Analysis Of Tompkins' The Cotton Mill Commercial Features

906 words - 4 pages

Tompkins’ book Cotton Mill, Commercial Features is a paradigm of the racist and constricted mindset that has been prevalent throughout our countries history. This book was published in 1899; over three decades after the Civil War had ended. Despite the fact that the Union had prevailed during the Civil War, African American’s, as well as other minorities, were still desperately struggling for their freedom.
After the Civil War there were more opportunities for African American’s in the Northern portion of the United States. However, by the end of the 1800’s their freedoms and rights were increasing becoming limited in Southern segment of the United States, where the majority of African ...view middle of the document...


This publication mentions African American men and women, white men, women and children. However, it does not discuss immigrants or Native Americans. This suggests that they were not, and would not be eligible to work in this environment. In addition to this, their absence reflects the views of the time in which the writer lived, as well as his own prejudices. The social classes within this document are divided into four distinct groups, the first two are further subdivided alone racial lines, and these groups are: employers, employees, preachers and teachers.
While Tompkins states that he is in agreement with the abolition of slavery, however, this is because he believes that institution of slavery has inhibited the development of the South. Tompkins makes the following statement on the issue: “It would require a book to tell the story of former well developed manufacturing interests of the South, of the manner in which it was dried up by the development of the institution of slavery and of its prompt re-establishment on the abolition of slavery.” This statement reveals his conviction that the South’s unique history has delayed its progression but allowing the slave owners to become complacent. He goes on to state that “Dependence upon the negro as a laborer has done infinite injury to the South. In the past it brought about a condition which drove the white laborer from the South or into enforced idleness. It is important to re-establish as quickly as possible respectability for white labor.”
While Tomkins admits that some of the mill owners’ actions have led to the requirement of laws regarding labor, he states these laws will not as...

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