Thoughts on Being a Slave Owner
The American south in the time of the civil war was a production machine. Fertile land and slave owning plantations gave way to high profit margins and production turnover. Without a large slave force the south may not have been the bread basket of America. My initial reaction to placing myself in that time period is that I would NEVER own slaves.
Upon further thought I realized that there was no way to become wealthy or even well off without using slave labor. Not only is it nearly impossible to accrue wealth at that time without slaves, but it is also the social norm to own slaves. If I was alive at that time I would simply not know any better. However, there were many who owned slaves and treated them terribly. I would not go that route, instead I believe that I could use this situation to better their lives.
By providing them with quality housing and meals, I would inspire them to want to work hard and take pride in their lives. I would never beat my slaves, they would be treated basically as indentured workers, I believe there is no need or place for the cruelty that many took part in and as history shows, often relished. As history shows, when given power, people unfortunately stray towards evil, but I believe that through the lens of human compassion I would have done my best to better the lives of any slaves I owned.