Propaganda: Calhoun & Douglass
Throughout the years before the Civil War, people from the North and South argued about the institution of slavery. Blacks wanted to be recognized as humans and wanted to have the rights that were given to the whites. Others saw slavery as a way of life and thought that slaves were content under the conditions forced upon them. John C. Calhoun makes strong, intellectual arguments defending slavery, but less propaganda but Fredrick Douglass makes clear, logical arguments against the pro-slavery propaganda. These slavery narratives along with their propagandas provide a vision of how ignorant white people were during this time, and how cruel blacks were treated.
In Calhoun’s essay, “A defense of Slavery,” written in 1837, he states that slavery is the way of life for people, and if it is abolished, society will be destroyed. Calhoun thinks that slaves are happier and better off because of whites and the system of slavery. He says, “There never has yet existed a wealthy and civilized society in which one portion of the community did not, in point of fact, live on the labor of the other.” Therefore, Calhoun believes that slavery should be left alone. Calhoun’s propaganda points out that there’s no conflict between labor and capital because of the institution of slavery. He and his propaganda believe that a stable society is based on this system, and should continue asserting the “existing relations between” whites and blacks.
According to Calhoun’s “A defense of Slavery” slavery however was not confined to a few large plantations, contrary to propaganda. The plantation itself was not an obscene and accidental excrescence upon America. It was far older and more fundamental part of life than the Union. About a fourth of the white families across the South had some stake in slavery, a far greater percentage than of the Northern people who owned stocks in banks and tariff...