peculiar institution

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The Peculiar Institution A powerpoint presentation originally created by Bill Michalski revised from the website https://sites.google.com/a/whschoolapps. org/ap-u-s-history/chapter- 16

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Page 1: Peculiar institution

The Peculiar InstitutionA powerpoint presentation originally

created by Bill Michalski revised from the website

https://sites.google.com/a/whschoolapps.org/ap-u-s-history/chapter-

16

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“In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the

drudgery of life. Fortunately for the South she found a race adapted to the purpose.

The difference between us is that our slaves are hired for life and well

compensated. Yours are hired by the day, not cared for, and scantily compensated.”

Senator James Hammond of South Carolina

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An example of a hand tinted daguerreotype, c. 1855, widely distributed in the South displaying the happiness of slave life on the plantation.

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• Slavery was profitable, although a large part of the profit was in the increased value of the slaves themselves.

• With only 30% of the nation’s (free) population, the South had 60% of the “wealthiest men.”

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• The 1860 per capita income in the South was $3,978; in the North it was $2,040.

• By the late 1850s, the price of an average black male adult field hand is over $1,000.

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Am I not a Man?

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“No day ever dawns for the slave, nor is it looked for. For the slave it is all night,

all night forever.”

“We were no more than dogs. If they caught us with a piece of paper in our

pockets, they’d whip us. They was afraid we’d learn how to read and write,

but I never got the chance.”

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• Racism against African-Americans was a national problem, not a regional problem.

• The white South could never have gotten away with as much as it did in terms of white supremacy had there not been a large number of white Northerners who supported racist policies.

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The preservation of slavery and white supremacy — were ideas that interested not only slaveholders but also non-slaveholding whites.

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Religion and Slavery• From the early decades of the

colonial period, slave holders associated Christianity with freedom.

• Masters were so fearful that Christianized slaves could no longer be held in bondage that beginning in the 1660's southern legislatures had to settle the issue.

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The Virginia legislature ruled in 1667 that "it is enacted that baptism does not alter the condition of the person as to his bondage or freedom; masters freed from this doubt may more carefully propagate Christianity by permitting their slaves to be admitted to the sacrament."

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Not every Southerner owned slaves. In fact, only 1 in 11 did. But the major molders of public opinion did own slaves. This was true of educators, doctors, politicians, and preachers.

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Richard Furman--the originator of the Biblical defense of slavery was one such pastor. In South Carolina, for instance, 40% of Baptist preachers owned slaves.

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Slavery could not be overthrown because it had been orchestrated by God who ordained it in scripture. Slavery was part of the divine plan, they argued. Not only did God's Word make it clear that slavery was not evil, it was, in fact, a part of the divinely established social order.

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No Person held to Service or Labor in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labor, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labor may be due.

Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3

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Slave auction house in Alexandria, VA where many southern senators & congressmen bought and sold slaves after the Fugitive Slave Law was passed.

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