believed that they had discovered natures racial laws which were akin to

Believed that they had discovered natures racial laws

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believed that they had “discovered” nature’s racial laws, which were akin to Newton’s laws of physics. These new laws were given vigorous support in many leading publications as well as by many prominent politicians. The laws were considered a necessary step for the southern Christians to validate and protect their beliefs from the abolitionists’ attacks. The abolitionists argued that slavery was a sin, that it contradicted the Bible, which claims that all men are equal and that there is only one type of human being. In Acts 17:26 Saint Paul in the Bible tells that "God hath made from one blood all nation which dwell upon the earth". The Southern Christians, however, saw themselves as modern men who embraced science. Many of the leaders of Southern Christianity accepted “that a limited as opposed to a universal flood did not undermine Christian faith”(Polygenesis and the Defense of slavery, p.390). In many instances the southern clergymen displayed unrecorded flexibility and tolerance in their acceptance of different scientific discoveries. They made sure, however, to criticise anything that strayed too far from their interpretation of the Bible. Ethnology also gave pre-bullum apologetics a powerful argument against one of the Abolitionists favourite attacks “that slavery destroyed black families”(Polygenesis and the Defense of slavery, p.390). A number of pre-bellum Christians used ethnology to claim that blacks had different “moral natures” than white people, and that this led to a lack of capacity to “emotionally bond”. This alleged flaw would cause black families not feel the same amount of misery over the separation from a family member as a white family. The theory is touched upon by Twain in Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as Jim’s sadness of being separated from his family is one of the story’s central themes.
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7 Throughout the novel Jim’s “persistent devotion to his lost wife and children”(Twain and the Endangered Family, p.391), and his relentless pursuit of them is what drives the story forward down the Mississippi river. Jim’s passion to rebuild his lost family also the basis for Huck’s growing respect for him and his transformation throughout the novel. (Twain and the Endangered Family, p.391). In the novel Twain often puts black people’s desire for family harmony into contrast with white people lack of the same. The most important, apparent example of this being Huck’s desire to escape his family, his father and his adopted family the Watts, and Jim’s search for his. Twain also though white and black people as emotionally equal, that both felt an equal amount of pain facing the loss of someone dear to them. In chapter 27, after Duke and the King have auctioned off the Wilks girls’ slaves Huck observe the “poor miserable girls and niggers hanging around each other’s necks and crying.” ( Adventures of Huckleberry Finn , p.309).
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