“Slavery: A Positive Good” by John C. Calhoun

Respond to John C. Calhoun

John C. Calhoun’s “Slavery: A Positive Good” speech — Click here: Positive Good Pro-Slavery Speech

In your group of no more than three, please re-read “Slavery: A Positive Good.” Review your own “translation” of John C. Calhoun’s speech. You should have notes from your first reading.

Calhoun attempts to present five “facts.”

1. Slavery has civilized and improved Africans, physically, morally, and intellectually.

2. The South is just as virtuous as the North, even though they interact with Africans. Slavery isn’t making white people bad or inferior in any way. The South is just as good and righteous as other parts of the country.

3. Slavery has always existed in wealthy and civilized societies.

4. Americans treat slaves better than Europeans treat the poor and their working class servants.

5. The South is more stable than the North because there can be no conflict between labor and capital (between workers and bosses) in slavery. There are not workers and bosses — there are slaves and owners.

With no more than a group of three, utilizing your knowledge from American History and your impressions of Amari’s story in Copper Sun, prepare a three to five minute rebuttal to Calhoun’s speech.

Take on the persona of a US Senator from the North in 1837. You’ve heard Calhoun’s address to the Senate, and now you must take the Senate floor and reply.

Type the script of your rebuttal speech, responding to, questioning, challenging, or disproving each of Calhoun’s five facts. Address all five of Calhoun’s claims. Utilize quotes from Calhoun’s speech to help you lay out his claims and then address them one by one.

Use GoogleDocs. Share with your partners and me.

Name the file: 8-your section number Response to Calhoun partner’s names

Example: 8-1 Response to Calhoun Lily R and Camryn B

Practice giving your speech — each person in the group of no more than three must take a turn talking. You may divide up the speech as you see fit. Give your speech with conviction and eloquence.

By the end of class on Friday, make a video of your group giving your speech. Publish it to youtube (usmenglish8/wildcats) and then create a link to the “Responses to Calhoun” speeches post on this blog as a comment. Include your section, first names and last initials, and a link to your video.

Be creative with your video! Sets, costumes, eye contact, voice, enunciation, emotion, body language, and gestures are all important.

Publish to my youtube channel (usmenglish8/wildcats).

Make the name of your video the same as the name of your GoogleDoc.

Click here to post as a comment.


3 thoughts on ““Slavery: A Positive Good” by John C. Calhoun

  1. Major Points?
    * The South will not surrender its biggest money maker, slavery.
    * The hatred between the North and the South was going to happen anyways.
    * The two races should be brought together, it would make a positive relationship.
    * He would be more open to slavery if they treated their slaves like other countries.

    What Arguments?
    * Blacks and Whites should be brought together.
    * There has never been a wealthy society when one part of the people live on the labor of the others.
    * There has always been an issue between labor and the capitol in the south

  2. Major Points?
    * The abolitionists and the South will not get along if things stay the way they are.
    * Slavery is good for the black race.
    * It is good for the whites to.
    * It is normal for wealthy societies to live off human labor.
    * Slavery happened it all societies, even in the past
    * In the United States they treat the slaves well.
    * The relations are good between the two races in the south.
    * Slavery make the political condition of the south is more stable
    * He hopes the south will be more motivated

    * Blacks and Whites get along
    * It is good that blacks have slavery, it is better for them
    * Wealthy societies have to live off human labor
    * The south need to wake up and fight to keep slavery, the north will take it away from them if they don’t

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