Slavery has existed for thousands of years in many societies and therefore slavery should have never been abolished. Slavery in America began in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. 1 A Dutch ship brought 20 Africans into the Colony and from there slavery spread throughout the American Colonies. It was practiced in the American Colonies in the 17th and 18th centuries and helped build the new nation. More than 7 million slaves were imported to America.2 There are several reasons that support the continuation of slavery, some of which include: economic, historical, religious, legal and social goods. 3 Slavery had a wide impact on Economic development. It not only impacted the south, but also the north and the world. Slavery was vital to the southern economy because the southern farmers were dependent on them for agriculture. Up to 25% of southern families owned slaves or 8% of American families. The gradual change from servants to African slaves shows its great potential profit. 4 European settlers had turned African slaves into a cheaper more plentiful source of labor that also benefited Northern businessmen that grew rich on slave trade and investments in southern farms.5 It was proven that southern farms that employed slave labor were up to 34% more efficient than farms that used free labor. If the United States would have to decide to ban slavery outright, the southern states would have plunged into a depression that would take years to escape.6 Slave finance, procurement and transport were also a profitable industry. There were about 70,000 slaves transported yearly during the 17th century. In the book Time on the Cross the authors stated that Slavery was a “highly profitable investment, which yielded rates of return that compared favorably with the most outstanding investment opportunities in manufacturing” 7 Did the government have the power to abolish slavery? Even the fieriest abolitionist had an issue with the claim with the United States constitution granted the federal government permission to take away citizens private property. John C. Calhon said it on February 6, 1837, is voicing his opposition to sending the issue of abolition to a Senate committee for study, nothing that “The subject is beyond the jurisdiction of Congress-they have no right to touch it in any shape or form, or to make it the subject of deliberation or discussion.” He felt jurisdiction issue was obvious. 8 Refer to Article I, Section 2 and 9, Article IV, Section 2, and Amendments IV, IX, and X of the Constitution of the USA, all of which in one way or another guarantee the right to own slaves as a basic, fundamental right under the constitution. As Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln knew and as each repeated constantly throughout the antebellum period, abolition of slavery could be achieved only by state law or constitutional amendment and neither congress nor the president had any right or authority to address, let alone act upon, the mater as a matter of federal constitutional law. The courts had ruled in the Dred Scott decision blacks, not just slaves, had not rights and “the constitution protected slave-holders’ rights to their property.” 9 Even if they could be freed, how would the federal government compensate former slave owners? The small size of the government meant that it had nowhere near the funds nor means to pay southerners for their losses. The issue of citizenship also arose. Simply because a Negro was freed did not automatically make him an US citizen. Would they be freed only to be limited on property ownership, business transaction and other rights? Or would the Federal government extend blanket citizenship, as was the case with Native Americans. A big reason to keep slavery was what were we going to do with four million unskilled laborers. Who couldn’t find jobs or contribute to the economy. It basically came down to two options: Integration, or Relocation. The people who favored integration wanted to free the slaves and...
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