I found the discussion on Tuesday to be very interesting, especially since I was taking the role of a slave owner. I found myself listening to the arguments of the black and white abolitionists, as well as the slaves, and for every point they made I was usually able to think of some sort of counter argument. This really scared me. I was suddenly supporting a side that I obviously disagreed with, and worst of all, some of the pro slavery arguments actually held some water.
While many of the points made by the slave owners were very ridiculous, I found one specific idea to be very interesting. The concept that the black slaves in the south actually had more personal freedoms than the white working class in the north really made me think. Because the north did not have slaves filling up the working class of unskilled laborers, the white laborers in the north filled this gap. Unlike the slaves in the south, many of these men did not even have homes or food, making them worse off, in many ways, than the slaves.
Now, if I were in this situation I would much rather be in the position of the white workers in the north, and have freedom over my life, but it is interesting that many of these men lived in much worse conditions than the slaves. This makes me feel like the labor that occurred in the north was just slavery with a different name. This is a situation that still exists today, as people work 14 hours a day just to pay for food and housing. We don't refer to this as slavery, however, but perhaps we should consider the similarities between the two.