Saturday, February 28, 2015

Founding Fathers and Slavery

In Tuesday's class discussion, the question came up if someone could have been considered a  good person if he or she owned slaves. I think this question is so complicated to answer in that, although owning slaves was a societal norm, that of course, in no way justifies slavery. We often think of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and other of our founding father as admirable people that we truly look up to and have utmost respect for. This is always hard for me to think about, since the majority of our founding fathers were slaveowners. The United States was formed and founded based on Christian principles, yet it was also created when slavery was deeply embedded into American society. It makes me wonder whether it can truly be said that our nation was founded on Christian principles and that our country upheld them when many of these so called Christians were slaveholders.

2 comments:

Sri Korrapati said...

It's really hard to view history. We have an impulse to call someone a hero or a villian but really everyone was a moral gray. In US history we just learned about American involvement in Centralish America in the early 20th century. Roosevelt was the good guy in my mind, but then he selfishly caused Panama to revolt so that he could make money from the Panama Canal. Taft replaced him and didn't use his military but got the big businesses to basically take over those countries. Then Wilson came to power but instead ran by morals. Wilson was also sexist and racist though...

Isabel Celata said...

I totally agree with both of you guys! It is often said that our country was founded on the backs of slaves, and that's totally true.

Much of what we're taught in history class is just the side of things that has stuck. Most of the time, it's the side that glorifies the white, rich man over others in American society or glorifies America over other countries. However, everything has two or more sides. For example, when we learn about WWII, we learn how America went into Germany and helped close down the concentration camps. However, what we often don't learn is that there were concentration camps right in America for Japanese Americans who seemed to have too many sympathies with Japan.