Reproduction of Emancipation Proclamation at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center Lincoln's long-term goal was to apply federal pressure on the slave states to get them to abolish slavery on their own, beginning with the four loyal Border States of Maryland, Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri. But he also warned that if the slave states seceded from the Union they would forfeit the constitutional protection of slavery, including any claim to the recovery of their fugitive slave. The American Civil War began in April,and by the end of May the Lincoln administration approved a policy of not returning fugitive slaves who came within Union lines from disloyal states. Such slaves were deemed "contraband of war," or "contrabands.
Ten Reasons Not to Abolish Slavery Wednesday, November 18, Policy Government Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it.
Such advocates generally elicited reactions ranging from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and even violent assault.
When people bothered to give reasons for opposing the proposed abolition, they advanced various ideas. Here are ten such ideas I have encountered in my reading.
People differ, and we must expect that those who are superior in a certain way—for example, in intelligence, morality, knowledge, technological prowess, or capacity for fighting—will make themselves the masters of those who are inferior in this regard.
Abraham Lincoln expressed this idea in one of his famous debates with Senator Stephen Douglas: And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.
Slavery has always existed. This reason exemplifies the logical fallacy argumentum ad antiquitatem the argument to antiquity or tradition. Nevertheless, it often persuaded people, especially those of conservative bent.
Even nonconservatives might give it weight on the quasi-Hayekian ground that although we do not understand why a social institution persists, its persistence may nonetheless be well grounded in a logic we have yet to understand.
Every society on earth has slavery. The unspoken corollary is that every society must have slavery. The pervasiveness of an institution seems to many people to constitute compelling proof of its necessity. Perhaps, as one variant maintains, every society has slavery because certain kinds of work are so difficult or degrading that no free person will do them, and therefore unless we have slaves to do these jobs, they will not get done.
Someone, as the saying went in the Old South, has to be the mud sill, and free people will not tolerate serving in this capacity. The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves. It would be cruel to set free people who would then, at best, fall into destitution and suffering.
Without masters, the slaves will die off. This idea is the preceding one pushed to its extreme. Even after slavery was abolished in the United States inmany people continued to voice this idea. Northern journalists traveling in the South immediately after the war reported that, indeed, the blacks were in the process of becoming extinct because of their high death rate, low birth rate, and miserable economic condition.
Sad but true, some observers declared, the freed people really were too incompetent, lazy, or immoral to behave in ways consistent with their own group survival. See my book Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American Economy, — Where the common people are free, they are even worse off than slaves.
This argument became popular in the South in the decades before the War Between the States. Its leading exponent was the proslavery writer George Fitzhugh, whose book titles speak for themselves: Fitzhugh seems to have taken many of his ideas from the reactionary, racist, Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle.
True to his sociological theories, Fitzhugh wanted to extend slavery in the United States to working-class white people, for their own good! Getting rid of slavery would occasion great bloodshed and other evils. In the United States many people assumed that the slaveholders would never permit the termination of the slave system without an all-out fight to preserve it.
Sure enough, when the Confederacy and the Union went to war—set aside that the immediate issue was not the abolition of slavery, but the secession of eleven Southern states—great bloodshed and other evils did ensue.Slavery was a cornerstone of the confederacy and while we can explain the economic reasons why they kept slaves, we cannot neglect the profound moral failure of a society to recognize its own cancer.
Ten Reasons Not to Abolish Slavery. Wednesday, November 18, Robert Higgs. Even after slavery was abolished in the United States in , many people continued to voice this idea.
Northern journalists traveling in the South immediately after the war reported that, indeed, the blacks were in the process of becoming extinct because of. Slavery in Colonial America was a horrendous institution established in the seventeenth century.
However, there are some debates over why slavery was founded in the colonies. There are many reasons to why slavery developed in . Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world.
To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it.
The Death Penalty Should be abolished because it constitutes cruel and unusual punishment Americans were aghast after learning the details of interrogation methods used used by the CIA on terrorism suspects following the attacks on Sept. 11, Slavery’s legacy and efforts to overcome it remained a central issue in U.S.
politics for more than a century, particularly during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era and the African American.