The Debate over Slavery


In the 1820s, 1830, and 1840s, the Second Great Awakening helped to inspire a reformist impulse across the nation. One of those movements centered on an effort to abolish slavery in the United States; of course, the desire to eliminate slavery did not go unchallenged. In this activity, you will examine the views of antislavery (abolitionist) and proslavery writers in the antebellum years. This essay will help you better understand a controversy that permeated American life in the years leading up to the Civil War.rnrnRequired ReadingsrnrnRead the following pro- and anti-slavery documentsrn•Pro-Slaveryrn◦George Fitzhugh Advocates Slaveryrn◦Disease and Peculiarities of the Negro Racern◦James Henry Hammond Advocates Slaveryrn•Abolitionistsrn◦David Walker’s Appealrn◦Frederick Douglass, ”What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”rn◦The American Anti-Slavery Society: Declaration of SentimentsrnrnFocus QuestionsrnConsider these questions as you read through the above sources (ALL of these questions need to be addressed in your essay):rnrnProslavery authorsrn1. How do these authors justify slavery?rn2. According to these authors, what place do slaves have in society?rn3. What derisive stereotypes of African Americans are found in these proslavery documents?rnrnAbolitionist authorsrn1. Why do they believe slavery needs to be abolished? rn2. What specific criticisms do they have about American society?rn3. How do these authors view African Americans (in contrast to the stereotypes offered by proslavery authors)? How do the authors view African Americans place in society?rnrnDirectionsrnYour essay should be a minimum of 2 pages, and you should spend AT LEAST one page discussing EACH position (one page discussing the proslavery perspective and one page discussing the abolitionist perspective). Remember, two pages is the minimum, and minimum essays normally score a C. If you want a higher grade, plan to be comprehensive in your coverage of the readings (there is no maximum page limit). Your answer should reflect the main points from each assigned reading, and ALL of the above readings should be addressed in your essay. Use examples from the readings to illustrate your main points. rnrnBe sure to proof your essay before submitting it as errors in grammar and spelling will lead to a deduction in points. Use quotations when using the exact wording from the reading and cite the reading at the end of the sentence [ex: if you quoted from the Walker reading, simply put (Walker) at the end of the reading – this lets me know which reading the quote is taken from]. As per the instructions in the syllabus, most of the essay should be in your own words and include your own analysis of the readings. I would encourage you to re-read the section in the syllabus that addresses expectations for essays.rnrnWhen you write your essay, don’t just go reading by reading; rather, see what common themes are found in the readings for both perspectives and write paragraphs based on themes rather than examining each reading individually. Yes, this requires more thought, but then your essay won’t read like an extended book report on each article. If you have any questions, just let me know and I’ll be more than happy to help.rnrnUse only the above sources for this assignment: DO NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. If you do, you will receive a “0” for the assignment. Your essay should be uploaded as Word document (no PDF files). rn

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