The economic argument supporting the slave trade was that the sudden abolition of slavery would have negative impacts on the American economy since slave labor was a major factor of production. For instance, the proponents of slavery were worried that the cotton economy would go under, rice production would cease to be profitable, and tobacco fields would dry. The social narrative used to defend slavery was that it has preexisted for centuries as part of humanity’s social interaction citing the Roman and Greek civilizations. Religion was also used to justify slavery, especially the biblical indoctrinations. The common argument among supporters of the slave trade was that Abraham had slaves. Moreover, they reinforced this position by referring to the Torah, citing the Ten Commandments given to Moses by God supporting slavery. Another reference to the Bible is the action of Paul, who returned the runaway slave called Philemon to his master. This position is further affirmed by the fact that Jesus did not condemn it.
The defenders of slavery used political persuasion to present their arguments for supporting slavery. This position was supported by the judicial arm of the government, which had ruled that “all blacks-not just slaves-had no legal standing as persons in our courts.” This means that the slaves were the private property of their owners, who had a right to own them. The hardest argument that supports slavery I found hard to address the religious justification, especially the fact that Jesus did not condemn it. As discussed by Guyette, I found this argument fetish since the general teachings of Jesus were humanity and fairness through social justice and respect of human life. Slavery at that time was an industry characterized by inhuman practices such as forced labor, physical abuse, and forceful detention. Moreover, the slaves were treated as private property and subjected to very poor living conditions. For instance, a slave would die of treatable ailments because the master has refused to give treatment as a punishment.