Elkins and McPherson on Slavery Comparison Essay by Nicky

A comparison of Stanley Elkins' and James McPherson's books, "Slavery" and "Ordeal by Fire".
# 149915 | 839 words | 2 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Jan 12, 2012 in Literature (American) , African-American Studies (Slavery)

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The paper discusses how Elkins in his book "Slavery" claims that the American public should accept the slavery era as a time when people preferred profits in favor of human lives, while McPherson in his book Ordeal by Fire" does not wish to condemn an entire nation for the atrocities committed by a number of people during a time when circumstances had led them in acting accordingly. The paper argues that while Elkins attempts to sustain his arguments through presumptions, exaggrations and unconfirmed statements, McPherson brings solid proof to back up his book. The paper highlights how these two books are very different in their manner of writing and in their target audience. The paper concludes that "Slavery" is a more reader-friendly book, but "Ordeal by Fire" is the ideal book for a Civil War and slavery period enthusiast to read.

From the Paper:

"Elkins puts emphasis on the fact that the slavery system in the southern states had been very different than other slave systems around the world. The author goes as far as comparing it to the more recent actions performed by the Nazis during the Second World War. All in all, slaves were being treated ruthlessly by their owners, as the latter considered black people to be inferior and predisposed for serving whites.
"James McPherson describes the slavery system and the incidents which have lead to the outbreak of the Civil War. The American Constitution is one of the main documents which served as evidence that the American public wanted their lands to be free and all people to be equal, regardless of their backgrounds. Moreover, people began to realize that the slave system had been ineffective, as it discouraged evolution and it brought little profits to the nation. Even from the end of the Revolutionary War people expressed their desire for a free country and a large number of politicians have issued petitions to the government in order to have it abolish slavery in all states. In spite of the fact that the southern states did not pay attention to the demands made by the government, most planters had started to perceive black people as normal workers and not as machines as they had done until the time."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Elkins, Stanley. (1976). "Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life".University Of Chicago Press.
  • McPherson, James M. (2000). "Ordeal by Fire: The Civil War and Reconstruction". McGraw-Hill College.

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

Elkins and McPherson on Slavery (2012, January 12) Retrieved December 05, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/elkins-and-mcpherson-on-slavery-149915/

MLA Format

"Elkins and McPherson on Slavery" 12 January 2012. Web. 05 December. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/elkins-and-mcpherson-on-slavery-149915/>