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Slavery and Southern Life

Slavery and Southern Life - Slavery and Southern Life...

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Slavery and Southern Life Defending Slavery Institution of slavery is being eliminated in north, careful balancing- for every new slave state, there needs to be a new free state, a lot of defense of slavery is based in religion, because in late 1700’s early 1800’s Christian denominations begin establishing denominations for blacks, educating them as Christians, pro-slavery in religion- o Hamitic Theory Hamitic theory, goes back to story of Noah, built ark, survived flood, Noah had 3 sons, Shem, Japeth, and Ham, Noah got drunk, naked passed out on floor, Ham thinks this is hilarious, other 2 sons the conceal his nudity and take care of him, when Noah wakes up, he is pissed at Ham, for his punishment, Noah curses him and descendants, Ham is described as dark and had wooly hair, they are sent away, maybe to Africa, pro-slavery thinkers think that black people are the descendants of Ham, pro-slavery thinkers grab on to this message, Samuel Sewall- one of the major thinkers in Hamitic theory, slavery has existed since beginning of time and is justified by the Bible, Bible supports institution of slavery o Polygenesis Theory of Polygenesis- another religious theory, combines the developing scientific thinking of the time as well, promoted by Samuel George Thornton, said that there are different families of men, they break it down into 3 families- 1)Caucasoid, 2) Negroid, 3) Mongoloid, they decide that God created each one differently at a different time, all the other groups came before the Caucasoid, and that Caucasoid was the perfect group, the other 2 were failures, more than one genesis, started with blacks and it failed so he finally got to whites, since Negroid failed maybe blacks aren’t people at all, makes it easy for them to enslave them o From Necessary Evil to Positive Good Many of the founding fathers said that at some point they have to get rid of this institution, at the time they said slavery was a necessary evil, they say they will get rid of it eventually, this creates problems for them, pro-slavery thinkers begin to call it a positive good, the institution itself is good for black people, because in this institution they are teaching these people how to behave, work, get along, be good Christians, blacks have no way to pull themselves up or to help themselves, pulling them out of darkness, they benefit from slavery, one of the ways they showed this benefit was by looking at the national census, in 1840’s the census
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showed hardly any case of insanity or mental illness among slaves in south, in north 6 crazy blacks for every 1 crazy white person, implies that freedom makes them crazy, justifies keeping them in slavery, in census a number of people that traveled to south asked slaves about slavery, the slaves say that they are well- treated in south, say this because of their fear of white people, can’t be honest, feeds into the idea that this institution is beneficial, southerners often depicted slaves as happy and contented in pictures, slavery is maintained by violence, only
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