Slavery North Vs South

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Slavery: Perceptions of the North versus the South Slavery in America can be traced back to the earliest days of the nation. From 1641, when Massachusetts became the first state to legalize slavery, till 1865, when slavery was abolished in the colonies, slavery played an important role in the early development of the United States. In the early years of slavery, African Americans were brought over to work for free. Slave jobs were mostly labor extensive and caused many slaves to be overworked. As the American economy prospered, due to the free labor, people began to reevaluate the need for slavery. The economy was becoming stable and machines were replacing the need for slaves to do certain jobs (ex: cotton gin). As the North began to see…show more content…
One such article, “Cannibals All! Or, Slaves Without Masters” was written by George Fitzhugh, an advocate of slavery who was also from the South. Fitzhugh, who was an author and a lawyer, argued that slavery was needed in order to keep the slaves occupied and happy. Fitzhugh argued that slavery was both beneficial to the slave as well as the slave-owner. He reasoned that a slave working for a family would understand the meaning of a family unit. When describing the difference between a newly enslaved African and an American slave, Fitzhugh states, “Virginia negroes have become moral and intelligent” and that slaves “love their master and his family, and the attachment is reciprocated” (Fitzhugh, 386). This idea of a mutually beneficial relationship is Fitzhugh’s way of showing the North that slavery is not just the practice of capturing humans for labor, but also developing them into better people. He justifies this idea by adding that slaves are part of a slave owner’s family, and they promote the happiness in one another and “good treatment and proper discipline renders the slave happier, healthier, more valuable” and teaches the slave “obedience, industry and loyalty” (Fitzhugh, 392). Fitzhugh’s justifications of slavery present the slave owner as being the mentor for a misguided individual. He argues that since their owners protect them from outside pressures, they live easier lives and are able to focus on the task at hand effortlessly. Through such examples, Fitzhugh is able to express slavery as a cultural development as well as an economic benefit. Fitzhugh argues “cotton, rice, sugar, coffee, tobacco, and other products of slave labor”, had developed into necessities of the American lifestyle and that the North was as reliant on slaves as the South (Fitzhugh, 387). When making arguments against the North on whom slavery is really beneficial for,

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