Excerpt from “ANTECEDENT AND OCCASIONS TO THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR”[i]
Readers, to make the following relevant to today, just substitute another contemporary word in a few places.
“The upper class slaveholders considered themselves as benevolent providers, insisting that slavery was humane and uplifting for the blacks and some held the belief that if the African slave trade was reopened, the result would be, “the south would be overwhelmed with an eager black population.” The Slave Importation Act of March 2, 1807 prohibited in America the further importation of African slaves. The Act became effective January 1, 1808. These benevolent providers felt the Negro could not live outside slavery. They believed slaves would suffer if robbed of the glorious privileges they now enjoyed. “If they could not be flogged, half starved, and work to support in ease and luxury those who have never waived an opportunity to outrage and wrong them they would pine away and die.”
Those of the lower classes hated the slave because he was as poor as they and competed with them for the same labor, “the poor, ignorant white man, who does not understand that the interest of the laboring classes are mutual, argues in this same wise.”[ii] These lower classes, mere sheep incapable of being anything more than followers of the crowd, were easily talked into fighting and dying for the slavery cause.”
[i] Source: ANTECEDENT AND OCCASIONS TO THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR Bowman, John 2011
[ii] Source: Liberator, February 14, 1862, Negro Hopes for Emancipation, Dr. John S. Rock speech January 23, 1862