Those who defended slavery rose to the challenge set forth by the Abolitionists. Various points were made by the people who defended slavery which included economics, history, religion, legality, social good, and even humanitarianism. The main/central argument in defending slavery was that the economy would take a massive hit in the south as slave labor was a key part of the engine that ran the plantations. It would basically destroy the two largest markets in the south which were the cotton and tobacco markets. On top of that, other crops being grown such as rice would stop earning anyone sufficient profit. Such claims have been documented and show how even the most educated men during the 1800's could defend slavery. John C. Calhoun, the De Bow's article, the State v. Mann case, and the Cartwright report all show how easy it was to defend the case of slavery and why it was so essential in the south. .
John C. Calhoun, a politician and political theorist delivered a speech in 1837 to the U.S. senate. In the speech, he displayed his opinion in regards to the antislavery petitions sent to the senate by abolitionist groups. In this speech, Calhoun argues that slavery is a "positive good" for blacks. He creates an argument on various reasons. To begin with, Calhoun states that there is not a better life for them as they are better off as slaves than as free people in Africa. This is due to the fact, according to him, that their race is inferior. Their inferiority results in the fact that they have to be taken care of by whites. Calhoun states in his speech that, "Never before has the black race of Central Africa, from the dawn of history to the present day, attained a condition so civilized and so improved, not only physically, but morally and intellectually. It came among us in a low, degraded, and savage condition, and in the course of a few generations it has grown up under the fostering care of our institutions .