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Effects of Complete Abolition of Slavery

The people of America saw that to achieve a better union, ensure domestic calmness, establish justice, enhance common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to themselves, they needed to abolish slavery completely. To them, doing so would result in prosperity. When making such a critical decision about something, it is important to note that several other factors come with it. Abolishing slavery in America would possibly lead to both positive and negative outcomes. We shall start by discussing the advantages of the abolition of slavery.

Ending slavery would make America richer: At first glance, this seems impossible since it is expected that slavery provides labor, thus boosting the economy. Even though slaves were legally considered capital, they were obviously labor. Just because the government treats slaves like animals does not necessarily mean that they cease to be people. As time went by, there was the introduction of the industrial revolution. This lowered the need for slaves as most of the labor was mechanized. According to Mann (13), when labor is mechanized, production increases, and undoubtedly, this helps boost a country’s economy. The formerly enslaved people would now be classified as labor raising the labor stock drastically. This way, America would become more productive and eventually richer.

Secondly, abolishing slavery would render freedom to the slaves. Although it is said above that the enslaved people did not cease to be people just by becoming slaves, it is clear that they were treated like animals in various ways. These include the hard labor in plantations where they worked for long hours, discrimination from accessing various social amenities such as health facilities, and abuse of their rights, among others. The slaves were forced to work without pay, and those who refused had to face the consequences including being beaten. Some of them died of various sicknesses since they had no access to health facilities. All these made life hard for the slaves. By abolishing slavery, these people would be free from such hard labor and get a chance close to, if not equal to, the Americans to access various amenities. Those who wish to return to their home countries would also be allowed to do so. All this would work towards granting the enslaved people some freedom.

On the other hand, the abolition of slavery would face several disadvantages. These include the following:

First, a lot of capital was used when these enslaved people were being acquired. This includes their transportation to America, finding places to accommodate them, and feeding them. Recruitment costs especially if these enslaved people escape or die, can be very high since they need to be replaced. They also require supervision and security, which means that extra charges are incurred; it is important to note that most slaves are less productive either deliberately or because of various conditions, such as sickness caused by changes in the climatic conditions and diet. Abolishing slavery, therefore, means that a lot of losses would be incurred in the process.

Secondly, in America, the regulation of slavery was predominantly a state function. Compensation was a technique for ending slavery whereby the slave’s owner would receive compensation from the government in exchange for freeing the slave (Fladeland 173). The compensation could be in the form of money and could allow the enslaved person’s owner to retain them for a period of labor. From the response under review, we see that slavery was to be abolished completely without compensating the owners of the slaves. This would obviously be unfair to the enslavers since it would result in a loss on their end. It is said that even with the compensation still, the value was less than the market price of the slaves. Consequently, the slaves would also find this weird that even after being enslaved, it is other people being compensated and not them. Imagine receiving additional compensation after benefiting from slavery while the victims receive nothing at all.

Another disadvantage is possible conflicts, and it would be hard for slavery to end without conflicts between slaves and their masters. According to Milewski (247), masters and slaves were never separate entities. The slaves felt that they belonged to their masters and the masters believed that the slaves belonged to them. They were both linked by powerful contradictory emotions that are love and hate. By the 1820s, when Fort Snelling was built, slavery had become a reality. Most traders often utilized the labor of slaves. Some officers rented out slaves from the US Indian agent Lawrence Taliaferro. Apart from these slaves providing labor in various plantations, they also did house chores for their owners (Williams 256). It was expected that, with time, the enslaved persons would gang up to face their masters. Working forcefully under too much pressure is tiring and disgusting at the same time. The enslaved people were forced to work under poor conditions, whereby their well-being was not put into consideration. Some of them fell sick and died while still working, and this would later anger their colleagues and make them gain the courage to face their masters, an action that would eventually result in conflict between the two parties.

The adoption of immediate and complete abolition of slavery without compensation or other conditions was not easy and easy and was likely to raise several long-term results. Some of these include the following:

Segregation is the act of setting someone apart from others. There are several forms of segregation; among them is racial segregation which, according to Iceland et al. (3), is based on racial, ethnicity, and income criterion. The abolition of slavery would possibly result in racial segregation whereby the enslaved persons would be left to live by themselves in groups apart from the whites in America. It is obvious that the enslaved persons were not well off, especially due to their low income compared to the Americans. This means they were likely to face discrimination based on their color and class. Not all enslaved people would wish to go back to their home countries after the abolition of slavery. This means that there would be a good number of them left in America, and their lives would not be the same as those of the Americans. Personal attitudes and preferences would also possibly lead to segregation. Segregation would generally result in negative socio-economic life for the minority group, influencing their education opportunities, access to healthcare, food, and employment.

It would also be possible that not all enslaved persons would go back to their home countries after the abolition of slavery. This would be due to various reasons, such as not knowing their way back or even being influenced by their owners and masters. For this reason, there would emerge black population in America would increase with time after they continued reproducing. Interracial families would also emerge, thus giving birth to a new generation whose original home would be America. Such an occurrence would help bridge the gap between whites in America and black people.


From the discussion, the possible outcome of the immediate and complete abolition of slavery without compensation has been explained, showing the possible advantages and disadvantages. The long-term results of its adoption have also been explained; the discussion has helped predict several things that would happen if this approach was employed.

Works Cited

Mann, Kristin. “Shifting paradigms in the study of the African diaspora and of Atlantic history and culture.” Rethinking the African diaspora. Routledge, 2013. 3–21.

Fladeland, Betty L. “Compensated Emancipation: A Rejected Alternative.” The Journal of Southern History 42.2 1976: 169-186.

Milewski, Melissa. “Taking former masters to court: civil cases between former masters and slaves in US South, 1865–1899.” Slavery & Abolition 40.2 2019: 240–255.

Williams, Heather Andrea. Self-taught: African American education in slavery and freedom. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Iceland, John, Daniel H. Weinberg, and Erika Steinmetz. Racial and ethnic residential segregation in the United States 1980-2000. Vol. 8. No. 3. Bureau of Census, 2002.


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