Using Deliberative Techniques to Teach United States History

By Eleanora Von Dehsen; Nancy Claxton | Go to book overview

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Two Views of Slavery

GEORGE FITZHUGH, “THE UNIVERSAL LAW OF SLAVERY”

He the Negro is but a grown up child, and must be governed as a child, not as
a lunatic or criminal. The master occupies toward him the place of parent or
guardian

Secondly, The negro is improvident; … will not accumulate in youth for the
exigencies of age. He would become an insufferable burden to society. Soci-
ety has the right to prevent this, and can only do so by subjecting him to do-
mestic slavery. In the last place, the negro race is inferior to the white race, and
living in their midst, they would be far outstripped or outwitted in the chaos
of free competition. Gradual but certain extermination would be their fate

We would remind those who … sympathize with negro slavery, that his slav-
ery here relieves him from a far more cruel slavery in Africa, or from idolatry
and cannibalism, and every brutal vice and crime that can disgrace humanity,
and that it Christianizes, protects, supports.…

The negro slaves of the South are the happiest, and, in some sense, the freest
people in the world. The children and the aged and infirm work not at all, and
yet have all the comforts and necessaries of life provided for them. They enjoy
liberty, because they are oppressed neither by care nor labor. The women
do little hard work, and are protected from the despotism of their husbands
by their masters. The negro men and stout boys work, on average in good
weather, not more than nine hours a day. The balance of their time is spent in
perfect abandon. Besides’ they have their Sabbaths and holidays. White men,

-81-

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