Saturday, February 8, 2020

Pateriarchy and Paternalism Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1000 words

Pateriarchy and Paternalism - Essay Example However, by the end of the American Revolution, most states in northern America had already done away with the practice, but in southern states, the institution of slavery was flourishing especially in the large plantations that formed the major economic mainstay of the regions (Allport, 1954, p41). In this respect, Southern states supported slavery while the northern states opposed the practice, resulting to the civil war that was eventually won by the Northern side. For long periods, historians and social researchers have delved on how the slaves related with their masters to ensure that they coexisted peacefully without undue conflicts in such a harsh and dehumanizing working environment. This paper discusses similarities between paternalism and patriarchy in context with slavery practice in the United States. Before discussing the similarities and differences between paternalism and patriarchy, it is important to consider the demographic composition of slaves in both the southern and northern parts of the country and then establish their working conditions. According to Allport (1954, p 47) a slave was a property of a master purchased to provide free and forced labor to the master in the plantations and at homes. Southern states in America and the Caribbean relied heavily on agriculture and large plantations of crops such as sugarcane and tobacco required intensive human labor. To ensure that slaves remained productive at their place of work, the white masters first applied patriarchy during the early periods of slavery and later adopted paternalism in 18th century (Oakes, 2010, 567) Patriarchy was a strict code that emphasized on obedience, discipline, control and severe punishment of the slaves towards their masters (Oakes, 2010, p573). However, patriarchy provided the slaves with protection, guardianship and reciprocal obligation. According to Altemeyer (1988, p 26), patriarchy defined the image of the slave owner and it set the standards of judging slav eholding among the white farmers. The transformation from patriarchy to paternalism in the 18th century was enhanced by the benevolent inclination of the slave-owners towards their black slaves. Consequently, the masters began expecting similar treatment from the slaves and their outlook towards the slaves became more sentimental (Oakes, 2010, p 575). In this regard, the masters tried to create the image of happy and contended slaves, who worked to get protection from their masters. In response to patriarchy, many slaves rebelled against their masters in attempts to resist the work and the harsh treatment. The slaves resisted by feigning sickness, sabotaging, stealing from the masters, arson, destroying tools, mistreating animals among other behaviors. Their resistance was mainly collective, structured to undermine the system in order to facilitate change or validate escape from slavery (Altemeyer, 1988, p 39). This occasionally resulted to revolts that were driven by a common sense of victimization. However, the revolts were not intended to change the structure or the balance of power but provided avenue for expression or execution of retribution directed at an individual but not on the larger system of power (Oakes, 2010, p 583). In this regard, the slaves’ revolts were not revolutionary since they lacked collective

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