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IB History of the Americas/Chapter 4

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Pro-slavery arguments

The slave-owners justified the use of slaves by different means. One common argument was that the Africans were recipients of the "curse of Ham."

In Latin America, black slavery became widespread after mounting pressure from the Catholic Church to cease the use of Amerindian slaves who were dying from overwork.

It’s a necessary evil: emancipation would have even worse economic and social effects than the continuation of slavery.

—Robert E. Lee

-The blacks were already better off by just being in the United States, rather than Africa. “The blacks are immeasurably better off here than in Africa, morally, physically, socially.” (Robert E. Lee)

-Slavery is a necessary part of their lives. “The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their further instruction as a race, and will prepare them…for better things.” (Robert E. Lee)

-Slavery is actually a good thing: every society has a portion of it’s people who live upon labor of others, and the slaves are treated well and are better off than the workers in Europe, and conflicts between capital and labor are nonexistent. (ideas of John C. Calhoun)

-Slavery is for their own good: it was often argued that slavery protected slaves from the harsh reality of the new market economy and shielded them from suffering from “Northern wage slavery” with the immigrants.

-Bible argument: southern scholars such as John C. Calhoun felt the Bible was the “ultimate justification” for slavery, as the Bible does not condemn it, and rather casually mentions slavery without criticism.