Slavery Without Domestic Affection

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Slavery without domestic affection would be a curse, Fitzhugh says — and so would marriage and parental authority:

Historians and philosophers, speculating upon the origin of governments, have generally agreed that the family was its first development. It has ever been, and will ever be, its most common form. Two-thirds of mankind, the women and children, are everywhere the subjects of family government. In all countries where slavery exists, the slaves also are the subjects of this kind of government. Now slaves, wives and children have no other government; they do not come directly in contact with the institutions and rulers of the State. But the family government, from its nature, has ever been despotic. The relations between the parent or master and his family subjects are too various, minute and delicate, to be arranged, defined, and enforced by law. God has in his mercy and wisdom provided a better check, to temper and direct the power of the master of the family, than any human government has devised.

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