US Civil War
How did Southern whites attempted to defend slavery?
Why northern whites who opposed slavery and southern whites who supported slavery both believed they were fighting to defend liberty?
Asked in US Civil War, Slavery, Grammar
How did Southern whites attempt to defend slavery?
Some whites in the South justified slavery on the basis of religion (using biblical passages such as the so-called "curse of Ham" or the passage in Philemon where Paul seemingly supports slavery) to say "God has put whites in power over blacks; therefore, slavery is OK." Others justified slavery for economic reasons: "It's cheap to use slaves' free labor; the economy will collapse if we have to pay them." Others used fallacious scientific reasons (such as "whites have bigger skulls than blacks, so slavery is OK because whites must be smarter"). Others used cultural reasons ("slavery is part of the Southern way of life"). Others were just racist ("blacks are degraded animals and inferior to us; we can do whatever we want to them"). Many used a combination of several of these reasons.
Asked in Slavery, US Civil War
What did poor Southern whites fight to defend?
A book by a southern writer that argued slavery especially oppressed poor whites?
Asked in Slavery
What was the attitude of southern whites towards slavery?
While it is never a good idea to generalize, studies have shown that large majorities of southern whites accepted slavery. Some even felt it was the right thing, because they believed that black people (then called "negroes") were inferior and meant to be slaves. But other southern whites were somewhat more ambivalent about it; we know this because even though they kept slaves, they later arranged to set them free. It is also true that the way slaves were treated varied: some owners were harsh and brutal, while others were somewhat more humane. Still, there was little public discussion about whether keeping slaves was ethical, and most southern whites seemed to support slavery as a necessity for running a plantation. Based on newspaper and magazine articles of that time, we can conclude that a large majority of southern whites were in favor of slavery, or if they had their doubts, they were not vocal about them. But it should be noted that there were a few southerners who were opposed to slavery and who did their part to try to end it. Unfortunately, their views were not the dominant ones, so slavery persisted.
A book by a southern writer that argued that slavery especially oppressed poor whites?
Asked in History of the United States
What arguments did Southern White intellectuals use to justify slavery by the 1850s?
Asked in US Civil War
Why did many whites who did not own slaves support slavery?
Because slave-labour was the mainstay of the Southern economy, in which they gained their livelihood. In the war, the poor white trash were not actually fighting for slavery, any more than most Union soldiers were fighting against it. The average Confederate soldier was wanting to defend his homeland, and was also the sort of person who would be looking forward to a darned good fight.