How Europeans Justified Slavery
Being a slave means to be bound in servitude as the property of a person or household, to work for them until you earn your freedom, which is virtually impossible - How Europeans Justified Slavery introduction. Europeans used their many beliefs and biased judgments to help them justify slavery as legal and righteous. The Europeans had a slave trade route that was called the Slave Triangle, it started it out in Europe, and then to Africa, there they traded slaves with material and then on to the New World where the slaves would harvest crops and other stuff to bring back to Europe. This paper will talk about how Europeans justified slavery using the bible, their religions and racism.
The bible stated that slavery was just and that the sons of Canaan should be enslaved. It all started when Ham saw his father Noah naked and drunk in his tent, whereas Shem and Japeth walked backwards into the tent to avoid seeing their father in that state (Christianity’s). When Noah woke up, he was outraged at Ham and therefore as according to the bible, Noah cursed Ham’s son Canaan and all of his descendants to live a life of a slave (Christianity’s). Thus leading to this quote from the bible: Genesis 9:25-27: ‘Blessed be the Lord, the God of Shem!
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May Canaan be the slave of Shem. May God extend the territory of Japheth; may Japeth live in the tents of Shem and may Canaan be his slave. ‘ Canaan had dark skin, and therefore, the Europeans assumed that the Africans were descendants of Ham (Christianity’s). The bible helped justify slavery in Europeans perspective, though the Europeans went further and also used the difference of religion between the two races to support their argument.? The Europeans believed that slavery was just because by enslaving the Africans, they would be able to convert them to become Christians.
By uprooting Africans’ religions and heritage, they were able to achieve a few things, depriving them of cultural distinction and their motivation for revolt (Christianity’s). They also thought that if they converted the Africans to believe in God, they would be rewarded, since God would be pleased that they did their duty to bring light to the benighted and lost heathens (Christianity’s). The Europeans wanted the Africans to submit to slavery willingly by manipulating them to think that since everything has a place on Earth, they can’t help if God decreed for them to be slaves (Christianity’s).
The Europeans were very religious and thought that those who did not worship God was below them, these opinions made them start discriminating humans by their physical appearances.? The Europeans were also racist and thought themselves to be better than the Africans. A person called Linnaeus classified humans into different categories or races, but most of his opinions were based on their physical looks, therefore made the Europeans think that the Africans who weren’t christians and black, unpure, irreligious and uncivilized (THE).
A philosopher Aristotle also divided human beings into two groups, people who were born to be slaves, and people who are born to rule these slaves (BBC). Last but not least, he also said that as the Africans were dumb and unintelligent, it’d be better for them to have masters to tell them how to run their lives (BBC). The Europeans were obviously biased and treated the Africans with a superior attitude, when in reality all humans are equal, doesn’t matter if their skin color or their cultures are different.?
The Europeans were both one-sided and discriminatory when they used unfair and racist arguments to try and justify slavery. They took quotes from the bible, their ‘superior’ religion and their racist actions to try and support their arguments to defend their reasons for slavery. The Europeans thought themselves as superior than the Africans, but by discriminating the natives, by looking down on their culture and religions, they are in fact setting themselves to be lower than the Africans.