CLIO 7 (1) - page 63

implemented the legislation much more slowly if
the south had submitted to his presidency. There-
fore it is possible, through attempting to ignore the
negative aspects of the slave trade, that Southern
soldiers were not fighting for racism and forced la-
bour but instead for the preservation of the South-
ern way of life.
Conversely, there were many issues that
came with slavery as a source of income. In itself,
slavery contradicted the First Amendment which
all citizens stood by, taking away the liberty of free
men and allocating forced labour in plantations,
as well as in forcing men to fight a war that would
sustain their lack of freedom.It made slave-owners
criminals as they deprived men of a free life and
equal circumstances. Confederate military success
relied heavily upon slavery, often worked until
illness or death. Additionally, slave labour was often
dangerous and arduous, while living conditions
were exceedingly poor. Joseph Henson, a victim
of slavery, recalled “ten or a dozen persons, men,
women, and children … in a single room, huddled
like cattle, … our beds [a] collection of straws, ... a
single blanket the only covering”. This truly demon-
strates the cruel and inhumane treatment of slaves
throughout the Confederate states. Although slav-
ery ensured economic safety, the disregard of basic
human rights in its practise cannot and should not
be ignored or justified.
Whether the issue of slavery was the sole
reason or not for Southern secession and the result-
ing war, the widespread discrimination that confed-
erate statues are associated with causes a reason
for concern. Considered war heroes of their time,
maybe justifying the erection of their monuments,
a modern society cannot ignore the immoral nature
of the motives behind their actions. While the de-
struction of one statue cannot eradicate racism on
its own, it brings the US one step closer to a more
just, fair and progressive America that recognises
the injustices of its past.
Cameron Dolin 12K
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