The Life Of Colonel Jack Defoe Essay

2015 Words Mar 31st, 2016 9 Pages
In The Life of Colonel Jack Defoe similarly sanctions the institution of slavery. Slavery, to a large degree, was key to the success of the British colonies. Intensive production of crops and other resources necessitated a large, cheap labor supply. Thus the institution of slavery arose, again justified on religious grounds. Defoe’s portrayal of slavery is based on the view of slaves as fundamentally racially inferior. However he urges their humane treatment and avoids mentioning the inequity and moral issues of slavery. Although he is initially reluctant to punish his slaves, having just risen from the position of an indentured servant himself, Jack finds sufficient justification for the lash:
I began indeed to see, that the Cruelty, so much talk 'd of, used in Virginia and Barbadoes, and other Colonies, in Whipping the Negro Slaves, was not so much owing to the Tyranny, and Passion, and Cruelty of the English, as had been reported, the English not being accounted to be of a Cruel Disposition, and really are not so: But that it is owing to the Brutallity, and obstinate Temper of the Negroes, who cannot be mannag 'd by Kindness, and Courtisy; but must be rul 'd with a Rod of Iron, beaten with Scorpions, as the Scripture calls it; and must be used as they do use them, or they would Rise and Murther all their Masters, which their Numbers consider 'd, would not be hard for them to do, if they had Arms and Ammunition suitable to the Rage and Cruelty of their Nature. (Defoe…

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