A House Divided: Slave or Free Labor I

Lead:  One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: One of the most intense debates in the 1850s run-up to the Civil War involved the contrasting value of slavery and slave labor as opposed to free labor. Southerners attempted to justify their peculiar institution by asserting that slavery was good for the slave, the general economy and for society. One of the most aggressive proponents of this view was George Fitzhugh, scion of an ancient Virginia family that had fallen on hard times. His writings asserted that slavery was the normal circumstance of the human condition. Free labor, as practiced in the North, was a kind collective cannibalism.

A House Divided: Lincoln vs. Douglas on Slavery III

Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is "A House Divided."

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content:  In their Senatorial debates in 1858, Democratic incumbent Stephen A. Douglas knew how to exploit the prejudice of whites and that it was a winning tactic. To great applause he asserted that Negroes should always be kept in subjugation. They were inferior. Lincoln’s insistence that blacks had a claim to the ‘created equality’ of the founders was a “monstrous heresy.” Did Jefferson really mean to say in his Declaration that his black slaves were actually entitled to parity in Divine law? Or that the great Virginian was in daily violation of God’s law by holding men and women in bondage.