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The Preservation Of Slavery In Free World

1087 words - 5 pages

The Preservation of Slavery In a Free World
How is it possible that the New World, started by people who dedicated themselves to liberty and human dignity preserved such an inhuman institute such as slavery? Some could argue that the founding fathers were simply prejudice against the African people, and they believed that they were an inferior race. But according to Edmund Morgan, there were more in depth reasons for keeping slavery in the colonies that would eventually become the United States. He stated that major figures such as Thomas Jefferson, who believed in human equality, saw that was slavery was necessary to keep social and economic order in the young world. Morgan also ...view middle of the document...

The rights of Englishmen were preserved by destroying the rights of Africans”. The slave trade quickly erupted bringing boatloads of Africans who would provide free labor which greatly reduced the number of indentured servants coming over. This system of slave labor was easily controlled due to the fact that law makers applied different laws for blacks than whites. They saw the Africans as a “brutish people in large numbers”(2) who needed to be controlled. As history shows, they were strongly controlled, “They had been nurtured in heathen societies where they had lost their freedom; their children would be nurtured in a Christian society and never know freedom.”(3) These incoming slaves had also brought a sense of peace and nationalism among the whites who inhabited the colonies.
Thomas Jefferson “the slave-holding spokesman of freedom”(4) was a man who stood for equality, but yet he had owned slaves for most of his life and believed slavery was necessary. How was this justified? The freedom that Jefferson refers to is one that is obtained by the individual, not one that is bestowed upon oneself. “The freedom that Jefferson spoke for was not a gift to be conferred by governments, which he mistrusted at best. It was a freedom that sprang from the independence of the individual”.(5) Jefferson believed that if a man had to rely on another man in order to survive, than that man could never truly be free. A man needed to own land in order to provide for themselves, and if the slaves were freed it would be nearly impossible for the majority of them to do this. It is impossible due to that fact that they would be released into society with practically nothing. This leads to another concern of Jefferson. He felt a strong distrust towards the class known as the “landless laborer”, which many of these freed slaves would most likely become. Once again these men had no land of their own to depend on and therefore worked in plants and for manufacturers. These men relied on consumers and the market.
“But both his distrust for artificers and his idealization of small landholders as the most precious part of the state rested on his...

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