Douglass vs. Slavery

Slavery has been a big part of our history. All the way from early human civilization to the 1860’s. Many people have been for slavery for so long and say that it’s a good thing. But others like Frederick Douglass, say that it was a horrible thing that went on. And he would know he lived through it when he was younger. In his book Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, He talks about many ways how slavery was bad and the experiences he went through. The biggest ways he talks about, that I think are the biggest, were in a religious format and a socio-economic format. In his religious format he talks about how many of his masters say that they converted to Christianity, but most of them still beat their slaves and put them through the worst conditions. In his socio-economic format he talks about how people think that if slavery existed then everyone is provided for. But he talks about how his masters would starve all their slaves and not give them good living conditions. From these two examples, it shows how badly treated they were at all times and people believed it was right. But Douglass shows them the real truth in his book.

Douglass uses a religious format to show how many of the people for slavery say that it was ok for slavery to happen. In the pro-slavery argument it said that it was ok for slavery to happen if god didn’t say it was bad. They said,” Although slavery is rarely mentioned in the New Testament, String fellow points out that, because Christ never disclaims it, He must be in favor of it, as He saw no need to change the rules regarding slavery that were in place during the time of the Old Testament”. In this statement they said that if god himself has not said that slavery is bad then he might be in favor of it. So they thought that it was ok for slavery to happen and have colored people suffer. Douglass explains in his book that many of his masters had converted to Christianity but were still beating their slaves. This showed that they were still not changed for the better. When someone converts to Christianity they are suppose to go against evil and fighting or torture. But all of his masters still beat their slaves and said that they have changed, but have they really? In his book he shows a clear example of this. He said,”I have said my master found religious sanction for his cruelty. As an example, I will state one of many facts going to prove the charge. I have seen him tie up a lame young woman, and whip her with a heavy cow skin upon her naked shoulders, causing the warm red blood to drip; and, in justification of the bloody deed, he would quote this passage of Scripture—’He that knoweth his master’s will, and doeth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes’ “(57). In this quote he states that his master has found a religious sanction to give the young lady for her deed. But it is nothing of a religious form. When someone says that they have found religious sanction, then that means they have found a better way of relieving anger. Not by whipping slaves for the fun of it like what his master did. Douglass used this example in his book to show how during slavery, people treated slaves like they were nothing. He used a religious example to get his point across in his book. He said how his masters converted to Christianity but they were still doing unchristian like stuff. Like beating slaves with whips and applying cruel punishments. This showed the fact that none of his masters converted to the good side. They just said they did and continued on with their lives like it was nothing.

Another way Douglass uses to get his point across about slavery is in a socio-economic format. He shows that people who go for slavery say that when it does happen everyone is provided for. That when slavery is going on all the slaves have enough food to survive and good living conditions. But Douglass shows in his book a different side of all that. He said, “Not to give a slave enough to eat, is regarded as the most aggravated development of meanness even among slaveholders”(54). In this quote, Douglass states that when u don’t give a slave enough to eat it is considered the most meanest thing a slaveholder can do to his slaves. This was considered as a cardinal rule for all slaveholders and slaves. Douglass showed how most of the slaveholders he’s had have done this to him and the living conditions they have been in are even worse. All they are given was just one set of cloths for the winter for a whole year and for the summer. They only got new ones at the end of the year. Douglass, before going to Baltimore, has gone through the cold night by sleeping in a bag with his feet sticking out. There were cracks big enough to put a pen in them. This clearly shows how slaves were treated at certain campgrounds. In the pro-slavery article it states that, “An arrangement where everyone benefits, both the weak and strong, rich and poor.The only real alternative to slavery is free enterprise and capitalism”. This states how slaves were only used for making money and that they were given what they need to live. But, like what I said earlier, this is totally the opposite of what Douglass said. This clearly shows that what people for slavery said was totally wrong.

At the end of all this, it clearly states that people for slavery lied about what they said slaves get. Perfect treatment and living conditions but from what Douglass said, it is the total opposite. It is clearly stated for everyone to read, you just have to open your eyes.

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