Slavery Abolitionist vs. Slave Holders

Essay by manatgametalkJunior High, 9th gradeA+, April 2004

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Slavery. This was the cause of major debates in American history that contributed greatly to the differences developing between the northern and southern states of America during the 1800's. These differences would eventually lead to the Civil War, which would cause the still newly formed America to diverge. During the debates over slavery, both the abolitionist and the slave holders fought diligently to protect what they thought to be the best intentions for America and for themselves, but because these two sides were so conflicting in their arguments, it was inevitable that the debate over slavery would eventually end in drastic measures. Although the two sides disagreed on ideas, each had valid points to contribute to their cases.

The Abolitionist, or those who wanted to abolish slavery, believed that slavery violated many rights and beliefs held by the American nation. They argued that capturing others and forcing them into labor was a direct violation of the constitutions inalienable rights: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Even though at the time we were plagued with extreme racism against blacks (some to the extent of believing that blacks were of a sub-human species), the abolitionist argued that everyone should be given the opportunity to have these rights, regardless of race. They strengthened this point by using scriptures directly taken from the Christian bible. Scriptures such as Matt 7:12 " to others what you would have them do to you...",backed up their point that capturing others for forced labor was morally wrong. Other scripture such as Col 4:1 "Masters, grant to your slaves justice and fairness, knowing that you too have a Master in heaven", aided their next major argument against slavery; the treatment of slaves. Many slave holders, or to the slaves, masters, were brutal in the treatment of...