John Thompson was a slave in Maryland before the Civil War. Because he witnessed the sanctions that slaves got, he formed his theory of the relationship between sanctions and slavery. It was not uncommon for slaves to be treated very cruelly and live in harsh conditions. Some masters whipped their slave just for the pleasure they got out of it. However, these were not the only masters. Many masters were kind to the slaves, cared for them well, and did not whip them without cause. These situations led him to his theory. What he believed was that if a slave was treated wrongfully by the owner, God would remember all that the master did to the slave and would punish him. He also believed that if the slaves were treated badly, the plantation would not do as well, because the slave would not work as hard. On the other hand a master who treated his slaves well and took care of them would have a better plantation because the slaves would be willing to work for their kind and just master. Thompson believed that if the master treated the slaves right, the master would have more prosperity.