Fitzhugh draws the distinction between the North and the South on the principle of capital's obligation to labor. The problem, as he sees it, is that in the "free" Northern economy— he uses the words "free" and "respectable" with sneering irony— capital and labor are separate. Thus capitalists in the North endeavor to make "respectable" livings by squeezing the greatest amount of work out of laborers for the least amount of pay, only to abandon them when they cease to be useful. In the Southern slave economy, on the other hand, "labor is capital." Slaves, of course, do the work of the plantation, but they also represent a substantial capital investment. Owners pay dearly for them and thus it is in their best interest to "protect not oppress them." "When slaves are worth near a thousand dollars a head," Fitzhugh writes, "they will be carefully and well provided for," even when their working days are over. Unlike the Northern "slaves to capital," "the negro slaves of the South are," in his view, "the happiest and, in some sense, the freest people in the world.". Click here for standards and skills for this lesson. ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.4 (Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text. ). For permission requests, please contact Andy Mink, Vice President for Education Programs. 1. Fitzhugh uses the word "boast" twice in this paragraph. How might that word affect his pro-slavery readers? his anti-slavery readers? Test its impact by substituting other verbs: "maintain," "contend," "claim." How do those verbs change the tone of the paragraph? In the book Fitzhugh unapologetically acknowledges that the South is a slave society, but he claims that the North is, too. In both, capitalists seek to live off the muscle of others as much as any "Fiji chieftain" seeks to dine "on human flesh." Hence, all capitalists— Northern and Southern— are cannibals. The central question is what form of society most effectively curbs their appetites. It was morally wrong and, as a Christian country, Britain should not be involved. The anti-slavery society also used the bible to back up their arguments. They pointed to biblical text like Luke 16:13: "No man can serve two masters". In answer to the claims of the pro-slavery lobby, Granville Sharp, for example, wrote in his pamphlet 'The just limitation of slavery in the Laws of God': ". If we carefully examine the scriptures we shall find that slavery and oppression were ever abominable in the sight of God. ". want brandy? He has only to send his troops in the night time, to burn and desolate a village; the captives will serve as commodities that may be bartered with the British trader. ". They collected evidence to show that many resisted or preferred death to transportation. Many more died on the voyage to the Caribbean. Conditions on the ships were terrible, as illustrated and the speech made by William Wilberforce to parliament in 1789 and by testimony from people like ship's doctor James Ramsay. The replacement rate statistics also showed the appallingly low life expectancy of slaves on the plantations (7-9 years on some large plantations). Grades 11-CCR complexity band. For more information on text complexity see these resources from achievethecore.org. What kind of text are we dealing with?. With an argument that was as much a critique of industrialism as it was a defense of slavery, Southern spokesmen contended that chattel slavery, as it was practiced in the American South, was more humane than the system of "wage slavery" that prevailed in the industrial North and Great Britain. Why was Slavery finally abolished in the British Empire?. 7. Compare Fitzhugh's portrayal of slaves with that of free laborers. A note about the interactive exercises. The first allows students to explore vocabulary in context. The second prepares them to write an essay, an argument from authority, refuting Fitzhugh's case. It links to a PDF you can print and distribute. The PDF includes excerpts from the. 3. What definitions of freedom are implied in Fitzhugh's second paragraph? Advisor: Peter A. Coclanis, Albert Ray Newsome Distinguished Professor of History and Director of the Global Research Institute, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; National Humanities Center Fellow 2012–2015 National Humanities Center. 8. In light of the Freedom's Story essays on slave labor and slave resistance, how might you respond to Fitzhugh's claim that "negroes luxuriate in corporeal and mental repose"? Learn definitions by exploring how words are used in context. The argument was also cleverly countered in William Cowper's Poem 'A Pity for Poor Africans'. America and the Six Nations: Native Americans After the Revolution. 9. According to Fitzhugh, why does the purchase of labor turn an investor into a slave owner? Taking Africans from their homeland actually benefited them. You're using an insecure, outdated operating system no longer supported by Firefox. Your system doesn't meet the requirements to run Firefox. Congrats! You're using the latest version of Firefox. Your system doesn't meet the requirements to run Firefox. Your system doesn't meet the requirements to run Firefox. Sync bookmarks, send tabs, save to Pocket and more with a Firefox Account. Learn more. Your system doesn't meet the requirements to run Firefox. You've already got the Firefox browser. Now get everything else Firefox. Your system doesn't meet the requirements to run Firefox. Your system may not meet the requirements for Firefox, but you can try one of these versions:. Visit Mozilla Corporation's not-for-profit parent, the Mozilla Foundation. Portions of this content are 1998–2019 by individual mozilla.org contributors. 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