Pro-Slavery Arguments.

Essay by ToboscoeHigh School, 12th gradeA+, January 2004

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Slavery was at its peak both economically and controversially during the 19th century. The proslavery forces of the south proposed many arguments to defend their institution that they held dear. Legal, religion, and economic arguments were all used to justify their support of slavery. The largest defense of slavery came from the political aspects of it.

Legal arguments and defenses were used more frequently than any means of support. The largest attempts to save slavery came through compromises. Many famous compromises aroused during the 19th century over slavery and the territories. The compromise that stands out more than any other was the Missouri Compromise of 1820 which stated that any new territory above 36°30" would be free, and any territory south of that line would be slave. This settled the argument of slavery for a little while and was a great way of temporarily preserving their institution. Another argument used in support of slavery was that slaves were property, and individuals had the constitutional right to their property.

With this defense, it gave them a constitutional advantage. Another famous decision in favor of the South was the Dred Scott decision. This Supreme Court decision allowed proslavery forces to use the argument that blacks were not people; therefore they had no constitutional rights including freedom. This was another constitutional advantage that came from a Supreme Court interpretation of the constitution. The south presented a formidable argument to preserve slavery with these legal arguments; however there were also the economic and religious aspects to take into consideration as well.

There were many economical aspects to the question over slavery. The south presented the necessity of slave labor for prosperity as one example. Without the use of slavery, plantations and cash crops wouldn't have succeeded nearly as well because there was simply...