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slave3 - Summary of Argument The Debates Historians have...

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3 Summary of Argument: The Debates Historians have long argued over the relationship of slavery to the world beyond slavery. Nineteenth-century slavery depended on shipping, exchange, communication, banking, and state formation associated with the cutting edge of historical change. On the other hand, forced labor clashed with ideals of individual autonomy, fluid labor markets, personal freedom, mechanization, and democracy considered synonymous with that change. Both defenders and opponents of slavery wrestled with these polarities. Apologists for slavery sometimes claimed the institution as a crucial part of Western progress and other times portrayed slavery as an essential counterweight to destructive forces of modernity. Opponents of slavery sometimes portrayed the institution as the logical conclusion of rapacious economic development and sometimes as an impediment to the spread of benign institutions of free labor and free institutions. The debate held particular force in the United States, where one of the most
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