Why did white southerners change their perception from believing slavery to be a necessary evil to believing it to be a positive good Discuss the fact that, by 1850, the national debate on slavery had changed from being.
In 1820, Thomas Jefferson mentioned in a letter: “We have the wolf by the ear, and we can neither hold him, nor safely let him go. Justice is in one scale, and self-preservation in the other.” The proslavery politicians and theorists believed that though slavery is an evil to the colored people, abolition of this institution was a greater evil to the white society. Also the increasing black population in the south -due to the restriction on slavery in the north- provides the basis of the fear that emancipation of the mass slaves could threaten the multiracial balance and social peace in the southern states.
There was a common belief that a slave in America is a far-more better condition than they were in Africa. But the reality was totally different. Since the slaves were any constitutionally accredited citizen of the country, they were not sheltered by the legal system of the country. Therefore they frequently became subjects to torture and cruelty. Killing a slave for any kind of defiance was very common. Therefore in the face of increasing opposition against slavery in the North, the Southerner had to take resort to Calhoun’s “positive good” theory. Indeed Calhoun’s “slavery as positive good” premise was a color-based defense for slavery. The southerner’s gradual failure to provide fresh blood to the “slavery as a necessary evil” theory compelled them to resort to the white supremacy over the black people with a view to sustain their economic growth. In Southern America slaves were held primarily for economic purposes. but along the passage of time, slavery became a crucial part of the colonizer’s economy and became socio-economically into the early American society. “Blackness” itself as an ideology was critical for the exploitation of the labor of the African blacks in early America, and it “provided the very source of whiteness and the heart of racism”.