Sample Essay

Nash’s assessment starts off with the decades leading up to the American Revolution in the latter half of the 18th century. The feuds with England came to an end with the War of Independence tipping in America’s favor in 1782. During that era, much was anticipated in the way of abolition of slavery as the revolutionary leaders emphasized the need for equality and impartiality throughout the country. However, as Nash points out, the leaders in the North ignored the fact that there was an apparent incompatibility between the slave labor system, with its seemingly organized concepts of slave trading and ownership, and the revolutionary struggle of freedom of the newly independent American nation.

While scholars have repeatedly emphasized the rejection of abolitionism at the hands of the Southern slave owners as the root cause of racism, this brief period right after independence when this institution could have easily been abolished is often overlooked. The leaders here seemed more concerned about adherence to republic principles in the new government than leveling the rough history of divide between blacks and white through the abolition of slavery. Historians such as Max Farrand, whose documents make for widely publicized reading, chose to ignore this fact as well, going so far as to excuse the leader for failing to do so. According to him and his peers, the South was more interested in adhering to a stable government and because of the relatively uncertain political environment after the revolution the institution of slavery was sidelined “It is singled out by politicalists that the political union of the northern and southern states was the stumbling block to the abolition of slavery” (Nash, 1990). Others believed that Georgia and Carolina opposed the abolition and refused to join the union if it were to be brought into effect, a move that could have brought about further racial conflict within the country.

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