3B: Defending Slavery

| July 26, 2016

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Before the emergence of cotton as a primary crop in the south, the invention of the cotton gin, and territorial expansion southward and westward, slavery appeared to be on the decline. These factors, coupled with a rising demand for cotton by the British textile industry, revived the South’s agricultural economy.

 

Although cotton could be grown with or without slavery, the expansion of cotton cultivation and slavery occurred together. When slavery was challenged on moral grounds, southerners chose to defend their “peculiar institution,” as in the words of John C. Calhoun “a positive good.”

 

INSTRUCTIONS:

 

This writing assignment will require you to analyze and discuss primary and secondary sources that relate to the institution of slavery in the United States.

 

Review the relevant content Chapter 13 of the textbook.

Read this excerpt from a statement made in 1837 by John Calhoun in which he outlines his views on slavery. Note his comparison of the lot of slaves with that of European (and northern) workers.

Read the linked essay: AMERICA IN THE WORLD: The Abolition of Slavery,

Read the linked article on BBC-British Anti-slavery

PREPARE AND SUBMIT:

 

Write a well organized essay, a minimum of 700 words (but not limited to), including supporting details from the documents/textbook/other sources, in which you analyze and discuss the material that has been assigned by addressing the following question:

 

Most southerners defended slavery, even though they were not part of the “Plantation Aristocracy.” According to the readings that you have completed, discuss why they supported slavery, and your response to the claims made by its supporters, and explain why it was easier to end the slave trade than to end slavery itself.

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