This House believes that government has an obligation to address slavery.

A summary of five sources from APT (Benjamin Rush, Tomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, William Ellery Cahanning, & Angelina Grimké)

Benjamin Rush, "An Address ... Slave Keeping" (1773)

Conclusion: Slavery cannot be tolerated in America because it corrupts the master and the slave and gets in the way of salvation.

Premises: Slavery is foreign to human mind; Freedom is natural to human mind, therefore it cannot exist with slavery.

Philosophy: Uses a liberal philosophy (for personal freedom and against the status quo) Uses scripture to back moral argument which is conservative. 

Counter-Argument: Blacks are " naturally inferior in intelligence and morality". Needed for manufacture and agriculture.

Thomas Paine, "African Slavery in America" (1775)

Conclusion: Slavery is contradiction to Christianity and natural laws.

Premises: Christians believe in justice and humanity; slave is property owner of his property; Slavery is an unjustified taking: Our slaves are not POW's; We live under the Gospel not under Patriarchs.

Counter-Argument: How are we to know how the seller procured the slave; Jews allowed for slavery.

Philosophy: Liberal plus scriptural

Thomas Jefferson, "Notes on theState of Virginia" (1784)

Conclusion: The blacks are inferior to the white in both body and mind and they shall not mix.

Premises: children of slaves have not developed; all other races are attracted to whites' attractiveness; they have misery but not poetry; nature has made them big of heart and small of head; work well in the heat but not the cold (strong kidneys); 

Counter-arguments: If we let them go , they shall kill us.

Philosophy: Not liberal, scientific racism, (needs therapy)

William Ellery Channing, "Slavery" (1835)

Conclusion: A human being cannot be justly owned.

Premise: categorical imperative, rights, equality, property argument, legal argument, scriptural argument, natural law, obligation

Counter-Argument: Rights are given up when you join the whole. Social Contract. Blacks are inferior.

Philosophy: conservative and liberal

Angelina Grimke, "Appeal to the Christian..." (1836)

Conclusion: Women should read, pray, speak and act against slavery.

Premises: slavery is contrary to Christianity and cannot exist within our social contract.

Counter-Argument: Women don't have any political influence. Slavery serves economic needs.

Philosophy: Conservative

Last modified: Wednesday, March 6, 2013, 11:18 AM