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Kayla Nguyen

P: 2
3/31/15
What were the moral, political, and economic arguments for slavery?
White Southerners labeled slavery as an imperative aspect of life. Slaveholders
and pro-slavery citizens believed that the Africans benefited from slavery; they defended
slavery on the grounds that bondage was vital to the economy and that slaves could not
legally be deemed as equals.
Notably, the condition of Southern slaves was reckoned as desirable as opposed
to the lifestyles of native Africans. According to the article White Southerners Defense
of Slaveholding: Article Two, there is profuse evidence to prove that the black mans
lifestyle as a slave is far more preferable than that of a freed man. The slaves were
viewed as uneducated and unskilled. Those that gained freedom in the North remained
oppressed by white superiority. While slaves gained liberation from the Abolitionists,
the Southerners emphasized the Northerners reluctance to employ freed slaves and
work alongside them. The Southerners claimed that slavery was a mutually beneficial
relationship between the master and the slave; the slaveholder and the slave even sat
side by side in cars and coaches. In order to establish that slavery was a positive good
the Southern slave-owners claimed that the North had developed exaggerative, cruel
outlooks about the conditions of slavery. Southerners boosted about the willingness and
obedience of slaves. Thus, pro-slavery citizens believed that bondage provided the slaves
with shelter, food, and clothes.
Many white Southerners argued that slavery was a crucial aspect of the economy.
The farmers especially emphasized the importance of free labor. They believed that the
abolition of slavery would led to their economic demise. The Southern farmers claimed
that hired labor would fail to parallel the profit provided by the forced laborers. Slaves
were the prime force of labor in the South; they picked and tended the fields packed
with cash crops. The prohibition of slavery would have a devastating effect on the
cotton, sugar, and rice economies of the South. These economies relied on a large input
of laborers. For the farmer a drastic shift from slave labor to paid labor would consume
all profit. Since the Southerners could not afford to employ such a tremendous amount
of laborers, they feared that abolition would be accompanied by high unemployment
rates and increase competition for the whites.
Chiefly, the Southerners argued that slaves were not citizens. They defined slaves
as property and claimed that the Constitution protected the ownership of property. In
Americas History, many Southerners supported the Dred Scoot decision. In that case it
was ruled that slaves were not considered citizens. This Southern view was also
extended to the Declaration of Independence. Although the document states that All
men are created equal, Chief Justice Roger B. Taney reasoned that it solely applied to
white men. The Southerners emphasized the harsh treatment of freed slaves in the
North. They reasoned that slavery in the South treated the slaves fairly and offered them
a reasonable lifestyle. The Southerners believed that the North used abolition as a
political tactic.
In conclusion, the South defended slavery by arguing that bondage provided the
slaves with a preferable lifestyle, maintained the stability of the economy, and prevented
the slaves from being considered as citizens.