The Pros And Cons Of Slavery And Defenders

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Most southerners defended slavery, even though they were not part of the "Plantation Aristocracy." Those who defended slavery rose to the challenge set forth by the Abolitionists. The defenders of slavery included economics, history, religion, legality, social good, and even humanitarianism, to further their arguments. Defenders of slavery argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the South where reliance on slave labor was the foundation of their economy. The cotton economy would collapse. The tobacco crop would dry in the fields. Rice would cease being profitable. Defenders of slavery argued that if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and…show more content…
They point to the Ten Commandments, noting that "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant." In the New Testament, Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master, and, although slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, Jesus never spoke out against it. Defenders of slavery turned to the courts, who had ruled, with the Dred Scott Decision, that all blacks not just slaves had no legal standing as persons in our courts they were property, and the Constitution protected slave-holders' rights to their property. Defenders of slavery argued that the institution was divine, and that it brought Christianity to the heathen from across the ocean. Slavery was, according to this argument, a good thing for the enslaved. John C. Calhoun said, "Never before has the black race of Central Africa, from the dawn of history to the present day, attained a condition so civilized and so improved, not only physically, but morally and intellectually." Defenders of slavery argued that by comparison with the poor of Europe and the workers in the Northern states, that slaves were better cared for. They said that their owners would protect and assist them when they were sick and aged, unlike those who, once fired from their work, were left to fend helplessly for…show more content…
Like any law, passing it is one thing, but enforcing it is something else entirely. For example, in 1794 the US Congress passed an act prohibiting carrying on the slave trade from the US to any foreign place or country, and it also specified that no ship owner or officer could build or fit out or load a ship in US waters for slave trading, on penalty of a fine of $2000 and forfeiture of the ship. But passing the law did bupkis, because there was no enforcement, and ports both north and south carried out significant slave importation at great profit. Another act passed in 1807 banned slave traffic between Africa and the US - passing by a vote of 113 to 5! And in 1820, a law was passed making slave trading a capital crime. Even so, the number of convictions was appallingly low, and many escaped or jumped bail, and many cases never reached court due to bribery. In fact the only man who was executed for slaving was caught and executed during Lincoln's presidency. As compassionate as Lincoln usually was, he refused to grant clemency and so Captain Gordon's sentence was carried out. A law banning the slave trade was a feel-good measure, but in fact the slave trade not only continued but actually intensified after 1807. The anti-slavery naval patrols were quite inadequate and most of the slavers got

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