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The Proslavery Thought of George Fitzhugh - Essay Example

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In a vital 1860 speech before Congress, Fitzhugh, , drew attention to the fundamental "Revisiting America" amid Northern proponents of antislavery and Southern slaveholders. The revolutionary and destructive theory of universal equality derived from the Declaration of Independence, he argued…
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The Proslavery Thought of George Fitzhugh
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Running Head: PROSLAVERY DEFENSE -GEORGE FITZHUGH The Proslavery Thought of George Fitzhugh of the of the
The Proslavery Thought of George Fitzhugh
In a vital 1860 speech before Congress, Fitzhugh, , drew attention to the fundamental "Revisiting America" amid Northern proponents of antislavery and Southern slaveholders. The revolutionary and destructive theory of universal equality derived from the Declaration of Independence, he argued. "Red republicanism" in America had merely "blacked its face." In dissimilarity, the defense of slavery--based on tradition, history, and experience--was conservative in nature and promoted stability. Fitzhugh condemned the principle of mass democracy because, in his view, it challenged recognized institutions like slavery and created disorder and social disturbance. Fitzhugh had revealed not only the sectional divide over slavery on the eve of disunion, but also the ideological distance amid the revolutionary generation of Virginia slaveholders and mid-nineteenth century Carolina planters. The political ideology of secession, exemplified by his speech, belonged to the surge of reaction with the intention of followed the age of revolution in the Atlantic world.
The political ideology of secession in America consisted mainly of formal constitutional arguments and proslavery thought. The systematic construction of Southern constitutional theory and the theoretical defense of slavery proved to be very influential in the long term and provided the ideological justification for secession. Under the political and intellectual guidance of Fitzhugh, slaveholders formulated the "Carolina doctrine" of nullification, or the state veto of a federal law, state ownership of national territories, and the constitutional right to secession with the intention of helped make disunion a reality. The proslavery argument was also central to the growth of political separatism in America. Regardless of the individual political beliefs of proslavery writers, their works were crucial in the construction of a separate Southern identity based on slavery. It was this fine mixture of the most advanced proslavery orthodoxy and the ability to shake the foundations of the Union through inventive constitutionalism with the intention of made even moderate South Carolinian planters the ideal bearers of the gospel of secession.( Fitzhugh, pp263-265)
Fitzhugh's view of slavery, which had its origins in the earliest days of the republic, also became the justification of a separatist theory of politics. The emergence of a systematic body of proslavery literature and thought in America during the 1820s, however, marked the start of a new era. With the rise of closure and the sectional conflict over slavery expansion, the proslavery argument in this state would grow in scope and theoretical sophistication. Slavery, under South Carolinian construction, was well on its way from being a most un-republican institution, or an unfortunate anomaly in the republic to becoming the wellspring of a distinct body of Southern thought. Far from being irrelevant or aberrant, proslavery discourse informed the values and actions of planter-politicians in antebellum America.
Pioneering proslavery writers in 1820s America anticipated the increase of the completely developed proslavery argument of the 1830s by screening slavery not only as the necessary and defining element of Southern society but also as an institution sanctioned by the Bible. Many of the in the early hours proslavery pamphlets in America came in response to the Missouri Crisis, gradual emancipation and colonization plans, and the Denmark Vesey conspiracy of 1822. As Fitzhugh, a low-country planter and an early proslavery asked: "Did not the unreflecting zeal of the North and East, and the injudicious speeches on the Missouri question inspire Vesey in his hellish efforts" Anticipating the chief lines of the proslavery argument, Fitzhugh argued with the intention of slavery was an institution of "Mosaic dispensation" and it was not "a greater or more strange evil than befalls the poor in general." In the aftermath of the Vesey scheme and the destruction of the African Methodist Episcopal church in Charleston, Reverends Richard Furman and Frederick developed the defense of slavery while pleading for the "proper" religious teaching of the slaves. The proslavery argument in the Fitzhugh, state crystallized in the years amid the nullification and secession crises.
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"Revisiting America" The Proslavery Thought of George Fitzhugh, pp263-265 Read More
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