Slavery has existed for more than a thousand years and it was exhibited in different faces in all parts of the world. Antebellum slavery was a form of slavery that existed in the plantation era in southern America from the 18th century. The slave-driven plantation farming in those years was the fundamental driver of economic growth in the South America after the America civil war which had negative effects on the economy of the antebellum south. Slavery has attracted both critics and supporters from the society; eccentrics oppose slavery on the basis of their view slavery as a moral monstrosity (Raboteau, 180). Supporters of slavery have cited the economic achievements and the revolution of agriculture and other industries whose inception was anchored on the raw materials derived from agriculture. Slave masters cited that abolition of slavery would result to bloodshed and other evils in the society. This was seen in the United States of America where there was great bloodshed after the confederacy and the union went to war (West, 90). One side was supporting the abolition whereas the other side was opposing it. The pro-slavery lobby cited that end of the trade would mean the collapse of the economies of big nations such as Britain and America. This essay will support the sentiment that slavery should be abolished.
The anti-slavery cited that the arguments by the pro-slavery group were not concrete and substantial. There existed other alternatives to the trade that could run the economies of the superpowers who depended on the trade, for example, there existed seeds, minerals, and other crafts which could have been traded in the place of slavery and slave labor (Raboteau, 160). Slavery was wrong from the beginning because it involved coercion and thus violated the right to freedom which should be enjoyed by everyone. The large profits which were accrued from slave trade did not justify that the act was good; the returns from this trade attracted other big players such as Britain which escalated the unfit trade (Raboteau, 85). The transatlantic slave trade which resulted in the transfer of many Africans to America was very different from the slave trade that existed in Africa. The enslaved in Africa had the freedom of keeping their identity and name. The slavery was not extended to their families; they were merely victims of political or judicial punishments, or prisoners of wars (West, 90). The Slave trade in the antebellum south resulted in the loss of identity and destruction of the family ties and bonds in America.
Another reason for condemning slave trade is the damage that it caused in Africa. The labor from the slaves which would have been used in Africa to improve the economy of Africa was being transferred to America and Europe to develop the economies of the masters of the slave trade (Raboteau, 103). This was being done on the pretext of the civilization of Africa but that sentiment does not hold any water. Slaves were so resistant to this trade that some opted to jump and drown into the Atlantic Ocean on their voyage to the Caribbean. The Africans in which were being used as items in the trade suffered greatly physically, mentally and psychologically. Studies indicate that the slaves in the plantations in antebellum south recorded appalling low life expectancy rates (West, 78). The slave trade was only enriching the authors of the trade and the countries behind it. This trade can be attributed to the emergence of superpowers in the world that colonize the poor African countries through the back door yet these countries used the resources of Africans and raw materials from Africa to achieve their economic power (West, 96). Slave trade should be abolished completely because its pros are more than its cons as explained by the arguments put forward in this essay.
Raboteau, Albert J. Slave religion: The" invisible institution" in the antebellum South. Oxford University Press, 2004.
West, Emily. Chains of love: Slave couples in antebellum South Carolina. University of Illinois Press, 2004.
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