American Slavery American Freedom Summary

Words: 1180
Pages: 5

Nick Melvin

Book Review 2


American Slavery, American Freedom

Morgan, Edmund S. American Slavery American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia. New York: WW Norton & Company, 1975.

Edmund Sears Morgan, an acclaimed author, historian, and former professor at Yale University, seeks to investigate the “marriage of slavery and freedom” (6). Morgan’s book American Slavery, American Freedom was written for an academic audience. Morgan explains that American Slavery, American Freedom is the story of how a group of Americans attained the American paradox, an effort to distinguish how freedom and slavery made their way to England’s first American colony and developed there together (6). Morgan argues that America emerged as a staunch
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Morgan mentions that white Virginians that were considered to be successful depended on slavery and a balanced labor force so that the planter nobility could maintain their hold on society. According to Morgan, by the third quarter it became apparent that the wealth of a country lay in the populace of its people, “labor was the source of wealth” (320). The plantation system made many Virginians wealthy and English merchant and Kings even richer (308). Morgan explains that it had one disadvantage. Every year it surged a vast amount of freemen into a society where the possibility for advancement was limited (308). Slavery became widely accepted because it balanced the labor force and made white Virginians and English merchant and kings wealthy. Virginians often took pity upon themselves for taking slaves into their families that had every reason to hate them …show more content…
Morgan does not simply imply that slavery is considered freedom, but slavery did allow Virginians the ability to live freely. Morgan admits that if we are understanding the disdain that racial contempt played in the history of Virginia we must first investigate not only the variations but also the similarity between servants and slaves in the plantation organization and the knowledge of those that ran it. Morgan’s paradox of the Virginia colony is ground breaking news in the understanding of American freedom and the founding of the United States. For instance, Morgan proves for the first time that racial slavery evolved into a necessary evil that kept the poor and African Americans in check and encouraged English perspective of equality and liberty for the nobility class (384-385). Morgan’s work permits modern day researchers a thoughtful account that proves the difficulty of slavery and its spot in the development of America. It helps Americans to perceive how racial injustice in America began, meanwhile it shows how our founding fathers held on to the principles of slavery which disputed what they were fighting for. Morgan explains that Americans used slave labor in order to eventually buy their