Sunday, 17 January 2016

Born in Slavery and Adams

This collection of first person accounts of slavery is most interesting especially when thinking about Adams and The Epic of America.  

Firstly, Adam's work generally conflicts with the issue of slavery. America was supposed to be "better and richer and fuller for everyone" and a dream of "social order in which each man and each woman shall be able to attain to the fullest stature of which they are innately capable". This is what Adam's believed the American Dream to be and slaves did not get the opportunity to experience this during their captivity. 

Adams states that this period was great up to the Civil War and for Americans bred a motley and picturesque life. This period was obviously not great for slaves during this period.

This issue of quality and quantity can be seen from both sides through slavery. The market for slaves was huge and there was vast numbers of slaves which would be sold on to affirm the suggestion that America followed into the size and wealth symbol. Slave owners wanted the most productive slaves who would exceed their expectations in their given work. Adam's concerns of giving into quantity over quality would not be shared with slave owners. It is likely they would rather have wanted quality over quantity. They would much prefer to have one hard working slave compared to two ordinary ones. The one slave may match the other two slaves productivity and the owner saves on other costs through having one less person. 

This passage from Adams is much focused on business, growth and wealth which is why it does not depict much upon slavery. It is titled the Epic of America, so it is very much unlikely to include the atrocities of slavery within it. 

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