The Effects of Slavery in America as Illustrated by Frederick Douglass Essay Example
The Effects of Slavery in America as Illustrated by Frederick Douglass Essay Example

The Effects of Slavery in America as Illustrated by Frederick Douglass Essay Example

Available Only on StudyHippo
  • Pages: 4 (932 words)
  • Published: February 7, 2022
View Entire Sample
Text preview

Slavery is a historical issue in America and many of the Europeans states, many of the political and social decisions that are made in these states today are all based on the effects that slavery had on the society. Racism which is a major issue in many societies today and mostly in America was brought about by slavery. Slavery brought about some assumptions that have been passed along from one generation to another, for one it is assumed that the white race is dominant of all other races and it is supposed to rule over the black and the coloured people. Many of the abolitionist in history tried as much as they could to fight slavery and one of the renowned abolitionist is Frederick Douglass.

Douglass whose mother was a slave and father was assumed to be the slave


master, had a first-hand experience of slavery and the effects that it had on the people. Douglass argues that slavery is cruel, evil, inhumane and unfair and it should be abolished in the American society. He argues that black people are human beings just like the white people and they deserve to be treated with respect. He further argues that the people who support slavery and claimed that the black people were beasts are hypocrites whose interests were only to gain from the free labour that they got from the slaves.

The humanity of the black people is explained by Douglass in the laws that are created by the supporters of slavery to ensure that the slaves did the right thing. He argues that if the slaves were not human and intelligent, there would be no need for

View entire sample
Join StudyHippo to see entire essay

laws created to prosecute the slaves because they would not do anything that the masters have not guided them to do. He reasons that it was hypocritical to allow the slaves to practice Christianity but prohibit any religious gathering among the slaves. He uses the ban of education among the slaves to illustrate that the slaves were human, intelligent and capable of making responsible decisions and this scared the white people

Douglass argue that slavery brutalized the black people and the white people referred to them as beats because the guilt that they carried with them knowing that the slaves were human beings just like any other person in the society. Slavery is illustrated to be an institution that is wicked and one that affected the goodness of both the black and the white people including the slave holders. Douglass further argues that because the black community was just as human as the white people, and the protective human rights should apply to them as well. Slavery was a violation of the human rights and United States did honour the declaration for independence for allowing slavery to continue. Douglass argues that the white people turned the back people into beasts which were against the will of God and that of nature as well.

In his writing, Douglass cites biblical passages to show the wickedness of slavery indicating that God prohibited immoral actions by human beings against other human beings. He illustrates that slavery was violating God’s laws and that the white slave holders needed to liberate themselves from sins by abolishing slavery. He further argues that allowing slavery within America was not accordance to the ideal America

that declared independence. Independence meant ensuring that every person within America was free to make their own decisions and live a decent life.

Slavery however did not allow the black people to enjoy their freedom; he argued that slavery deterred progress of the society. Slavery was inconsistent with development on the moral matters because it allowed for rape, murder and led to split up of families. Slavery also deterred economic development in the state by denying the black people were denied access to education that could have played a great part in enhancing development. The black people were fully aware of their rights as human beings and yet the white people deprived them from getting these rights something that is inhuman and wicked.

Douglass views on slavery, its effects to the society are logical and they are effective in fighting against slavery. They are easy for any person to relate with most especially because they are narrated by someone who had an experience into slavery. For a state to develop both economically and politically, people need to work together in peace and unity. Slavery deterred progress; it encouraged hatred among the whites and the black people and this led to a great division that is still felt today.

The white people were selfish and inhumane just as Douglass illustrated in his works in the way that they treated the black people. They understood that the black people were intelligent and only created laws that would ensure that the black people had no chance to outdo them. Slavery was the root of the racist ideologies that are felt in the American society in the modern day; many of the

black people in the society feel that their rights are violated in many sectors for instance in the employment sectors. Slavery as illustrated by Douglass is immoral and it is a poison that affects the development of a nation.


  1. Brawley, Lisa. "Frederick Douglass's My Bondage and My Freedom and the Fugitive Tourist Industry." Novel: A Forum On Fiction 30, no. 1 (Fall96 1996): 98-128. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed May 9, 2016).
  2. Douglass, Frederick. Frederick Douglass: Autobiographies. New York: Library of America, 1994.
  3. Rice, Alan. "Hidden Heroes of the Black Atlantic." African American Review 45, no. 4 (Winter2012 2012): 504-510. Academic Search Premier, EBSCOhost (accessed May 9, 2016).
Get an explanation on any task
Get unstuck with the help of our AI assistant in seconds