David Walker vs Frederick Douglas

Unit 7 essay:
The Debate Overs Slavery
In the 1820s, 1830, and 1840s, the Second Great Awakening helped to inspire a reformist impulse across the nation. One of those movements centered on an effort to abolish slavery in the United States; of course, the desire to eliminate slavery did not go unchallenged. In this activity, you will examine the views of antislavery (abolitionist) and proslavery writers in the antebellum years. This essay will help you better understand a controversy that permeated American life in the years leading up to the Civil War. (Meets Course Learning Objectives: 1, 8, 15, and 16)
Required Readings
• Pro-Slavery
• George Fitzhugh Advocates Slavery
• Diseases and Peculiarities of the Negro Race
• James Henry Hammond Advocates Slavery
Abolitionists
• David Walker’s Appeal
• Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” (read through page 11)
• The American Antislavery Society: Declaration of Sentiments
Focus Questions
Consider these questions as you read through the above sources (ALL of these questions should be addressed in your essay):
Proslavery authors
1. How do these authors justify slavery?
2. What place do slaves have in society?
3. What stereotypes of African Americans are found in these proslavery documents?

Abolitionist authors
1. Why does slavery need to be abolished?
2. What specific criticism do they have about American society?
3. How do these authors view African Americans (in contrast to the stereotypes offered by proslavery authors)? What is their place in society?

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