Sample Essay On Slavery And Abolition
In the earlier part of America’s history slavery was considered “a necessary evil,” which pushed off abolition for a long time. Unfortunately slavery went on for over 400 years, and remains a reality of America’s past. In the following essay, an examination on the justification for slavery and the delay on abolition are briefly discussed for a basic understanding.
During the 17th and 18th century, The United States was in a dramatic building phase with sizeable economic growth, requiring a lot of labor intensive work to keep up with increasing demands. A massive economic boom was taking place because of the increasing number of plantation owners with large pieces of land that produced ‘cash crops.’ These crops were primarily cotton and tobacco, and required a lot of work. Slaves were purchased in large numbers for cheap labor. Without the slaves the production of these goods would not have been possible, therefore it was deemed ‘a necessary evil.’ If free citizen were hired to do the excruciatingly difficult task of picking cotton, tobacco, or whatever crop planted, payment would have been expected leaving lesser profit for the plantation owners.
The need for cheap labor was the rationalization for slavery and allowed delay on the abolition of slavery. Not only was there profit for the business owners in the slave trade, but the British were the ones initially involved in bringing slaves on ships from Africa for their own financial gains. Therefore, slave trade was big business for Britain, Africa, and eventually the U.S. as well. The substandard living and treatment of the slaves was common knowledge and eventually began to attract concern for the lack of humanity towards the slaves. It took numerous attempts to end the use of slaves in America, and even after the Emancipation Proclamation, slavery still existed. According to United States Government (n.d.), “The 13th amendment, along with the 14th and 15th, is one of the trio of Civil War amendments that greatly expanded the civil rights of Americans.” Abolition of slavery took an extended period of time to fully integrate into the American reality for both slave owners and slaves.
Regardless of whether one would agree with the justification for the use of slavery for America’s initial growth, it was the “necessary evil” behind the purchases and enslavement of African in the United States. The end of slavery was took tremendous adjustment for the people of America, and has a long complex history of its own.
United States Government. (n.d.). 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:Abolition of Slavery
(1865). Retrieved from http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=40
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