Essay Sample: Ending Versus Defending Slavery In America

Published: 2022-11-09
Essay Sample: Ending Versus Defending Slavery In America
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Slavery American history
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 927 words
8 min read

Slavery is considered as the southern antebellum foundation. It defined the political, cultural and social Southern life. It is also said to have unified the south. John C Calhoun who stated that, the South recognized the political leader since the 1820s to 1850. He devoted much of his time in defending slavery. He also developed some point of defense where one was an argument which presented slavery as a beneficial institution, and the other point was based on political theory where the minority especially the south needed some protection in the federal union. However, Slavery opposition existed among enslaved Africans. The opposition also went further among Europeans at the beginning of World slavery. This is however illuminated wherein 1943 New England Confederation assisted some servants who had run away some of them included slaves.

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Though the slave trade and slavery were despised by most society, many of Western society had accepted it by the 18th century. Those who supported it argued that stopping slavery would have an extreme economic impact in the South. The defenders also based their arguments on history, social good, humanitarian, legality, and religion in furthering their argument. Moreover, Defenders argued that the abolition of slavery would lead to unemployment that would lead to anarchy, uprising, and bloodshed. They also pointed out on the rule of terror mob's that occurred on the French revolution, where they argued for status quo continuation that provided stability and affluence for slaveholding class and for every free person that enjoyed slave society bounty. On the other hand, the supporters of the abolition of slavery were mainly comprised of poor whites and Africans. Pressure to end slavery steadily grew in the 19th century which saw Wilberforce helping to lead the international crisis and outcry against the institution. However, in this century, other countries such as Britain followed on coming up with anti-slavery movement. Moreover, the antislavery movement won Northern support. This movement was not united, and the growth brought about some disagreement over values and strategy.

British anti-slavery movements witnessed in the 19th Century is regarded as one of the most important reform movement. Though the reform was faced with numerous ironies, Britain not only managed to outlaw the slave trade but managed to abolish slavery through colonial possession. However, some of the reason why the British turned against slavery was the rise of humanitarian amongst among leisured middle class. Scholars also state that the other reason was Nonconformist religion influence and evangelical Protestantism. (BBC, 2019). England reached the humanitarian milestone in the year 1772 when its courts decided in a Somerset case that slaves should be set free when they set foot in the country's soil. This led to abolishing of Slavery but was however permissible in the colonies. (Africans in America, 2019).

The southerners defended slavery on the basis that it was necessary and was a positive idea. They argued that it was of economic necessity in a way that there was no one to work and do such kind of labor of cultivation of cotton and tobacco. They also argued that the act of slavery was not immoral where they defended this in three perspectives. First, the biblical perspective where slavery was present in biblical times both in the new and old testament. Secondly, is the classical antiquity where Romans and Greek had slaves though they were the main source of Western civilization. The third perspective is that it existed in founding father times. This are the people who wrote the constitution also had slaves. However, ending slavery was an enlightenment idea that inspired political equality and individual freedom concept. However, the idea of enlightenment spread through the introduction of individual liberty and human rights to the Civilization concept. However, individuals began to examine and look at slavery from a different perspective and asked themselves whether it was compatible with the new ideas. (Brinkley, 2006).

Political thinkers such as George Fitzhugh, William Gilmore, and John C Calhoun constituted a circle that was in the forefront to justify the South as a superior civilization. John Calhoun showed that the constitution had failed in preserving the minorities right which is not just black slaves but the Southern states who showed interest in chattel labor as the property was increasingly being threatened by the increasing majority of the Western and Northern states. Southern intellectuals, however, drew claims that slavery was a natural condition where they supported these claims on the ancient and bible history.

I feel that the slavery supporters claims were morally wrong and not biblically right to support the act. The supporters backed up their argument with biblical scriptures. However, the Bible indicates that no man can serve two masters and if we examine the biblical scripture we discover that oppression and slavery were abominable in the eyes of God. I feel that the Africans suffered from being removed from their homeland as this act was against their wish. Ending the slave trade was considered easier than ending the act of slavery because the slave trade operated openly and thus it was easier to shut them down. There was also more support to end the slave trade. Many people had invested in slavery, and a lot of their investment in commerce, industry, and agriculture depended on.


Brinkley, A. (2006). The unfinished nation (5th ed.). New York: Columbia University Press.

BBC - History - British History in depth: British Anti-slavery. (2019). Retrieved from

Africans in America/Part 1/Efforts to end the slave trade. (2019). Retrieved from

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