Discussion post

For your initial discussion post, you should select one of the prompt questions below and write a strong response paragraph that uses the assigned readings for the week as the basis for your response. Your paragraph should establish a claim followed by quoted support from the literature. Follow MLA formatting guidelines for in-text citations when you quote. For the purpose of this course, “literature” is defined as poems, short stories, novel excerpts, non-fiction narratives, speeches, sermons, etc. While you can quote from the editorial sections (author biographies, historical context sections, summaries of artistic and geopolitical changes, etc.), you must focus your response paragraph on the assigned literature and quote from the assigned literature. You should spend time explaining how  the quoted evidence you offer proves your claim to be true. Your response paragraph should be five to seven well developed sentences long. Use at least 2 quoted lines from the provided links.

Question needed to be answered:

  • If all men are created equal, how do revolutionary era colonists justify slavery?

Links needed: You have to use these.

https://louis.oercommons.org/courses/american-literature-i-an-anthology-of-texts-from-early-america-through-the-civil-war/view

https://louis.oercommons.org/courses/american-literature-i-an-anthology-of-texts-from-early-america-through-the-civil-war/view

https://louis.oercommons.org/courses/american-literature-i-an-anthology-of-texts-from-early-america-through-the-civil-war/view

https://louis.oercommons.org/courses/american-literature-i-an-anthology-of-texts-from-early-america-through-the-civil-war/view

If you need more let me know. I can get them to you.

Answer:

During the revolutionary era, despite the famous assertion in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” colonists justified slavery through various means. Some colonists argued that slavery was necessary for the economic prosperity of the colonies, as shown in Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia: “The whole commerce between master and slave is a perpetual exercise of the most boisterous passions, the most unremitting despotism on the one part, and degrading submissions on the other” (Jefferson). In other words, Jefferson believed that slavery was necessary for the economic success of the colonies, and that slaveholders were justified in using harsh methods to maintain control over their slaves. Other colonists justified slavery on religious grounds, as exemplified in the sermons of Jonathan Edwards, who argued that “the Institution of Slavery…is in no way Contrary to the Will and Mind of God” (Edwards). By appealing to religious authority, Edwards attempted to legitimize the practice of slavery as a divine mandate. In short, revolutionary era colonists justified slavery through economic and religious arguments, and by doing so, they perpetuated a system of oppression that would endure for generations.

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