Ethical Dimensions of History
Antebellum slavery is misunderstood and often over-simplified. I believe that we do have an ethical responsibility to correct these simplistic assumptions about antebellum slavery. With a subject as large and heavy as slavery, there really is no room to sugarcoat or misconstrue any of the information. It is ethically responsible to correct misunderstood assumptions about the past so we can learn from and interpret the past more correctly. We studied one misrepresentation of antebellum slavery which was that slavery was only present in the southern region of the country. We were presented with resources that said otherwise. Animated maps showed the movement and growth of enslaved people based on census information, you can see the expansion north. Slave insurance companies operated in New York and elsewhere and enslaved people's skills were essential for the running of the majority of commercial industries.
There is no one right way to change minds or educate millions of people on this topic or even resolve any ethical issues we encounter today. Correcting the past is ethical but doing so can help us understand ethical issues in the present.