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Student 1 (Jed): For this weeks post, I’ve decided to answer the question as to when and why the South moved from seeing slavery as a necessary evil to seeing it as a good thing. In 1829, a constitutional convention was help in Virginia to discuss whether or not to abolish slavery in the state. This sparked a lot of controversy over the subject and caused many people to write books and articles either defending slavery for the good, or simply calling it a necessary evil.
Before 1830, the South defended slavery as labeling it a “necessary evil”. The main reasoning behind this is the simple fact of the cotton boom in the United States. They would argue that it was the most important cash crop, and slaves were necessary to harvest it. People also thought that if slavery wasn’t there that their economy’s would crumble. Not only that, but they viewed owning slaves would make them be viewed as refined, well to do, and classy.
After 1830, were forced to change their defense into seeing slavery as a good thing instead of a necessary evil. The cotton boom had been happening even before 1830, but by 1860 it is estimated that cotton was 65% of all US exports. Only 25% of people living In the South actually owned slaves and most likely had some type of political power or was extremely wealthy. Slave owners were worried that if slavery was abolished, that they would lose huge sums of money that were tied up in slaves. If a slave was purchased for $1000, and the owner had 200 of them, then he or she would be out $200,000. If you adjust that number to current inflation, that means someone who owned slaves would lose almost 6 billion dollars. That is an insane amount of money.
Mostly no matter what, southerners wanted to protect themselves economically. They would defend slavery until the day they died instead of losing all of their money and workers that would create income for them.
Deborah Gray White, Mia Bay, and Waldo E. Martin, Jr., Freedom on My Mind: A History of African Americans (New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2013)
James L. Roark; et al. (2008). The American Promise, Volume I: To 1877: A History of the United States. Macmillan. p. 206. ISBN 978-0-312-58552-5
Student 2 (Powers): The question i chose to answer this week is When and why did the South move from seeing slavery as a necessary evil to seeing it as a good thing? The South made this move in the 1830’s and did not really take hold until the 1840’s. This is when “a growing number of southern ministers, journalists, and politicians began to denounce the North’s form of capitalism as “wage slavery.” The condition of free labor, they argued, was actually “worse than slavery,” because slaveholders, unlike greedy northern employers, provide for their employees “when most needed, when sickness or old age has overtaken [them].” Northern workers, they declared, were simply “slaves without masters.”” (Digital History). So in summary the south had decided that their form a slavery was right and just based on the fact that they took care and provided for their slaves while the North was just using them as a work horse and discarding them when they were broke or finished. This got to the extreme to the point that the South tried to create their own school system to stop from the Norths ideals to reaching their children. These are just a few and a brief summary of why the South made this change and what it involved.
History, Digital. “Southern Nationalism.” Digitalhistory.com. Digital history staff, 2016. Web. 4 Jan. 2017.
Student 3 (Nef):
They started reaching out to many of the churches and spreading the word of how wrong slavery was and the people stared to really listen to them, they were getting people on their side. That turned out to be somewhat of a bad thing because then the threats started and the violence started. This is when some of the free African Americans had to actually escape to Canada in order to survive. One abolitionist that did not survive, which was editor Elijah Lovejoy who was murdered in 1937.
In 1936 the U.S. House of Representatives passed a “gag rule” which banned any consideration of antislavery petitions because they did not have the authority over the states (Gag rule, n.d.). For approximately a year the American Anti-Slavery Society sent in over 130,000 petitions to congress trying to put an end to slavery. What ended slavery was the ratification of the 13thAmendment to the Constitution on Dec 6 1865 after a long hard fight.
Abolitionism. (n.d.). In United States History. Retrieved from: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h477.html
Gag Rule against Abolitionist Petitions. (n.d.). In United States History. Retrieved from: http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h2560.html
The Abolitionist Movement. (n.d.). Retrieved from: http://www.angelfire.com/ult/civilwarcauses/abolit…
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