This week, we learned a lot about slavery and its origins including when the first slaves arrived and how long slavery lasted in the United States and Europe. I was very interested in learning about the opinions of slavery between the north and south in America. Though I knew that the north was not completely abolitionist and anti-slavery, I never knew about the laws that were put in place in the north that put on an abolitionist front, but really did nothing for the cause. It is so unfortunate that there is a trend in high schools to teach us about the abolitionist north and the anti-abolitionist south when the north was not innocent either. Yes, there were abolitionists in both regions, but nothing was done about abolition until the end of the Civil War and even then slaves were not free. Though this is a common thought, The Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln at the end of the Civil War did not free the slaves. This is another example of how high schools teach common misconceptions.
I, like most people, used to believe that Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves and that the north was “good” while the south was riddled with slaves . This is harmful because neither of these statement are completely true and not everyone can know this unless they take additional history classes. The truth about history should not be hidden in other history classes, in fact, it should be what we learn first. Thus, I am interested in a particular research question about this topic. How do common misconceptions about slavery affect the way that slavery is viewed today?
To research this question, I would find the most common misconceptions or false beliefs about slavery starting with facts I used to believe and moving on to facts that other people used to believe (I could find these through talking to friends and family or looking online). After this, I could put these misconceptions together and analyze why those misconceptions were taught (possibly to create a divide or a superiority complex between regions). By analyzing these misconceptions, I could develop an understanding as to how certain mindsets toward slavery are created.