In the 1700’s to the1800’s slavery is perceived to be a normal system of association existing among humans. Slavery is extensively practiced specially in the Southern part of the Americas. Slaves are being subjected to difficult and severe kinds of work. Negros is the primary race of men that is subjected in a master and slave relationship. Usually, slaves are employed to assist the plantation owners of the work in the agricultural land of the Southern America. Plantations in agricultural lands are mainly maintained because of the servitude of slaves to their white masters.
In the era of rampant slavery, there is a great imbalance of the proportion of slaves with the white masters in the South of the Americas. White masters who possess slaves own a minimum of three slaves. There are white masters who own more than fifteen slaves. Slaves have essentially become part of the daily existence of white masters. Slavery is like an appendage of white masters in terms of accomplishments of tasks in the plantation and even in the routines and chores inside the house of the white masters.
Slaves are indispensable assistants in doing the rough and course labor.
Without the slaves, the white masters will be burdened with great pile of labor loads that are needed in the plantation and other enterprise existing in the agricultural land of the South. However in the advent of resistance regarding the ethical issues and implications on slavery, distressing and astonishing accounts of slaves’ experiences have been uncovered not only among white citizens of the South which lacks the capability of acquiring a slave, but also to the citizens in the North of the Americas. Morality and ethics have been given importance because of the distressing accounts narrated by the Negro slaves.
In the course of the resistance in the practice of slavery, the normality and rampant existence of the cruel kind of relationship is greatly admonished. Some of the white inhabitants of the America have undergone through a feeling of abhorrence in the way that slaves are treated by their white masters. Many have loathed the unjust and unfair system of the South. Even citizens outside of the Americas have questioned the practice of the acquisition of slaves for labor purposes. In the present time, slavery is almost already annihilated.
However, remnants of the unfair relationship between the dark-skinned race and fair-skinned race are still present and visible. Discrimination has replaced slavery. Discrimination is still always felt by Negros and black-colored skinned people. The agents of discrimination are still the “superior” race of the white men. In the initiation of the rise of resistance to slavery, there are tough defenders of the advantages and moral value of slavery. There are counter defenses on the accusations among the white men of battery of their slaves.
One of the toughest defenders of slavery is George Fitzhugh. And in his “Sociology for the South or the Failure of Free Society” he has expounded arguments favoring the continuing and flourishing of slavery. He has cited hard facts, economic indicators, and even counter narrative accounts of Negro slaves in strengthening his claims in defending the practice of slavery. In the defense of slavery by Fitzhugh, slavery is seen as the realization of the laws of nature. Slavery is a normal course of the existence of humanity. Slavery is always in accordance with the natural law of survival.
In the act employing slaves, the white masters are actually acting in favor of the slaves. In Fitzhugh’s position, slavery is a respectable and generous act. It is because in the act of slavery, white masters are enforced to give good custody to the slaves. Slavery as a decent act by Fitzhugh roots its origin in his perception about human nature. In his statements, human nature is individualistic. Selfishness is the goal of every human being in the world. This selfishness drives man in competing with other men for achieving their wants and goals.
This is in coherence with the laws of nature because animals and plants also employ the notion of competition. Stronger and cannier animals overpower and even kill those weaker ones. In the case of plants, those who have the inherent capabilities to survive get more nutrition and minerals than those whose capabilities are menial in surviving the harshness of their natural environment. Thus, it is normal and adequate that in the course of competition, other human beings subjugate other humans. Their triumph over other human beings is a noble cause of their perseverance in struggling for survival.
Consequently it is a natural process that men who have prevailed in the struggle for survival be compensated with more facilities of easier life such as larger profit in the course of industry when compared with other men who are incapable of offsetting other men. Therefore, slavery is a result of the white masters’ great capabilities of outweighing the Negros. And the white masters deserve the Negros as their slaves. Slavery is a compensation for the difficulty that white masters underwent. According to the defense of Fitzhugh’s slavery, the Negro must be very thankful of his being bound with the master.
It is because the Negros will never need to worry on the means of his daily survival for his white master has given him all that he wanted and will never bereft him of his wants. Fitzhugh stressed that the slaves are actually lucky in the master-slave relationship. When the slave is born, all needs and wants will be provided by the master. The slave will not worry regarding his daily existence because the master will greatly need his assistance. The slave will never be bereft of support from the master. In this light, Fitzhugh declares that the South of the Americas has actually become the model of communism.
Another advantage of slavery according to Fitzhugh is the lack of competition among slaves in terms of finding labor. There is also no dispute between the master and the slaves because each part is in the service of the advantage of each other. The slave need not fear the forthcoming of imminent difficulties for he is depending on the white master. Accordingly, this dependency results in the extensive progress of the sense of affection of masters and slaves because this dependency is based on the inherent laws of nature. This dependency also demonstrates the goodness of the white masters to the Negro slaves.
Fitzhugh also pointed that in the states that practices slavery, the incidence of crimes, poverty, and dissent are minimal. As the in the South of America, people are happy and calm. Harmony thrives among the inhabitants of the South. The abovementioned are the reasons and arguments of Fitzhugh in his defense of slavery. Because of the preceding statements, Fitzhugh asserted that slavery is a necessary component of a society. Slavery can induce the development of a society for it is transpiring in the light of cooperation and in the symbiotic relationship of the masters and slaves.
Further it is in precise agreement in the laws of nature. The arguments of Fitzhugh seem to be reasonable but on the other hand, the accounts of slavery in reality tell differently. Slaves are in total opposite of the accounts of Fitzhugh regarding the harmony of slaves’ lives. In an interview with a past slave named Nancy Boudry, the true story of the lives of Negros has been recounted (Rawrick pp. 113-117). Nancy said that the life as a slave is a life full of difficulty with lengthy periods of work, tough labor, and regular beating from white masters.
She told the hardships that she has experience with the everyday life with his master. Another tormenting disproof on the assertions of Fitzhugh is the account of a slave mother who has killed her child (Bassett, pp. 215-216). The crime is committed by the slave mother on the reason of eradicating all the possibilities of her conceived child being subjected in the same existence as her. She is asked if he felt any form of tension when she is performing the act of killing. It is very astounding to know that the slave did not feel any form of tension or fear for herself.
All she felt is the relief that her two children have been alleviated from the cruel fate of all colored-skin humans. She has decided to kill her children also because of the brutal treatment of her master towards her. She did not want her children to experience what she has experienced. Aside from accounts of mothers and elderly, there is also a distressing account of a young lady in the hands of his malevolent and evil white master (Jacobs, pp. 142-150). In her account, it will be discovered that slavery is a very painful situation in the eyes of young girl.
The hard work and beatings are not the only problem that a growing lady can encounter in a relationship of masters to slaves. Also, sexual abuse is a threat to any growing lady that is possessed as a slave by the white master. The innocence of the growing lady has been replaced by contempt and loathing for her white master. Other narratives of slaves highlight the torment that slaves feel whenever they witnessed their Negro brothers and sisters being maltreated by the white masters. They tell that they can’t contain the sadness that they feel whenever they see such.
Though they hardly want to show compassion for their brothers and sisters, it is prohibited by the cruelty of the circumstances where in they are situated. It is also worth noting that slaves are not only been subjected to the ruthlessness of slavery. Also, slaves have experienced the hardships of the civil war, particularly those who inhabit the Southern part of the Americas. In comparison of the South America with the North America, slavery is identified as one of the evils of the South. Failures in the South America are attributed to the practice of slavery contrary to what Fitzhugh is espousing in his assertions.
These accounts are only a minute part of the whole accounts of Negros who have suffered from slavery. In reality, it is true that slaves must worry about their future for they are supported by their masters. However, this dependence has subjugated the Negros beyond the level of human beings, slavery made them into animals. And no virtue of humanity is at the side of an act which violates not only the freewill of a person but mostly his disposition as someone that is also human. Therefore, Fitzhugh’s arguments are resting on erroneous and disdainful bases.His position is really not in the side of the society but only in the side of those who benefits from the evils of slavery.
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