Furthermore slavery was the most controversial topic

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Furthermore, slavery was the most controversial topic before the Civil War. During the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in the United States, slavery was extremely common in the Southern states. Black Slaves were shipped across the Atlantic Ocean, through the Middle Passage, from Africa to America, were than sold to wealthy plantation owners and forced into labor on large plantations. After 1700, an estimated four-hundred thousand slaves were
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brought to North America. Slavery Struck the northern states as appalling, unnecessary, and inhumane to the poor Africans. The concept of slavery and whether or not the nation should accept it divided the northern and southern states. In the North, the peoples’ perception of slavery was very negative in contrast to the South’s peoples’ views that slavery was perfectly legal and necessary to the survival of the southern states. In the North slavery was never as important as in the South because only the South had large plantations and the need for it. The North developed understandable reasons why slavery should be abolished and the South retaliated using economic, legal, religious, social and moral arguments to defend the institution of slavery. The economic arguments seem the most obvious and were the strongest arguments that southern slave owners used to support slavery. The arguments are simple, maintaining the plantations in the south requires a lot of hard labor and the use of slaves was a very economical source of free labor. The free labor did not drain revenues of the plantations for high labor costs, a great reason to maintain and support slavery. The slaves were forced to harvest many types and large quantities of agricultural products such as the most popular “cash crops” such as cotton, indigo, tobacco, and rice. Without this free labor source, the plantations would fail and thus maintaining slavery was after all vital to the survival of the south. From a social and moral point of view, southern peoples “believed the slaves were much better off being civilized and Christianized then being in the jungle, running around with their pagan religions,” as the wonderful Mr. Gruskin reported on August 23, 2006. The South understood that slavery dated back hundreds of years and had been practiced in the past so by practicing slavery themselves, they had not committed some new crime and that slave owners all over the world, especially in Brazil, and the Caribbean were never prosecuted so they saw it as legal. The South then argued that the slaves received necessary food, clothing, and shelter which civilized them, which the South considered very important. However, as Thomas A. Bailey’s “The American Pageant” claims, in the deepest South, slave life extremely severe. “The climate was hostile to health, and the labor was life-draining….Only fresh imports could sustain slave population under these loathsome conditions.” Religious arguments developed as well, and the South came up with numerous biblical references that “proved” slavery as moral and therefore legal.
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