Sectionalism and slavery are important topics in American history. Sectionalism refers to the divide that was created between the northern and southern territories. For the Northerners, the wage system was a preferred method of capitalism whereas the Southerners preferred slavery. The slaves referred commonly to the black population that had settled in America then (Rabe 45). This paper establishes how sectionalism and the issue of slavery were becoming heated political topics in the American society.
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Slavery was responsible for the regional and economic divide between the northern parts of America and the south. Southerners were not pleased with the huge profits been made by the businessmen of the north and blamed their own failures on the exaggeration of the northern people. However, people from the north asserted that slavery which was heavily practiced in the south was particularly responsible for the problems of the south. From the beginning therefore, one can deduce that the issue of slavery was one dividing factor and hot topic between the two regions.
As early as 1830, the issue of sectionalism had been solidifying due to the problem of slavery. For instance, an abolitionist movement against the spread of slavery to the western states that had not been recognized as states began. For the Southerners, the slavery issue was not one that they intended to dialogue about. They were more concerned about their English rhetoric and their representative unions (Reed 65). For some seaboard regions, slavery had been practiced for many generations that it had indeed become a basic element of the economy of that area.
A small fraction of the whites from the southern region owned slaves. By 1860, the number of planters was 46,274 throughout the regions that still practiced slavery. One planter was described as an individual having at least 20 slaves. A big number of the slaves worked on white plantations. Several yeoman planters, whose land was less than 40 hectares, owned a few slaves, though most had none. White people who were considered poor stayed on the lowest parts of the southern region but were not allowed to have slaves. The reason why most of the planters wanted to continue having slaves was that they had many slaves and did not want to lose them. Still, the yeoman and the poor white people supported the institution of slavery for they were scared that if the black people were let free, they would begin competing for land with them. In addition, having the slaves around elevated the social status of the poor farmers and the yeoman planters and they did not want to lose that social standing (Reed 88).
As they continued to contend against the Northern standing, politicians of the time, employed people, and even the men of God in the south stopped being remorseful about slavery and instead encouraged it. In fact, publicists from the south were vocal in their assertion that the link between capital and labor was more tolerable and humane under slavery as compared to wage method as done in the North (Argus 100).
Slavery was brutal characterized by beatings and force. There was family disintegration as individuals were sold as slaves. Consequently, however, the deepest criticism of slavery was not on the way the masters behaved towards their slaves, but slavery’s basic disregard for every individual’s absolute right to freedom.
Argus, John. Journey into Slavery. New York: Mc-Graw- Hill, 2010. Print.
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Rabe, Stephen. Slavery in American Society. New York: Wadsworth Publishing, 1992. Print.
Reed, John. Southerners: Sectionalism. New York: BookSurge Publishing, 2008. Print.