Frederick Douglass Harriet Jacobs Essay Sample

Frederick Douglass Harriet Jacobs Essay Sample

… of privation. However, capitalism was often seen as a liberating force in a pure way, because it was contrasted to the backward, enslaved agricultural South.
For instance, in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Toms Cabin or Life Among the Lowly, the North is seen as the place of goodness and truth, while the farther South the titular character descends, the farther he falls into enslavement and insufferable working conditions. Frederick Douglass, “Open Letter to Thomas Auld” also stresses the horrific and soul-destroying nature of enslaved labor in the South, in contrast to the goodness of the North. …

… often tacitly ignored the fact that capitalism was not necessarily just or fair in the ways it functioned. Because it paid its workers a wage, understandably it was seen as much more just and much more ‘American’ and free than the economic conditions found amongst slaves in the South. Douglass and Stowe, in nonfictional and fictional formats, challenged their fellow Americans with the question: If labor is not remunerated, how can the American nation call itself free, from either a political or a capitalistic perspective? How could a nation founded upon freedom live in a half-enslaved economic state? If …

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