The various moral, economic and religious arguments against slavery were clear from the outset of the practice in the early 16th century. The ownership of a human life as an economic commodity was decried from religious circles from the earliest days as an immoral affront to basic human dignity. However the practice of gaining lifelong labor in exchange only for a basic degree of care meant slavery persisted for centuries across the New World as a lucrative endeavor.
The colonial United States would, from the early 17th century, receive many thousands of slaves from Africa. Many of the slaves transported were sent to work on plantations and farms which steadily spread across the warmer southern states of the nation. Others would do manual work on the docks, for instance moving goods in the fledgling trading colonies.
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About the Author
W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963) was an African-American sociologist, civil rights activist, and author. He was one of the founding members of the NAACP, and he is well-known for believing on full civil rights and disagreeing with Booker T. Washington’s argument that blacks remain subservient. His most famous book, The Souls of Black Folk, defines the term "double-consciousness" and remains a cornerstone of African-American literature.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A most brilliant book, published in 1898, and highlighting extraordinary scholarship, not often seen today. Few works are written with such clean prose, driving home the lessons of history in stunning clarity and power. A must read. By analogy, the failure of our "founders" to address the question of slavery and its irrefutable immorality suggests a calamity far greater than the civil war when one contemplates the same fecklessness and dithering concerning the moral imperative of "global warming" and the same failure to act on political and economic excuses. Most instructive.