A self-described old man at 67 years of age and with little more than five months of life ahead of him, Washington had just completed a task that seemingly resolved an issue that had troubled him for decades. It was on that day that the former president finished writing his last will and testament, which spelled out his directions for freeing the more than enslaved human beings that he personally owned. Given the nature of this type of document, Washington addressed a range of personal matters in dividing his estate among his heirs.
The Southern Argument for Slavery Southern slaveholders often used biblical passages to justify slavery. Those who defended slavery rose to the challenge set forth by the Abolitionists. The defenders of slavery included economics, history, religion, legality, social good, and even humanitarianism, to further their arguments.
Defenders of slavery argued that the sudden end to the slave economy would have had a profound and killing economic impact in the South where reliance on slave labor was the foundation of their economy. The cotton economy would collapse.
The tobacco crop would dry in the fields. Rice would cease being profitable. Defenders of slavery argued that if all the slaves were freed, there would be widespread unemployment and chaos.
This would lead to uprisings, bloodshed, and anarchy. Some slaveholders believed that African Americans were biologically inferior to their masters. During the s, this arguement was taken quite seriously, even in scientific circles.
Defenders of slavery argued that slavery had existed throughout history and was the natural state of mankind. The Greeks had slaves, the Romans had slaves, and the English had slavery until very recently.
Defenders of slavery noted that in the Bible, Abraham had slaves. Defenders of slavery argued that the institution was divine, and that it brought Christianity to the heathen from across the ocean.
Slavery was, according to this argument, a good thing for the enslaved. Calhoun said, "Never before has the black race of Central Africa, from the dawn of history to the present day, attained a condition so civilized and so improved, not only physically, but morally and intellectually.
They said that their owners would protect and assist them when they were sick and aged, unlike those who, once fired from their work, were left to fend helplessly for themselves. James Thornwell, a minister, wrote in"The parties in this conflict are not merely Abolitionists and slaveholders, they are Atheists, Socialists, Communists, Red Republicans, Jacobins on the one side and the friends of order and regulated freedom on the other.
Such unrest was used by many as a reason to continue slavery.
When a society forms around any institution, as the South did around slavery, it will formulate a set of arguments to support it. The Southerners held ever firmer to their arguments as the political tensions in the country drew us ever closer to the Civil War. The Peculiar Institution Quiz What invention led to the increased concentration of slavery in the South?The first public reading of the Declaration of Independence occurred at high noon on July 8, , in the Old State House yard in Philadelphia (what is now Independence Hall).
George Washington (John Trumbull, ), also depicts William Lee, Washington's enslaved personal servant, who for many years spent more time in Washington's presence than any other man.
In U.S. history, the relationship between George Washington and slavery was a complex one in that, while he held people as slaves for .
George Washington's Views on Slavery In his writings, George Washington felt very strongly that slavery was an institution that needed to be eliminated from American society.
"'To Get Quit of Negroes': George Washington and Slavery." Journal of American Studies 39 (): – Schwarz, Philip J. Slavery at the Home of George Washington. Of the nine presidents who were slaveholders, only George Washington freed all his own slaves upon his death.
Before the Revolution, Washington, like most white Americans, took slavery for granted. At the time of the Revolution, one-fifth of the colonies’ population lived in bondage.
Although most. In U.S. history, the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and slavery was a complex one in that Jefferson worked to gradually end the practice of slavery while himself owning hundreds of African-American slaves throughout his adult life.
Jefferson's position on slavery has been extensively studied and debated by his biographers and by scholars of slavery.