What arguments should I use arguing that slavery should have continued. Obviously, I don't believe this, but I have to take the side of pro-slavery.

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It really depends on where you are talking about. If you are asking about the United States in the colonial and early period, I think you can make a strong case that slavery was foundational to the economy of the entire country, not just the agricultural South.
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I would suggest that you use the same arguments advanced by the pro-slavery faction before the Civil War.

  1. Slavery was Biblically justified. The Black race was descended from Ham, the son of Noah, who was cursed by Noah after he committed a terrible sin against his father. The defense was ably expressed by Josiah Priest:

    God, therefore, foreseeing the end from the beginning, saw good to direct the mind of Noah, who was a prophet, to declare to the world what should come to pass concerning all his sons, as well as Ham, in the most specific and particular manner. By this procedure, God has set up, as it were, way marks and data, by which, in after ages, men should come to see, know and believe in the veracity of his word, as spoken by his prophets, on account of the fulfillment of the same, in every iota thereof; not only in relation to the destinies of Noah's three sons, but in all things else.

  2. Slavery was actually a "postive good," to use the words of John C. Calhoun. It was only by slavery that African people were exposed to the blessings of Western Civilization and Christianity. They were therefore the better for it.
  3. Loathsome as slavery might be, those who lived under the "peculiar institution" were better off than the "wage slaves" of the North who suffered under terrible conditions in Norhern factories.

All these arguments are specious at best, but they were argued by the brightest minds of the South, in an obvious attempt to justify a situation which they earnestly wished to continue.


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There are several possible arguments, some more outrageous than others.

First, in the U.S., the methods used to end slavery violated states rights and local autonomy. You could insist that what was done to end slavery, and the deaths in the Civil War, harmed people far more than  slavery itself.

Next, there is an economic argument. Because slaves are property, it is in their masters' self interest to keep them alive and healthy. If a slave dies, the master loses money. When the slaves were freed, it no longer mattered if wages were so low that they starved to death. An employee is merely an expense (whereas a slave is an asset).

How can someone legitimately claim that enslaving humans is wrong while raising billions of animals for food is right? Slavery hasn't ended; we have mere decided to inflict it only on species too weak to defend themselves.

Aristotle argues that some people are "natural slaves," especially the pale races of northern barbarians who have naturally sluggish dispositions due to the cold climates in which they live. Rather than end slavery, why not just pass laws ensuring the well-being of slaves?


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