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Topic: Debate Over Slavery


Required Readings (attached)
Read the following pro- and anti-slavery documents
– George Fitzhugh Advocates Slavery
– Disease and Peculiarities of the Negro Race
– James Henry Hammond Advocates Slavery
– David Walker’s Appeal
– Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”
– The American Anti-Slavery Society: Declaration of Sentiments

Focus Questions
Consider these questions as you read through the above sources (ALL of these questions need to be addressed in your essay):

Proslavery authors
1. How do these authors justify slavery?
2. According to these authors, what place do slaves have in society?
3. What derisive stereotypes of African Americans are found in these proslavery documents?
Abolitionist authors
1. Why do they believe slavery needs to be abolished?
2. What specific criticisms do they have about American society?
3. How do these authors view African Americans (in contrast to the stereotypes offered by proslavery authors)? How do the authors view African Americans place in society?

Your essay should be a minimum of 2 pages, and you should spend AT LEAST one page discussing EACH position (one page discussing the proslavery perspective and one page discussing the abolitionist perspective). If you want a higher grade, plan to be comprehensive in your coverage of the readings (there is no maximum page limit). Your answer should reflect the main points from each assigned reading, and ALL of the above readings should be addressed in your essay. Use examples from the readings to illustrate your main points.

When you write your essay, don’t just go reading by reading; rather, see what common themes are found in the readings for both perspectives and write paragraphs based on themes rather than examining each reading individually.

Use only the above sources for this assignment: DO NOT USE ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT.


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