Unformatted text preview: Suzannah Bloom Making of American Culture 11/30/07 Slavery and the Unity of America in the Mid-1800s America during the mid 1800s attempted to run a newly created government based on platforms such as Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The founding fathers such as Hamilton and Jefferson worked very hard to create unity and draw the United States into a successful nation both economically and socially. However, America in the mid-1800s had begun to rip at its seams over several major social, moral, and political issues, and effectively split into two prominent sides, the North and the South. America was forged from the idea of unity between the states, but the divide between the North and the South tore that unity down. American in the mid 1800s was divided over two main elements, slavery, and partisan behavior from the North and South which caused both sides to find themselves morally superior on the case of slavery, and see each other as traitorous to American values such as freedom and equality Arguably one of the largest issues in America during the mid-1800s was the issue of slavery and abolition. The South, aA` society whos economy thrived on large cash crops such as cotton and tobacco, depended largely on slavery and therefore argued that it was an acceptable institution and resented the Northern attempts to abolish it. Southern beliefs in slavery were so strong that they were actually willing to die to keep it in place. For example, an excerpt from a popular southern newspaper, the Daily South Carolinian, when referring to a guard , stabbed to death for blocking a mob of Northern abolitionists from trying to rescue the fugitive slave, Burns, stated Let the blood of [the guard] teach us a lesson that fanaticism must be crushed at once at any and every price.. Here this statement illustrates that the Guard, by standing in the way of the abolitionists, died trying to do what the South though was right, fighting to keep the Northern abolitionist at bay. The guard, by sacrificing his life to fight abolitionism and support slavery shows the southerners believed so strongly in slavery, they were willing to die to keep it in place. In contrast, the North, thought slavery was morally wrong, and vehemently promoted the abolitionist movement. For example, the Liberator, a widely recognized newspaper in the North, also spoke of the Burns case stated, it is hoped and believed that [the courts] decision will be favorable to poor Burns.to send him into slavery, on any pretense is to commit THE CRIME OF CRIMES. By supporting a runaway slave and calling slavery THE CRIME OF ALL CRIMES, the North showed that the institution of slavery opposed their morals. America was founded on three values, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the North believed that supporting such values was to extend them to all men, regardless of their skin color or country of origin hence the saying all men are created equal. They believed that slavery was the greatest of all crimes because it condemned certain men from obtaining the values of American society going against their values of equality. However, differences between opinions of slavery and abolition between the North and the South was not the only thing dividing America at the time. An important factor was their intense hatred and disdain for one another over the issue of slavery. The South saw the North as stuck-up, secretive (private abolitionist meetings), and traitors of American values, and became quite fed-up with Northern moral superiority. South to become frustrated with Northern attitudes of moral superiority because form the Southern, perspective, saw abolitionist efforts as hypocritical because freed slaves in the North, due to segregation and limited job opportunities, did not lead much better lives than slaves in the South. They also saw the North as traitorous because they refused to execute the fugitive slave law, essentially stealing Southern property by harboring runaway slaves. . Similarly, the North had extremely negative opinions of their the South. They saw southern society as boorish, naive, stupid, and extremely uneducated, and demonstrated such harsh opinions by printing extreme images and slanderous labels all throughout widely-circulated northern newspapers. For example, the first page of the Liberator is almost completely dedicated to demeaning southern culture. Not only did the paper use a plethora of slanderous labels to describe the south, but it also ridiculed the southern schools (which the north considered to be a joke). The North saw the South as traitorous to American values (equality), stupid, and uneducated, because they supported slavery. In conclusion, because the North and the South were split over the issue of slavery in the mid 1800s, they tore down the unity that America was founded on. Both sides, saw themselves as morally superior over the issue, and saw each other as traitors to American values. Although the North and the South shared many parallels with their opinions of themselves and one another, they continued to harbor negative feeling about one another Furth tearing apart America. ...
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This note was uploaded on 04/15/2008 for the course SOC 101 taught by Professor ? during the Spring '08 term at Arizona.
- Spring '08