THE DEBATE OVER SLAVERY September 7, The Debate over Slavery, Ch. 10 Knowledge about slavery portrayed in the article is of enormousimportance to me as it gives me the general idea of what was happening during the slavery period. A brief introduction to what slavery means gives me a chance on what to expect while going through the article. Several theories have been developed by historians regarding varied aspects of slavery. Crucial topics such as the slave trade and the challenges that faced both the whites, who were the masters, and the slaves are well tackled.
One of the topics that raise concern about slavery that took place in America for about two centuries is slave families. Different theories with quoted evidence to support stated claims are provided by the historians on theories such as breeding of slaves was done for the purpose of increasing the number of slaves. Increase on the number of slaves meant increased labor force and also having excess slaves to sale to other people especially in cotton plantations and realize more profit. Several questions have been tackled precisely by the author of the article to enable the reader have a better understanding on the topic.
One of the crucial easily noticeable in the article is about the slave families. Different historians such as Fogel and Engerman have varied perspectives of the concept depending on sources and analysis of the information deduced from the people involved (The Debate over Slavery 195). Some believe that the slaves were not allowed to hold families while others with provision of evidence believe they were allowed to hold families. They were also allowed to move from place to place and sold as families unless in unavoidable circumstances. One area in the article related to economics studies is the variation of the type of demand for slaves.
Alternative means of labor in urban areas made demand for slave workers elastic unlike the rural region where the demand was inelastic due to lack of alternative for labor in the cotton plantations.