Slavery in the United States and New Fugitive Slave
Sample DBQ Period 3 In the years of 1830-1860, there were many conflicts on the views of slavery within our country. The North was working to bring an end to slavery with the creation of the routes to free slaves. The South was enthusiastic about the continuation of slavery with the help of the courts. The conflicts were put on hold with many compromises, but were dismantled by future legislation leading to bloodshed in America. The North wanted to abolish slavery.
With the support of newspapers and books such as the Liberator and Uncle Tom’s Cabin, information was given to the public to open their eyes on the cruelty of slavery and the treatment of escaped slaves. The ideas laid out in the book Uncle Tom’s Cabin fueled the fire for the anti-slavery movement and as shown in Document H is widely popular because it shows the text being printed in many forms, volumes and languages. This form of propaganda moved the Abolitionists Movement forward.
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In addition to text, other propaganda in the form of speeches by individuals such as Henry Highland Garnet about slavery, natural rights to liberty, obedience to God and the sinful behavior of those in the south helped the anti-slavery movement. (Document D). Many propogandists used literature, pictures, speeches and any other method to spread the evils of slavery and oppose legislation that required individuals to help in the pursuit of escaped slaves as stated in the Fugitive Slave Laws of 1850.
Document C shows how those of African American dissent can be forced back into or placed into slavery and sent to the south because free paper were ripped up and destroyed because of the southern idea that all African Americans were property and not citizens because of the Dred Scott Decision. The North was opposed to the Fugitive Slave Laws because they were obliged to help capture and return escaped slaves.
The ideas of the north also included the idea that the economy of the south would be in peril because once slaves were free, there would be no labor source to harvest and cultivate the cotton, so they needed to have some sort of system to help that economy of south survive. Document B Routes that help slaves escape to the North were called the Underground Railroad. This route was assisted by Harriet Tubman and was essentially a figure of speech and using symbols such as the North Star to help keep it secretive and point those individuals to friends and keep them on the right path to freedom.
Southern Americans approved the use of slave labor to aid in their daily lives. The system of slave labor was a fixed institution in the South and did not allow for immigrants to enter openly. Planters being of the elite status felt entitled to have others complete tasks for them because they preferred to socialize and play. The social atmosphere in the south during this time was known as the Antebellum Era, having a very simplistic lifestyle. The lifestyle of the southern elite watching and overseeing their fortunes and economic gains are demonstrated in many photographs such as the one in Document E.
In order to instill authority, slave owners had overseers who were usually slaves themselves known as breakers. These individuals believed in the usage of whips to break the spirits of rebellious slaves. Those in bondage believed their path and life was predestined by God, much like in Manifest Destiny where American felt they had the right to spread Democracy and progress across the continent. As stated in Document G, the belief of a slave that bad things will happen when you don’t work, when you talk back and don’t obey are ordained by God.
Legislation was instrumental in the continuation of slavery through the new Fugitive Slave Laws of 1850 and the Supreme Courts ruling with the Dred Scott Decision. In conclusion, conflicts between the North and South on the view of Slavery were very different and led to many compromises. The economies of the north were changing with the progress of industrialization and the influx of immigrants while the South was remaining stagnant in the Antebellum Era with a fixed set institution of slavery running their economy.