Slavery In Joseph Ellis Silence Of Founding Brothers

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Slavery was a major issue in the United States during the 19th century. This issue caused a large amount of conflict in the U.S. because many people opposed it while others supported it during the time. In Chapter 3 of Joseph Ellis’ Silence of Founding Brothers, Ellis discusses why the government did not abolish slavery and why it mostly remained neutral on the matter. Ellis provides three reasons why the government chose not to abolish slavery.
The first reason why the government did not abolish slavery was it believed slavery was necessary for the survival of America. Slaves had a substantial effect on the economic condition of the Southern states, since they used slaves to grow crops such as tobacco and cotton on their large plantations. James Jackson, a representative from Georgia, stated, “that rice cannot be brought to market without these people” (85). Therefore, if slavery was abolished in the U.S., it would weaken the Southern states economically. Many members in the government saw this potential danger if slavery was abolished. When the two Quaker delegations wanted to abolish slavery in 1790, Jackson exclaimed “at the risk of their lives and fortunes, secured to the community their liberty and property” (81). Other representatives from the Southern states, such as William Smith, from
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For decades, people had been arguing over the abolition of slavery. People from the Northern states believed that slavery should be abolished, while the Southern states believed that slavery was necessary to the survival of America. The conflict over slavery greatly concerned the politicians in the government. Jackson stated that abolishing slavery would blow “trumpets of civil war” (84). He believed that ending slavery would spark a war between the Northern and Southern states, which is why he and many others did not want to abolish