Fogel And Genovese's Argumentative Analysis

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There is constant debate on how slavery should be remembered. Whether is was necessary for the development of America or how it violated basic humans rights that should be honored. Three compositions from Kenneth Stampp, Robert Fogel and Stanley Engermann, and Eugene Genovese all address the controversial matters of slavery. These contradicting essays all confront slavery affairs both from an economic and domestic standpoint. Stampp argued the slaves actively resisted slavery. He claims the slaves believed the large plantation owners forced control over them, especially their time and labor. Stampp claims the reason there were no major rebellions from the slaves was they felt defeatist about their situation. He specifically quotes, “If slaves yielded to authority most of the time, they did so because they usually saw no other practical choice.” In fact, it was dangerous to be seen as smart. If a slave was seen as smart, the owner would put more restraint and surveillance on him/her, because it was more likely they would …show more content…
Genovese argued that the slaves had a hard time adjusting to the industrial work pattern of the Americas. They assimilated into the American way of planting, which included planting seasons where they had to wait in-between these seasons. Similar to Stampp’s argument, Genovese claimed the slaves knew they could not escape or destroy the system, although instead of actively resisting, the slaves made the most of their situation. They performed high quality work if they were motivated, especially by communal work and creating competitions from the work. Genovese’s ideas of the slaves assimilating into American culture matches with the New Left historiography. These historians focus on the change of America, which coordinates with Genovese’s affirmation of the slave’s integration to Industrial work