Essay on Alice Baumgartner's South to Freedom (Book Review Sample)
3 pages / 825 words (Double spacing)
Jun 22, 10:40 PM
Essay on Alice Baumgartner's South to Freedom
Based on your reading of Alice Baumgartner's South to Freedom, discuss the role that slavery and runaway slaves played in shaping politics and conflict between the United States and Mexico and between the North and South (free and slave states).
Essay on Alice Baumgartner’s South to Freedom
Essay on Alice Baumgartner’s South to Freedom
Baumgartner’s work, South to Freedom, provides a historical account of the struggle and the role of slaves in shaping the political development of the United States. According to the author, slavery played a significant role in fueling conflicts in the USA. Mainly, civil war broke out due to the differences between the North and the South. Besides, slavery played a role in shaping the political development of the United States. Thus, Alice Baumgartner’s South to Freedom highlights the role of slavery and runaway slaves in fueling conflicts and shaping the political terrain of the United States.
According to Baumgartner, slavery fueled conflicts in the United States because it served as a bone of contention between the warring parties. For instance, many slaves escaped slavery and migrated to Mexico. In the new territory, slaves regrouped as they formed a formidable force that later impacted the course of the civil war. According to the author, Mexico rose as an anti-slavery republic and a promised land for slaves. Besides, the abolition of slavery in Mexico challenged the United States since the state provided the dissenting force against the USA. As a result, the experiences of slaves in Mexico united all slaves within and outside the USA. Moreover, after the abolition of slavery by the Mexican Congress, several slaves headed south, while others escaped with stolen firearms, hence using them later in the civil war. Above all, slaves who escaped to Mexico contributed greatly to the outbreak of conflicts in the U.S.
The text also reveals that the Underground Railroad to the North also served as the salvation of slaves who used the route to escape from the South, where slavery was rampant. Through the Railroad, free blacks and other anti-slavery campaigners helped enslaved people to run from the slavery hotspots. As a result, the Underground Railroad was widely known during the time as it served as alternative road for transporting slaves. As a result, slave journeys from the South to the North helped to spread the anti-slavery campaigns, hence pressurizing the pro-slavery campaigners to abandon the trade. According to the abolitionists, slavery contravened biblical rules that prohibit human beings from undermining the dignity of other. Likewise, economists campaigned against slavery by arguing that slaves were unproductive compared to free labor. Thus, the collective stories of slaves in Mexico and in the North had strategic and political significance because they provided an impetus for the outbreak of the Civil war. Particularly, the movements increased tensions in the North, encouraging the anti-slavery southerners to defeat slavery, hence creating an equal society. [Baumgartner, Alice L. South to Freedom: Runaway Slaves to Mexico and the Road to the Civil War. Hachette UK, 2020.] [Ibid]
Above all, the author notes that slavery played a significant role in the outbreak of the American civil war. It should be noted that slavery was the major cause of war. As Baumgartner argues, the cause of civil war is associated with the differences over the morality of slavery. On one hand, the South wanted to assert its authority and influence the federal government to abolish laws that sought to ban the South from keeping slaves. It is evident that the South had benefited a lot from slave economy who were not only a source of revenue but also served as a source of labor in plantations and households. [Ibid]
It is also evident that the intention of the South to expand slavery to the western territories led to the outbreak of the civil war because the act violated the Missouri Compromise. The Compromise h
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