American history - Essay Example

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The Debate of Slavery Historically, there has been slavery since biblical times. For a very long time, it was thought that those who were African American were subhuman and were regarded as property. Many of the early great ancient societies such as the Egyptians and early Roman Empire used slaves in order to keep their societies running and economically stable…
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The Debate of Slavery Historically, there has been slavery since biblical times. For a very long time, it was thought that those who were African American were subhuman and were regarded as property. Many of the early great ancient societies such as the Egyptians and early Roman Empire used slaves in order to keep their societies running and economically stable. Later, when the Europeans began to colonize North America, they brought over the idea of slavery in order to be the work labor for these developing areas. After the American Revolution and the start of Industrialization, there were many arguments regarding the thoughts of slavery. Industrialization left the northern states of the Union developed and the south was still operating under the agrarian practices, which had existed prior to the formation of the United States. The arguments of slavery address the fundamental questions, which are whether slaves are regarded as people or property, the view of states’ rights vs. federal rights, and the impact of sociology and religion in politics. The question of the rights of states and slavery started to begin as Manifest Destiny began to take place. The United States was becoming an established world power and was expanding west. As a result, the original thirteen colonies were growing. Some of these new territories were taken through purchases with foreign nations and some were the result of wars. The Compromise of 1850 dealt with the future of slave states versus those in the Union. In the compromise, there were specific territorial and financial compensations which were given in order to prevent the worst, but what would become an inevitable action: cessation of the southern slave states (Boyer, Clark, Hawley, Kett, & Rieserm 2010) The biggest debate, which was invoked, was over the debate of whether slaves were regarded as people or property. Seward argued on the behalf of natural law and the laws that were passed down by God. Being an abolitionist, he believed that slavery was a very breach on the natural laws of freedom and self-regulation that were given by God. Citing reference to the Bible, he said that God gave the humans domain over the Earth and all the creatures that inhabit it- not one another. He also cited the fact that by allowing slavery to exist, it was a very breech of the constitutional principles that our country was founded on. The Constitution provides freedom and free speech to everyone. As a result, how could one uphold the constitution when there were breaches in this principle in the south? Calhoun argues from a socioeconomic standpoint. In his view, even in biblical times, slavery was allowed. If God did not want slavery to occur, God would have said or done something about it. In his case, this is not an argument, which should be concerned with the clouding of the issue due to the abolitionist. From his viewpoint, it was strictly a debate on socioeconomical issues. The southern economy was completely dependent on the work of slave labor to create economy, unlike the northern industrialized states. In addition, by recognizing slaves as people in the census and allowing freedom of movement, it would create an unnecessary power struggle that would result in the politics, which would violate the rights and lifestyles of the South. Webster took a stance, which was in the middle of Calhoun’s and Seward’s argument. His biggest question was since when did the debate of slavery even beginning, considering that it has existed for years prior to this. His belief was that this argument touched on too many viewpoints that could be solved in a single political movement. He understood the immorality of slavery and how it conflicted with the beliefs of God, however, he also understood the complexity of the issue with the dealing that abolishing slavery would not only affect the lives of the South, economically and socially, but it would also have an effect on the lives of the slaves as far as the resentment which would exist between the ex-captors and the slaves. The thought of slavery in today’s world is completely distasteful in the fact that that it is no longer tolerated not only due to religious influence, but also due to society and the movement of human rights. This has been due to our development as an “enlightened” society due to technology and political reform. Back in the early United States, slaves were still regarded as actual property and were devoid of any natural right; they might as well have been compared to an inanimate object. There were many factors, which had to be considered, which was addressed by all three politicians. As history shows, it was only through conflict and resolution that the stronger party and viewpoint was able to prevail. However, the main thing was that all of these politicians wanted to prevent any separation of the Union, which ended up failing despite the debates and compromises that took place prior. References Boyer, P, Clark, C, Hawley, S, Kett, J, & Rieser, A. (2010). The enduring vision: a history of the American people. Boston, MA: Wadsworth. Read More
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