to always obey their masters . For its historical justification , they pointed out that all ancient civilizations were based on it and most likely even the current civilization depended on the servitude of the blacks in America The Constitution was their reference to its legal justification which refused to abolish slavery and various laws passed protecting it such as the overseas slave trade and mandate for returning slaves to rightful owners . They also turned to science and twisted the data an conclusions to justify that blacks were an inferior race based on the...
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