Slavery: Evil of Positive Good?
In the years between 1830 and 1860 slavery became a common subject of the moral debate in the United States. The Second Great Awakening of the late 1700s exploded with a need to reform in American civilization. Christians were trying to rid society of the new American ideals based on a market economy. The revival of religion inspired people to analyze the greedy new ways and thoughts Americans were adopting. People began to criticize wrong-doings in the public and strive for change. Many wanted to return to the old Puritan dream of a perfect society. One of the changes they hoped to make was to become that “city on a hill” and eliminate the evil sin of slavery from the South. The Southerners, on the other hand, claimed that slavery was a “positive good.” They claimed slavery helped spread Christianity and its virtues to the barbaric African slaves. Each side had their own views of slavery and arguments to support those views. The North’s main argument was that slavery was not constitutional while the South argued it was needed for a stable economy. These debates of “constitutionality vs. economic” or “evil vs. positive good” were only provoking more arguments between the two regions. The dispute on slavery between the North and the South would soon lead to a dreadful civil war.
The South had many reasons to legitimize the use of slavery. Southern plantation owners claimed that they treated their slaves more fairly than the factory owners treated their paid employees. [Doc. A] Southerners pointed out that if a worker was injured, sick, or too slow, they were immediately cast aside and easily replaced. Pro-slavery Americans pointed out an obvious similarity between factory workers and interchangeable parts. With interchangeable parts, a machine could be easily fixed by just replacing one broken part, when before, an entire machine would need to be replaced if a single piece was damaged. Similarly, if a factory...
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