Lecture 10/15 & 10/17 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Lecture 10/15 & 10/17 Deck (17)
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1

Development of the Great Slave Power Conspiracy

Use of mob violence to shut down abolitionists

Imposition of the gag rule lead people to think slave owners would take away freedom of speech to protect slavery

Slavery and freedom cannot co-exists

2

Four points of the Great Slave Power Conspiracy

Dominate U.S. politics
a. Active conspiracy amongst slave owners to spread slavery as far as possible
b. Texas annexation (War in Texas)
i. Second Texas crisis as well
ii. Grew with intensity during the Mexican war
1. Took America to war for the institution of slavery
c. This is what they had to do to keep slavery alive
d. Provide additional voters
e. Additional senators in favor of slavery

Acquire additional land for slavery
a. Mexican War
b. When all the new land that came in, the U.S. government shouldn’t be able to ban slavery because they were already occupied by slavery
c. Looking to acquire Cuba
d. Looking to gain even more land in Mexico

Reopen African slave trade
a. It had been made illegal to bring in slaves in 1808
i. It had to be domestic or from very close borders

Re-establish slavery in the North
a. Dred Scott: Supreme court case that decided that plantation owners had the right to get runaway slaves, that they were their property

3

11 points abolitionists used to convince the north of the GSPC

i. Slavery was accounted for in the U.S. Constitution

ii. There were a number of new slave states created since the Constitution/acquisition of western territory

iii. South did ban abolitionist speakers and literature

iv. South did abrogate free speech of whites who opposed slavery

v. South did lead efforts to annex Texas

vi. Texas annexation did result in war with Mexico

vii. Mexican war did increase territory potentially open to slavery

viii. Some Southerners did advocate acquiring Cuba, Dominica, Haiti, and more land from Mexico

ix. Some slave owners did seek to reopen the African slave trade

x. Southerners did defend slavery as superior to free labor

xi. There were many statements by Southerners lauding the benefits of a slave society over a free society
1. One southerner senator argued that the slaves of the north had it worse than the slaves of the south

4

Importance of the GSPC theme

Reduced ground for compromise with the South
i. Stakes of the conflict no longer revolved around the conditions of the slaves
ii. Threat is now posed to the north, the free white northerners
1. Rights of free labor
2. Rights to free society
a. Slavery could be re-instituted
iii. Defined that the enemy was absolutely evil and could not be compromised with

Justified radical action against the South
i. Polarization of attitudes
1. Abolitionist believed that it took radical actions to stop the actions of the south
a. Not taking action would endanger the survival of the north as well as the conditions of the slaves in the south
2. Northern abolitionist and supports ran into conflict and war with Federal Marshals who were trying to capture runaway slaves

Broadened the appeal of abolitionist rhetoric
i. Could be a free white northerner are care about your own rights and labor without having to support the abolitionist movement

5

Fredrick Douglass Slave Years

Born into slavery, mother side went back to early 18th century, father was probably a slave master.

Ms. Alde taught Fredrick how to read and write

Always looking to escape, he would receive several lashings which he used as proof later on in his abolitionist speeches

6

Douglass and The Colombian Orator

1. Frederick got this book as a child
2. The book contained excerpts of speeches running all the way back to ancient Greece and some more modern to his time.
3. Contained 22 pages on a guide on how to speak
a. Overall book provided guidance on how to be a orator
4. Massively impacted Douglass skills, many of his mannerisms and styles in his early work matched the book.
5. Douglass would give pretend speeches as a child
6. Turned to the book even in his later years. Would always come back to it.

7

Fredrick Douglass Escape From Slavery

Douglass always trying to find ways to escape

He escaped on September 2, 1838
a. Borrowed a set of papers and a sailor suit
b. Went on a train from Baltimore to New York
i. Runaway slave could be captured and returned back
c. Settled in Massachusetts
i. Came under the influence of Garrison

8

Fredrick Douglass as an abolitionist agent (1841)

Themes of speeches
1. Opposition to slavery
2. Talk about the evils and cruelties of slavery
a. Had lashes on his back to prove it
ii. Platform presence
1. Had Charisma, loud voice, and was big statured man
2. People began to doubt that Douglass could be so educated and eloquent that he was a slave
iii. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1845)
1. Wrote this as an autobiography to prove his life as a slave
2. Sold well in the U.S.
a. Also exported to the England, and France and did well there too
3. This book created problems because he was a runaway slave
a. He was identified now, could be recaptured and so he needed to leave the U.S.

British lecture tour (1845-1847)
i. Impact on audiences
1. Huge demand because of his book
2. Audiences of 200-300 people
3. Created more popularity back in the U.S.
ii. Got to experience what freedom is like
1. He was just a person, not this double consciousness of being black and being American
iii. British abolitionists purchase Douglass and free him
1. Worrisome that they were abolitionist and complicit with slavery and buying a person
2. They did so and emancipated him immediately
3. Came back to the U.S. in late 184

9

Fredrick Douglass as and Editor and an Orator

The North Star
1. Douglass created this newspaper
ii. Lyceum lecturer
1. Lecture bureau
2. Where he made money to support his paper and his family
3. He made 50-100 dollars per speech which was substantially greater than being an abolitionist agent who made maybe 500 dollars per year

Race spokesman (1866-1895)
i. After the civil war, he became the prominent spokesman for African Americans
ii. Never held office anywhere
iii. He accomplished so much with one tool: His rhetoric, his voice

10

Occasion of "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

July 5, 1852
i. People during that time would read out the Declaration of Independence and would give many speeches about how great various aspect of America was

11

Introduction to "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

Douglas said it’s a great occasion, and his words wouldn’t be the best (He was deflating the situation of his speech) Knew he was thoroughly prepared

12

Narrative of "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

Provides background with the DoI and praises the revolutionists

Douglass subtly distances himself and his people from whites, starts using "your" instead of "our":
"Its 'your' celebration"
"Its 'your' founding fathers"
"Its 'your' independence"

13

Proposition of "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

Douglass states his purpose:

I shall see this day from the slaves point of view
a. The character and conduct of this nation never looked blacker than this day on the fourth of July
b. Only hear the mournful wails of millions of black slaves
c. Its your celebration, its my time to mourn

14

Confrontation of "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

Douglass attacks the arguments of his "opponents":

Douglass will not even try to refute the position
a. "Who would think that it is right to bring men to brutes"
b. Should not waste his time trying to argue the cruelties and immorality of slavery
i. Not a man on earth who would choose to be a slave

15

Confrimation of "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

Long denunciation of the institution of slavery and the internal slave trade

Attacks fugitive slave law

Attacks the churches
a. Favorite subject of Douglass’
i. Bible argument for slavery was in the churches
ii. Says they were a major prop for the institution of slavery, even in the north, they didn’t do enough
b. Language of denunciation was so strong that you could almost here the crack of the whip
i. Brings people through the time in a slave auction

16

Conclusion of "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

Surprisingly ends on a optimistic note

Optimistic that slavery would come to an end

17

Impact of "What, to the Slave, Is the Fourth of July?"

Made slavery more personal to white Americans; more importantly, it elevated his status in the eyes of white Americans to the level of "race spokesman"