Jefferson Davis

Essay by joannarigas December 2012

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Jefferson Davis

Slavery for the dark skinned people was a "stepping stone" towards perfection. For Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States of America, slavery was an essential factor, because he believed that the Africans would be improved by serving the Americans. Jefferson thought that the economic condition of the south was dependant on slaves, and therefore owned some of his own. But Davis wasn't just an ordinary slave owner, he allowed his slaves to hold their own courts, to set their own punishment, and provided an education for "the best of them." Jefferson Davis as a typical Southerner of the 1800's, wanted slavery to prolong, even when he knew that sooner or later slaves would be freed.

Jefferson Davis believed that slavery was necessary not only in order to instruct Africans how to behave but also to allow the South's economy to continue to be based on cotton.

Since the textile industry of New England depended on the south's cotton, he believed that for the economy, it was only a temporary requirement, until the cotton trade in the south was successfully developed. To produce cotton, slaves were needed. Slaves worked in the fields, they planted and harvested crops for their owners, to whom they were like machines. Davis believed that slaves were property, not humans.

Despite that, Davis expected slaves to be liberated. Jefferson believed that sometime in the future, gradual emancipation would come for the Africans. He tried therefore to prepare them for this privilege and responsibility, freedom. But many say that this performance of sympathy towards the slaves was just a superficial way to be liked by his people. Even though the southerners were slave states, he still had to take the challenging task of persuading everyone that he was the best candidate for President...