Honor, Control, and Powerlessness: Plantation Whipping in the Antebellum South
Dickman, Michael. “Honor, Control, and Powerlessness: Plantation Whipping in the Antebellum South”. BA, 2015.
This thesis analyzes the practice of whipping during the antebellum South from the perspective of both masters and slaves in an attempt to better understand the brutal form of punishment that served as the physical manifestation of the oppressive nature of American slavery. It examines the distinctive culture of honor to reveal how a rigid divide came to be established and fortified along racial lines. Masters are men who desired to uphold the superior position they held in relation to their slaves, using the whip to enforce order and control. Meanwhile, slaves experienced a deep sense of powerlessness as a result of the practice but examples of aggressive resistance to their masters are present. This thesis seeks to shed light on one of the darkest chapters of American history.