Colonists Justification on Slavery
Colonists Justification on Slavery
Historical findings from chapters 5, 6, and 7 of the book reveal how colonists defended slavery. Most people justified slavery based on arguments that they found reasonable to them; however, the vast majority of the people agree beyond a reasonable doubt that is inhumane, degrading, and, more importantly, is wrong. None of the slavery justification would make sense in today’s world, but some of the arguments for holding slaves were entirely reasonable at various times in history. The colonist justified keeping slaves when they were fighting for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They viewed slaves as a different kind of people whose destiny was to become slaves, which can also be attributed to racism. In the views of slaves, it was an act of dishonesty that colonists were busy trying to build a great nation at the expense of other minority races. Every human being has the right to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, but that seemed something far-fetched as “slaves” were suppressed to suffering in the hands of their masters. The colonists could not cease their enslavement acts and offered some justification for their continued slavery. Several arguments were put forward by the colonialists to try and justify slavery. This paper critically analyzes how colonists justified keeping slaves when they were fighting for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The 18th century witnessed the growth of slavery in the United States colonies from South Carolina to Boston. Revolts against slavery by white colonists caused gross overreaction and severely inflicted constraints on enslaved people’s activities. In the 18th century, slavery created a cornerstone of the colonist empire. Arguably, all the colonies had enslaved individuals who formed a large part of the colonist labor force. Slavery was not just a labor system but also integral in all aspects of colonial thought and culture. The engendered feeling that came from the uneven relationship between the white colonist and the “slaves” gave rise to an exaggerated sense of white superiority. White people tried to contrast their status with black slaves, and English liberty was somewhat meaningful. The existing racial bond and identity were defined by African slavery. Slavery acts helped the merchants to line their pockets, while the trafficked individuals (Africans) suffered a great deal of misery, deprivation, and dislocation. Colonists saw slavery as vitally important for “slaves” since they could not spearhead their lives. It was much better and happier for the “slaves” to be in a system where their lives were controlled by others (colonists).
Religion was an important aspect of the life of colonists. Christianity enabled them to embrace living a good life. However, their acts of slavery contradicted with their faith. Regardless of the sermons and spiritual teaching, colonialists still carried out slavery. Their consciousness allowed them to inflict harsh punishment on their slaves, yet they proclaimed to have a deep spiritual life. They believed that it was ethical to keep saves because they viewed the slaves as inferior beings. They justified their actions by blaming all evil on the devil. The justification of their colonial conquest held that the colonists had legal and religious duties to impose their authority over the land and culture of the “slaves.” Colonists defended their acts by stating their role as civilizing the barbaric or savage cultures and further emphasized that they acted in the best interests of the slaves they exploited.
The colonist ventured into activities that would, in turn, benefit the society as a whole. They invested in infrastructure, trade, disseminated medical, technology, and all those ventures required labor force. In the colonist view, slaves were well-equipped to execute such tasks. Perhaps, by nature, some individuals are slaves as part of God’s plan, and it was somewhat appalling to abolish slavery. The colonial government insisted that the slaves came to America to achieve the “American Dream” and escape things like poverty, diseases, war, among other horrible things and the colonial life was way far too better and perhaps offered great and new opportunities to “slaves.” Colonists saw “slaves” as inferior beings; thus, slavery is not cruel and degrading.
Slaves were not regarded as fully humans. Their pain was as morally essential as domestic animals; hence, ending slavery was not justifiable and had no right to abolish slavery. Some individuals further held that “slaves” are inferior to humans and ought to be enslaved. Such arguments orchestrated racism as the acts were subject to specific races, such as African descent people. Those who defended the Atlantic slave trade insisted that some ethnic cultures deserved enslavement and were the proper place for such races. That would be a completely misguided view in the current world, but the 18th-century colonist used such arguments to justify enslaving particular racial groups.
To conclude, colonists inflicted different kinds of punishment on slaves and still believed they were doing the right thing. They viewed slaves as dumb individuals. For the colonialists, slavery was a form of instilling character in the slaves. According to chapter 5, slaves were given fewer choices as compared to the colonists. The chapter focuses on the different choices that were made available to immigrants and slaves. The negroes, as defined in the chapter, are unknowledgeable and superstitious and were mostly traded from guinea. Slaves were forced to carry out responsibilities that made the life of colonists better. The slaves’ suffering was considered to be for the greater good as they were degraded for the pursuit of happiness for their owners.