A Farewell to Davis

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Throughout this course we have discussed the significance of slaves in the New World. As such, it is fitting that the final reading wrap up this discussion by hypothesizing on the importance and profound significance of emancipation.

Davis concludes his writing by stipulating that while emancipation was a clear turning point in U.S. history, it did not mean that African Americans were free from suffering. Moreover, he concludes that African Americans are still under persecution and must continually fight against the subjection of their civil rights. While Davis ends shortly after discussing emancipation’s effects, I would have liked to read his opinion on Jim Crow, particularly in how it served as an extension of slavery by relegating African Americans to an even lesser existence.

I have to agree with Matt StLawrence as well, concerning Davis’ treatment of Lincoln. I too often think of Lincoln with a classical mythos. We frequently represent him as a selfless individual, striving for humanitarianism and the just treatment of all peoples. In fact, if Lincoln isn’t in your top three favorite presidents list, you’re probably doing something wrong. That being said, it is still important to understand that Lincoln was a pragmatist, not a foolhardy idealist. He was honorable and his death was tragic, but he was still just a man sworn to live the will of the people. Perhaps his ability to so aptly defy the populace – or at least approximately half of the country – is what makes him so memorable and distinctive.

Ultimately, Davis’ handling of slavery was excellent. He aptly summarized both northern passions and southern rationalizations for the peculiar institution, while trying not to inject any bias – an incredibly difficult, but still well executed undertaking.