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The Peculiar Institution

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by

Britt Christensen

on 27 October 2016

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Transcript of The Peculiar Institution

The Peculiar Institution
Read Frederick Douglass's "A Former Slave Exposes Slavery (1850)"
In your opinion, what was his goal in writing this account? Who do you believe was his intended audience?
Growth of the Slave Population
1790-
1800-
1810-
1820-
1830-
1840-
1850-
1860-
Old South was the largest and most powerful slave society the modern world has known
Discuss the characteristics of the "Old South"
"The master as the head of the system, has a right to the obedience and labor of the slave, but the slave has also his mutual rights in the master-the right of protection, the right of counsel and guidance, the right of subsistence, the right of care and attention in sickness and old age."
What southern ideology is exemplified by the following quote?
Paternalism
Discuss the pro-slavery arguments that dominated southern opinions concerning the issue
Read William Harper's Apology (1837):
In what ways does Harper's intended apology actually highlight the issues associated with slavery?
With a partner, review your notes on "Life Under Slavery." Discuss the laws that slaves were forced to follow, the conditions of slave life, slave labor, and methods for maintaining order.
Religion
Slave Family
African Heritage
Slave Culture
Desire for Liberty
Music, dance, religious worship (shaped by African traditions and American values and experiences)
Center of the slave community; law did not recognize marriage; families faced constant threat of being separated by sale
Threat of sale used as discipline method by owners
Traders gave little to no attention to preserving families
Secret religious gatherings
Biblical story of the Exodus as inspiration
"Gospel of Freedom:" found inspiration in the figures of the Bible
Slaves wanted freedom, but understood the dangers of confronting the system
Desire for freedom as the constant theme
Resistance to Slavery
The Amistad
53 slaves took control of a transport ship going from one port in Cuba to another
Seized off the coast of Long Island
697,624
893,624
1,191,362
1,538,022
2,009,043
2,487,355
3,204,313
3,953,760
Enabled slave owners to think of themselves as kind, responsible masters even as they bought and sold human "property"
African Heritage
Religion
Abolition
American Colonization Society
Abolition of slavery
Resettlement of black Americans in Africa
What country was formed in West Africa?
-Liberia
Discuss the different reactions to colonization.
How did the abolitionist movement of the 1830s differ from earlier antislavery movements?
Demanded immediate abolition and supported equal rights for black Americans
The Liberator (1831)
William Lloyd Garrison
"I will be as harsh as truth and as uncompromising as justice. On this subject, I do not wish to think, or speak, or write, with moderation...I will not equivocate-I will not excuse-I will not retreat a single inch-and I will be heard."
Spreading the Abolitionist Message
Pamphlets, newspapers, petitions
American Anti-Slavery Society (1833)
Local anti-slavery groups
Speakers, revivals, meetings
Many hoped to avoid violence and used moral arguments to point out the "sinful" nature of slavery.
Natural right to liberty and freedom regardless of race
Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Sold over 1 million copies by 1854
Sympathetic portrayal of slaves
Human face of slavery
"Words of activists like Frederick Douglass revealed the "hypocrisy" of the United States."
Elijah Lovejoy Monument
Alton, IL
"The empty name is everywhere-free government, free men, free speech, free schools, and free churches. Hollow counterfeits all! The substance has gone."
-Theodore Weld
"King Cotton"
Sent to factories around the world
"2nd Middle Passage"
Slave trade WITHIN the United States
Limited industry and technology
Less than 10% of manufactured goods produced in the South
Cities and Banks
Small cities
Banks mainly financed plantations
The Lower Class
Many farmers were self-sufficient-3 out of 4 did not own slaves
Blacks were "naturally inferior"
Slavery existed in the Bible
Greatest empires in history built on slave labor
Prevented whites from having to perform unskilled jobs
Liberates blacks from "menial" factory jobs
Wage earners actually worse off than slaves
Freedom and equality must be earned
Inequality is a fundamental law of society
Hierarchy is natural and normal
Pro-Slavery Arguments
75% of world's supply
Poor whites resented power of plantation owners
"Nobody will be argued into slavery."
John Quincy Adams
Argued that the slaves should be freed because they had recently been brought from Africa, which was against international ban on slave trade

Explain the meaning of this statement.
1) Many northern workers rejected the goals of the abolitionist movement because:
A) African-Americans lacked education
B) They feared competition for jobs
C) The Constitution clearly supported slavery
D) Southern cotton production was needed to keep factories running
Slave Family
Full transcript