AUA History of Ill Treatment

I’m working on a history discussion question and need an explanation and answer to help me learn.

Please respond to this discussion post- and please be extremely specific!

Slaveholders, in the Farmer’s Register, agreed that the enslaved individuals should be handled well, with adequate food and a suitable dwelling (Genovese, 2021). Because enslaved individuals were not dumb, they would not carry out their work until they were satisfied. When they got handled appropriately, they became “the world’s happiest laboring class.” From their perspective, it is clear that they never felt sorry for the slaves’ suffering due to the confinement of the slavery system. They further argued that those poor slaves were happy working-class people despite the great injustice to protect their interests. The one thing I agree with them on is that you should treat your workforce correctly.

Moreover, fleeing for freedom was viewed as a “disease” of “mental estrangement.” Escaping the captivity of a harsh and horrible environment was utterly understandable; nevertheless, to keep the public from thinking so, slaveholders had to label it ludicrous to justify the system of slavery (Genovese, 2021). Some holders reported “Dysaesthesia Aethiopica,” a sickness that was “far more widespread among free negros dwelling in clusters by themselves.” Such dubious fallacious assumptions misled people into believing that releasing slaves would benefit no one. Pro-slavery racism may become more prevalent as a result of the transmission of such terrible information.

A lady stated in A Southern Woman Comments on the attack on slavery that slaves were living in a wonderful home, supported by her husband without hard labor (Genovese, 2021). This remark indicated that the slave owners felt no remorse for their captives and even claimed the slavery system benefitted African Americans. Likewise, George Fitzhugh argued that a slave “would become an unbearable drain on society.” Society has the authority to restrict him from doing so, and the only way to do so is to consign him to domestic slavery. Moreover, the black population is inferior to the whites. If they continued to live among them, they would be so much outshone or outsmarted in the upheaval of free competition.” Those who owned slaves claimed that the slavery system was the best for blacks and society.

According to an undisclosed slaveholder, “The most common flaw in an African American’s nature is hypocrisy. Such hypocrisy frequently leads to his seeming to be more ignorant than he is, and if his lord handles him like a fool, he would undoubtedly play the idiot’s role.” We can recognize that small acts of resistance were so widespread that they could be interpreted as the class’s hypocrisy (Zinn & Arnove, 2004). Slaves may not have entirely performed their jobs or may have pretended to be fooled to play along with the master. Furthermore, running away was another opportunity for slaves to demonstrate their opposition to slavery, even if it got viewed as a mental illness. Again, as described in the previous assignment, slaves created their own culture and preserved their society through folklore, religion, and African rituals. A common culture and terrible experiences subsequently developed a great weapon against slavery.


Genovese, E. D. (2021). The slaveholders’ dilemma: freedom and progress in southern conservative thought, 1820-1860. Univ of South Carolina Press.

Zinn, H., & Arnove, A. (2004). Voices of a People’s History of the United States. Seven Stories Press.

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