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Point Of View Of David Brion Davis, C.L.R. James, And Orlando Patterson Regarding The Abolishment Of Slavery

1298 words - 6 pages

The abolishment of slavery, no matter what country it took place in, was a significant turning point in world history. Due to this it has become the discussion of much scholarly debate. There are three historians to highlight that provide key points to why slavery needed to be abolished and the significance of it. David Brion Davis, C.L.R. James, and Orlando Patterson all share similar and differing viewpoints for why slavery needed to be discontinued. This is important to discuss so we as humans who are building a society do not make the same mistakes again as we continue to learn from our past. Whether they are social, economic, or moral wrongdoings we can take a step in the right direction towards avoiding them by observing and contemplating what has occurred before us. This is why reading these historians’ accounts are so important. The three historians David Brion Davis, C.L.R. James, and Orlando Patterson show why slavery could not be sustained and why it was necessary to rid ourselves of it.
David Brion Davis is well known for his studies into the history and philosophy of slavery. Davis may be most well-known for his trilogy of books PSWC which he wrote in 1966, The Problem of Slavery in the Age of the revolution written in 1975, and his most recent release written this year The Problem of Slavery in the Age of the Emancipation. This has given him plenty of recognition and influence among other historians in his field. If you want to study the abolition of slavery his work is some of the first to indulge yourself in. Davis in his latest book spoke a lot about “dehumanization and its implications”, in relations to slavery. His focus had a lot to do with the psychological aspects of why slavery took place. He believed the perception in many people’s minds at the time were that blacks had an “incapacity for freedom”. The idea that blacks were clearly inferior to their light skinned brethren, and therefore did not deserve the same rights that whites were allotted to. This is what makes the civil war and the laws that followed so astonishing to him. It is very unlike our personal psychology to go against the normal everyday routine we have set in place. Yet acting outside of our own self-interest we rose up to go against the current norm to end what we found wrong. His personal philosophy of the abolition of slavery has sparked plenty of debate, but this has quite an effect on other historians and their future scholarly work. As Davis looked back on the journey of slavery whether it is through the American civil war or the Haitian uprising the aspects he points out are vital to why history played out in the way it did. His work into the psychology of slavery and the abolition of it is just one part of the story, but it is a very important part.
Cyril Lionel Robert James had many interest and activities in which he followed through with in his life most notably though was perhaps his writings of The Black Jacobins in...

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