Tuesday, September 22, 2015

View of Indian issue affected view of slavery issue

The moral argument was having intriguing effects, influencing not just the people who heard it but also the people who made it. It was causing some to rethink another issue, slavery. Until the 1830s, . .  . the notion of immediately abolishing slavery was widely regarded as extremist, illegal, and impractical. The more socially acceptable alternative was gradually freeing slaves for transport to West Africa, but some activists opposing Indian removal now had to wonder. If it was wrong to solve white people's problems by removing Indians, was it any better to solve white people's problems by removing black people?
Steve Inskeep, Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab (New York: Penguin, 2015), p. 204
After 1830 some activists concluded that if Indian removal was wrong, so was African removal. The old antislavery movement had recognized the rights of slave owners, cast them as victims of history, and promised that unfettered black people would not be left in their midst. Now a new movement declared that slaves should be immediately emancipated and allowed to live free in the United States. Activists cast slave owners as evil and challenged white Americans to rethink their views about race.
Id. at 226.

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