Book Review: Slave and Citizen

Pages: 1 (298 words) Published: October 15, 2013
Slave and Citizen Essay
It is common knowledge that slavery was an immoral and corrupt practice that destroyed lives, families and cultures. However, author Frank Tannenbaum the culture of the slave masters dictated how well the slaves were treated. Tannenbaum attributes factors including religious views, cultural traditions and laws granting slaves protection the credit for the polarizing differences between slave holding societies. He argues that centuries of inhumane and brutal treatment coupled with the practice of “absolute slavery” made European countries incapable of accepting former slaves as citizens. For the U.S., this inability to accept people of African heritage as equals resulted in the Civil War, segregation, and the struggle for civil rights. This is contrasted by the relatively seamless transition of Negroes into freedom in Latin countries.

In essence, the perception of a slave was as white and black as the very skin color that separated the slaves and the masters. To be a slave in Latin America meant to be granted privileges that were unheard of in North America. Traditionally, Latin countries were heavily influenced by the Catholic Church which promoted manumission and viewing slaves as equal in the eyes of God. was to seen as the victim of circumstances beyond your control. Though you may be legally owned by another man, in the eyes of the lord, all me are inherently equal. These deep religious views encouraged Latin countries to It should be understood first and foremost that the institution of slavery began, thrived, and ended long before the time this book was written. Nearly 100 years after the abolition of slavery, Tannenbaum sought to understand why race relations in the U.S. and Latin America varied so greatly. Essentially he relied on the accounts of travelers during the time period for a comparative analysis.
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