Essay Question: Responding to Jefferson Davis?
Jefferson Davis, the first and only President of the Confederate States, wrote his memoir, “Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government” about 15 years after the Civil War ended. In it, he defended the institution of slavery. According to Davis, it was a positive good, both for the master and for the slave, and, as practiced in the South, the most humane version of that condition known to the world.
Davis says that Africans were “unprofitable savages” who were brought to this country and made into docile, productive laborers, content within their own sphere. Indeed, if it were not for the intervention of the white man, they never would have been introduced to Christianity. Slaves helped to clear the wilderness and contributed to economic development, and through their efforts, kept the North supplied with cotton and other agricultural products.
The North made loud noises against slavery, but they were not concerned about the slave’s welfare. The North was jealous of the South’s prosperity and wished to destroy its economy. As for black people, the North did not get along with them any better than the South. In the South, they may have been kept on plantations, but in the North they were kept in prison. Those who were not in prison tended to be poor, despised, and miserable, while in the South, they were happy and contented.
Please respond to Mr. Davis’ argument.
Be the first to answer this question.