Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ingraining Slavery in the 19th Century

            Slavery was a major problem in the United States of America in the early 19th century, and it still is a problem in many countries in current times. While slave owners make lots of money, they are essentially ruining the lives of their slaves. In the early 19th century slavery became economically entrenched, negatively affected human dignity, and ignored human characteristics.

            Cotton economically entrenched slavery in the United States during the early 19th century.
The Cotton Gin
Both the number and the price of slaves skyrocketed after Eli Whitney invented the cotton gin. The cotton gin removed all debris from cotton after it was picked by slaves. This new efficiency made the production of cotton very profitable. Over the course of seventy years the United States went from producing 1.5 million pounds of cotton per year to 2.28 billion pounds of cotton per year. In 1860 cotton produced 57% of the nation’s total export revenue. The northern states claimed to oppose slavery when they were actually supporting it by pressuring southern states to increase the amount of cotton they were producing. Slavery was entrenched because the dependency the United States had on the large amount of export revenue, which could only be supplied with slave labor.

            George Fitzhugh, a lawyer and author from Virginia ignored human characteristics and dignity while defending slavery. Fitzhugh grew up on a plantation and was racist. He believed that slavery should be a part of all societies. Fitzhugh said that “slaves of the south are the happiest, and, in some sense, the freest people in the world.” Fitzhugh formed this opinion based on the fact that slaved don’t have to worry about food, shelter, money, and only work for 8-9 hours a day. He believed that liberty and equality are destructive. Fitzhugh’s view point disregards the many negative aspects of slavery, and doesn’t appreciate freedom.

            Slavery in the United States during the early 19th century was necessary to sustain the economy, but it disregarded human characteristics, and dignity. While slavery is widely unpopular with most people today, there are still those who share Fitzhugh’s opinion. These people who support slavery or even own slaves need to realize the suffering and destruction they are bringing to the lives of their slaves.

 George Fitzhugh. Cannibals All or Slaves Without Masters. http://www.edline.net/files/_BEHdp_/460bb97a393063db3745a49013852ec4/Morality_of_Slavery_DBQ_Documents.pdf .
Accessed 2-24-15.

The Cotton Gin.  http://etc.usf.edu/clipart/7800/7804/cottongin_7804.htm. Accessed 2-24-15.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Equality For Everyone Please!

Gender equality is a topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Inequalities between the sexes has always been an issue in the world. Any problem that affects nearly half of all the people on earth needs to be resolved. Throughout history there have been few exceptions to the belief that men should be given more rights and are ultimately more important than women. Women were
treated poorly during the 19th century and are still treated unfairly in many aspects of life in the present.

    On July 19-20, 1848 The Seneca Falls Convention was held in New York. This gathering sought to finally address the injustices that society placed upon women. Women in the early 19th century were not allowed to speak in public, own property, or vote. They also could be beaten by their husbands, couldn’t attend college, and were paid less than half as much money as the men who held the same job. The women and men who attended The Seneca Falls Convention felt that these laws and traditions needed to be abolished.The convention was the first women’s rights convention ever to take place. This video gives a basic introduction as to what The Seneca Falls Convention was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13Qc1ELn9-8&feature=youtu.be.
This picture shows how women were supposed to act in the 19th century
A newspaper article in the Oneida Whig summarized the event. The article says that “In the covenant of marriage she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming all intents and purposes he master-the law giving him power to he prove her of her liberty and to administer chastisement.” The people who attended the convention thought that marriage should not allow the man to completely control his wife’s life.

In the 21st century women and men are still treated differently. In theory both women and men are supposed to be treated equally in the 21st century United States, but oftentimes they are not. In some cases women are still paid less than men who hold the same job. It also can be more difficult for women to get jobs relating to science, technology, and engineering because the majority of workers in these fields are male. Women are also viewed differently by society. If a man has many relationships he is considered to be a gentleman and attractive, but women who are in just as many relationships are frowned upon by society. Although there are still many problems with equality for both men and women, many of the problems of the 19th century have been resolved. It is no longer ok for a man to beat his wife, women can vote, and women can attend college. The way people view the different genders has changed greatly since the 19th century, but there is still plenty of room for improvement in the future.

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