Documents Paper

By Damien Knight

Question 1

The “Virginia Luxuries” Displays both a master whipping a male slave on the right and a master taking advantages of a female on the left. In the Tocqueville documents, it describes the whites as civilized oppressors of the savage natives and of the black slaves. In his observation, slaves admire their master and yet despise them. Slaves desperately wish to intermingle while natives are prideful to the extent they alienate themselves from whites. Tocqueville stated that should things continue, the natives will have died out. He stated the only recourse for blacks and whites is either abolishment of slavery and immediate civil rights or the continued existence of slavery. If slavery were abolished, he mentions that without immediate equality a civil race war would occur. It seems these predictions were accurate. Very few full-blooded natives are left and not only was there a civil war but even to this day we have race riots.

Question 2

In “The Discord,” we see the power struggle of men and women. When you look at it, it uses pants as a symbol of power. It shows how men fear women rising and taking that power. How does the Declaration of Sentiments (Document 4) reveal the nature of gender relationships in nineteenth century America? In Sentiments it describes a woman as property of man. She can not vote on law nor hold a job of her choosing if she were to wed. If she doesn’t marry, they force her to pay taxes to a government she has no say in for property that is hers. I would agree with the sentiments and the resolutions proposed. During that time period, women could not constitutionally vote. Men made law and ran for office. If it weren’t for these first sentiments, women still would stay at home while men worked.

Question 3

Abraham Lincoln disliked slavery because it was unjust and counter to the principals of liberty. He would not support equality of the races. He declared that he saw the white man as superior. I think he was playing politics. In one letter he says that even if he were to regard the races equal to many whites did not and he could not ignore their feelings. As a politician, you have to be what your voters want.

Question 4

After the war, slavery was finally abolished. Former slaves would work and vote during a brief period after without much trouble. In Government class, they even told us how one black male made it to congress shortly after. The amendments made after concerning rebels holding office after was impossible to hold up since nearly every southerner took part in the rebellion. The liberty and rights of blacks that the amendments were to provide didn’t really happen until well after reconstruction.

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