Abolition of Slavery is Conducive to Womens Rights Movement

Peanut Butter and Jelly. Pancakes and syrup. Swimming and water. All of these things go together perfectly. One with out the other just isnt right. The same thing goes for slavery and a womens rights movement in the eighteenth century. It doesnt seem right that a womens right movement would not come out of the anti-slavery movement in the early part of this century. The United States was under a lot of stress as a country. They were still forming governments and unity amongst themselves. States were divided by slavery.

As abolitionist groups started to form and slavery was being fought, women started to realize that they had no rights and began their battle. In the eighteenth century, citizens consisted of white, land owning males. Below them were white, non-landing owning males. Following were white females and then slaves. During the anti-slavery movement, male slaves were looking for their right to vote mainly. The fifteenth amendment to the United States constitution stated prohibited states from denying rights to citizens “on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude” (Sklar 73).

Perhaps the reason white women were opposed to this amendment is due to the fact that they realized their rights had been decreased. They had very little rights above male slaves before this amendment, and after its passing, they had no rights even mentioned in the constitution. This could have been looked upon as a very good incentive to gain their own freedom. Many leaders of the womens anti-slavery movement were immediatists. One of the founders of this kind of thinking was William Lloyd Garrison.

Garrisons main basis for the immediate abolition of slavery was that slaves were children of God, therefore making them equal to all others in His eyes. Abolishing slavery was the only way to making this country truly pure with God given liberty (Sklar 13). This argument provides great basis for a womens rights movement to break off. If slaves are created equal to everyone, then women must be equal to slaves. Based upon this, if slaves go their freedom and right to vote, women as well should get these rights. It seemed to be clear that abolition of slavery must come before the womens rights movement.

Evidence showed that success rates would be higher in gaining womens rights if slavery was first abolished. Along with all of this evidence, it is easier to achieve one task at a time. If women helped gain rights for slaves, they could then have the help and support of the slaves when trying to gain rights for themselves. The battle that women were taking on was not going to be short or easy by any means. They would face many problems and much resistance on the way. As time would tell their actions would all pay off, as now, women have everything that they worked so hard for.

Slavery – Events that Effected Slavery

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” (Thomas Jefferson). The only problem with this passage from the Declaration of Independence is that it does not say, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men and Negroes are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” Thomas Jefferson’s words were not correct.

Not all men were created equal and these men were slaves. Slavery has existed throughout the United States for centuries before the present day. This was the most inhumane treatment any man could go through. The following report will express the impact of slavery on the history of the united states of America. The Earliest Slaves in America In the summer of 1619 a 160-ton ship from the Port of Flushing in Holland sailed into the Chesapeake Bay. The Dutch ship was under the command of Captain Jope and piloted by an English man named Marmaduke Raynor.

In exchange for supplies Jope sold more than 20 Negroes to the local authorities in the English colony of Virginia. These blacks came ashore 12 years after the founding of Jamestown. At first the Virginians liked white indentured persons who knew their language and their ways, compared to the newly arrived black slaves. Over time though, the black servants grew accustomed to the environment and were better than the white indentured servants. The colonists didn’t approve, but because of the need for laborers for Tobacco the acceptance grew. Slavery grows from demand of cotton

The Revolutionary War won for the Americans a large stretch of wilderness between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River. After 1800 settlers began to clear and plant on the land. Many of these settlers brought slaves with them. One of the crops which they planted was cotton. When the slaves had to pick the cotton it would prick them and slow the picking down tremendously. Then a man named Eli Whitney invented a machine called the Cotton Gin. The Cotton Gin cleaned the short sticky fibers of the upland cotton. Metal teeth simply pulled the fibers from the seeds.

The invention of this machine made the cotton economy soar. This increased the need for slaves. They needed more slaves to pick the cotton faster so they could keep up with the production. The masters were constantly working their slaves from dusk until dawn. They would load the cotton into wagons and take the crop to the gin. As planters in the South turned more and more land to growing cotton, the economy could support more people. In 1790 the South had one million white people, six hundred fifty-seven thousand black slaves, and thirty-two thousand free black people.

Slaves grew in population rapidly. Resistance To Slavery Slaves found many ways to resist white control. Most resistance forms were passive. Slaves used songs to express their longings to be free, but also spread news for secret meetings. Some slaves pretended to be sick, broke tools and worked as slow as possible. Others, ran away. When these slaves were caught, they were punished severely. Other ways slaves resisted the whites were through means of violence. Some slaves would try to poison the masters food which scared many plantation owners. The most violent though were organized riots. Slavery causes problems Slavery also caused problems where states were concerned.

When Missouri sought admission to the Union in 1819, it proposed a state constitution which would protect slavery. At that time there were exactly as many slave states as well as free states in the Union. The house of representatives was dominated by the North and the Southerners stood to gain control of the senate if Missouri was admitted as a slave state. Before the Missouri Debate began, Congress used the Northwest Ordinance to prohibit slavery north and west of the Ohio River. The balance was in danger of being upset. Slavery also affected this greatly and it later led to the Missouri Compromise.

The Antislavery movement In the early 1800’s an antislavery movement was developing. Many voices of free slaves from the North and abolitionists were beginning to speak out against slavery. Abolitionism was a movement for an immediate end to slavery. Many abolitionists freed slaves from their life of enslavement. Sojourner Truth was one of the main women abolitionists in the fight against slavery. She not only aided blacks in their escape, but she spoke to president Lincoln personally about her views. Free blacks were not the only ones who worked to free slaves. There were also white abolitionists who worked for the same cause.

A newspaper called the Liberator was started by William Lloyd Garrison supporting abolitionism. This rekindled the flame of the white antislavery movement In 1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe published a book called Uncle Tom’s cabin. This book told about the evils of slavery, and what slaves had to live through. Stowe was also against the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. This law enabled the northerners were permitted to catch runaway slaves who could not defend themselves in court. This book caused immediate controversy between the North and the South as soon as it hit the shelves. Three hundred thousand copies were sold of the book in 1 year.

Kansas-Nebraska Act Lawmakers knew that a bill was needed to set up a territorial government for Kansas. And in order to build the railroad, land had to be set aside for the railroad companies. Yet the issue of slavery blocked these promising plans. Kansas and Nebraska were both closed to slavery under the Missouri Compromise of 1820. Southerners would not go along with the railroad unless they saw hope for slavery in these territories. They felt they had to overturn the Missouri Compromise.

Democrat Stephen A. Douglas started the new debate rolling. Douglas introduced the Nebraska bill in ….. 54 to organize a territorial government, which could then open the way to lay down railroad tracks. Southern senators, however, balked at any bill that would allow the ban on slavery in the territories to continue. Douglas reworked his bill. His new proposal divided the area into two territories: that of Kansas and that of Nebraska. It was implied, but not started, that Kansas would become a slave state, and Nebraska would be free of slavery. He also proposed an idea called Popular Sovereignty, or the right of the voters in each territory to decide whether to become a free or slave state.

The bill rendered the Missouri Compromise meaningless. Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska act in 1854. Antislavery people, Democrats, and Wigs included, held rallies, demonstrations, and meetings throughout the North to condemn the Kansas-Nebraska Act. These gatherings helped form a new political party. The Underground Railroad Antislavery forces did more than protect and rescue runaway slaves. In fact, they helped many slaves escape. A secret network called the Underground Railroad helped 100,000 fugitive slaves to freedom between 1780 and 1865. The Underground Railroad was not a railroad and it didn’t run underground.

The Underground Railroad was a secret complex system of about 3,000 people both blacks and whites, who helped transport escaped slaves. At night “conductors” led runaways to freedom, providing food and safe hiding places. The conductors risked great danger in aiding slaves. The slaves transportation in the Underground Railroad varied. Slaves traveled on foot, in covered wagons, or in boxes. At the stations the slaves would hide in attics, barns, cellars, and even secret rooms behind walls or in the floor. Finally at the end the slaves would settle in one of the fourteen free states or Canada.

The most famous railroad conductor had to be Harriet Tubman who escaped herself from slavery. Harriet guided more than three hundred slaves to freedom. The Emancipation Proclamation Following the bloodshed at Antietam, Lincoln needed to broaden the reasons for remaining at war. He was still very serious about saving the Union, but he took a firm stand on slavery as well. Linking the Union with the abolition of slavery in the South would strengthen his support in the North by pointing out the need to protect the country and to make it a country where freedom held great value.

On September 22, 1862, he issued his first Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation would free all slaves in areas still in rebellion. It was a statement of intent instead of a law, and slaveholders refused to accept it. The Proclamation also allowed former slaves to enlist in the army. During the war one hundred and eighty-six thousand blacks served in the Union Army and twenty-nine thousand served in the Union Navy. Reconstruction Before the Civil war was over and General Lee and his troops surrendered, Lincoln already had a plan of amnesty and reconstruction to be approved by congress.

In this plan, 10% of those who voted in the election of 1860 had to take an oath proclaiming their loyalty to the United States. Confederate states could then form a new government and use a new constitution. In this proclamation, slavery was also banned, but it did not say that blacks had the right to vote or to any other rights. Another plan the Radicals passed in July 1864, was the Wade-Davis Bill. This bill was a stricter version of Lincoln’s Proclamation of Amnesty. In this bill a majority (51%) had to take an oath to the United States and take part in drafting a new Constitution. Only then could that state be remitted to the Union.

The bill demanded that Confederates swear past and present loyalty. The Wade-Davis bill also required the new state constitutions to outlaw slavery and declare the Confederate debt unpayable. Confederate bonds and money became worthless. With the support of the moderates, Congress passed the Wade-Davis bill. Congress then adjourned, however, and Lincoln refused to sign the bill. This defeated the Wade-Davis bill. In January 1865, Lincoln compromised by proposing the Thirteenth Amendment to outlaw slavery. Former Confederate states were required to ratify, or formally approve, the amendment before rejoining the Union.

Black Codes In Johnson’s plan for reconstruction he gave black voting rights to most whites, but he only encouraged new states to allow freedmen to vote. The southern states followed Johnson’s policies, but not happily. None gave blacks the right to vote. Instead, the new state governments tried to bring back slavery in all but name. They used laws known as Black Codes. The Black Codes varied from state to state, but everywhere the laws were meant to keep blacks from being free. Freedman were made to sign labor contracts that bound them to work and orphans whose parents could not raise them were to work as apprentices.

Freedman’s Bureau and Education For Blacks Just before the war’s end, Congress established the Freedman’s Bureau. For emergency relief the bureau distributed food to the needy of both races. Finding jobs was one of its first tasks. It also performed marriages for blacks. Education was also very important for blacks. They thought of education as their key to equal rights. The Freedman’s Bureau also helped them in seeking a better education. More than four thousand schools were established. In the South, the government set up schools after 1868. They were unfortunately segregated (separated by race).

During this time in 1868, the fifteenth amendment was passed. This amendment gave everyone the right to vote no matter their race or if they were previously slaves. Blacks were slowly gaining their rights. Conclusion Blacks as you can see suffered through many hardships and losses over time. Eventually many victories come to them. What we must realize is that all humans should be treated the same no matter what their race or color is. But this was all in the past and we need to put it behind us. Instead we should look to the future and remember “all men are created equal. “

The House of Burguess

The representative government begins with the House of Burguess. The house of Burguess as the legislature was called; they first met on July 30, 1619 in a little church in Jamestown to write the laws of Virginia. The house of Burguess remained in existence even after James I took control of Virginia. At that time there were eleven settlements in the colony. Each of them elected two, burguesses, as representatives were called. In 1964 James I cancelled the charter of the Virginia Company, thus making Virginia a royal colony.

The tobacco cultivation assures Virginia’s success, which was another unanticipated development was the discovery that raising tobacco was a profitable way to make a living. In 1612 Captain John Rolfe introduced a tropical variety possibly from Trinidad to Virginia. Rolfe, like other Englishmen, he had learned to enjoy puffing on a pipe. Rolfe’s tobacco found a waiting market in London. The “weed” quickly wore out the land, and the steady search for new acres was instrumental in pushing settlement farther and farther west.

The first crop arrived in London in 1614. Because rivers were required for shipping the crop, the banks of Potomac, the James, and the Rappahannock Rivers soon were lined with tobacco farms. So completely did tobacco take up people’s lives in Virginia that no large towns developed as centers of commerce and culture? The town of Williamsburg was the political hub of the colony. Williamsburg became Virginia’s capital in 1699 after Jamestown was destroyed by fire. The leaders of the colony met there to debate governmental matters.

Indentured servants came to America. Many people had been driven off the land by what was called the enclosure movement. The cost of crossing the Atlantic was, beyond the means of these people. Under the indenture system a farmer in America would gladly agree to pay the ship passage of an immigrant. The immigrant would in turn agree in writing to serve that farmer for a specified number of years, varying from four to seven. After the period of indenture was over, the worker became a free man or woman again. Often receiving land to take up farming.

The indenture system had its drawbacks; many servants who had arrived in America resented their condition and worked unwillingly. Slavery was introduced among the early indentured servants were people who did not come to America willingly. The first Africans arrived in Virginia in 1619. For the next thirty years or so, Africans were generally treated like indentured servants from Europe. By 1651 there were about 300 Africans in Virginia’s population of 15000. By 1640 some black servants were forced to serve their indentures for life.

Slaveholders were given increasing control as the personal and civil freedom of black people, which was more and more restricted. Finally, as the 1700’s opened, the English were becoming heavily involved in the profitable slave trade, until then a monopoly of Spain. The demand for slaves increases because of labor shortage. Another response was the importation of African slaves. Slave trading itself mocked the high ideals on which so many of the colonies which had been founded. For the suffering of slaves the torment was often made worse by the fact that they came from different places of Africa.

Some Africans tried to escape their mystery by starving themselves to death aboard the ships. Accustomed to agricultural work in Africa, they became indispensable to the colonial economy. Those Africans who survived the Atlantic crossing were quickly taken in hand and taught the tasks they would have to perform in America. It is estimated that 2/3 of the slaves captured in Africa never survived to land in America. The American Revolution cut off trade with England. Debate whether slavery is still necessary with the decline of agriculture.

Southerners needed a new crop to make farming profitable. They grew cotton in small amounts. Long staple cotton grew only in coastal areas. Short staple cotton grew everywhere in the south. They were loaded with seeds, which had to be removed before making it into cloth. It required 10 slaves to clean the amount of cotton one could pick. Eli Whitney invented a cotton gin. Now one slave can clean out what ten could pick. England’s textile factories needed cotton so the south can sell all it can grow. Cotton became the United States most important export. Slaves had a very hard life.

During the 1800’s most of the plantation slaves were field hands who planted and picked cotton, which were the field slaves. House slaves worked as servants in the owner’s home. Other plantation slaves became skilled craft workers such as black smiths, bricklayers, cabinetmakers, or carpenters. Slaves also had a variety of jobs in southern cities and towns. Many worked in factories. Others became construction workers on canals and railroads or worked as dockworkers, lumberjacks, office workers, or riverboat pilots. There were many conditions of slavery.

Many field hands worked longer than any other kind of slave. Their workday generally lasted from sunrise to sunset. Most slaves lived in their owner’s home. The owners of the slaves usually relied on punishment, which would end up into lashing, short rations, and threats to sell members of their slave families. The owners were the one’s to hold all power of reward and punishment. In 1860 the election of Lincoln was held. Lincoln became president and viewed slavery as wrong because he believed in the words all men are created equal. The year 1860 promised to a fateful one in American History.

The party urging Americans to support the constitution and the union took no stand on slavery. They attacked on fort Sumter. The civil war began in which some people opposed to slavery. They had a struggle between the north and the south. After the civil war was over the 13th and 14th amendments came into action. The 13th amendment states that: neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.

The 14th amendment states that: all persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. After the 13th and 14th amendments were in action slavery banished and was no longer brought upon people in the United States of America.

African-americans In The South

As a social and economic institution, slavery originated in the times when humans began farming instead of hunting and gathering. Slave labor became commonplace in ancient Greece and Rome. Slaves were created through the capture of enemies, the birth of children to slave parents, and means of punishment. Enslaved Africans represented many different peoples, each with distinct cultures, religions, and languages. Most originated from the coast or the interior of West Africa, between present-day Senegal and Angola. Other enslaved peoples originally came from Madagascar and Tanzania in East Africa.

Slavery became of major economic importance after the sixteenth century with the European conquest of South and Central America. These slaves had a great impact on the sugar and tobacco industries. A triangular trade route was established with Europe for alcohol and firearms in exchange for slaves. The slaves were then traded with Americans for molasses and (later) cotton. In 1619 the first black slave arrived in Virginia. The demands of European consumers for New World crops and goods helped fuel the slave trade. A strong family and community life helped sustain African Americans in slavery.

People often chose their own partners, lived under the same roof, raised children together, and protected each other. Brutal treatment at the hands of slaveholders, however, threatened black family life. Enslaved women experienced sexual exploitation at the hands of slaveholders and overseers. Bondspeople lived with the constant fear of being sold away from their loved ones, with no chance of reunion. Historians estimate that most bondspeople were sold at least once in their lives. No event was more traumatic in the lives of enslaved individuals than that of forcible separation from their families.

People sometimes fled when they heard of an impending sale. During the 17th and 18th century enslaved African Americans in the Upper South mostly raised tobacco. In coastal South Carolina and Georgia, they harvested indigo for dye and grew rice, using agricultural expertise brought with them from Africa. By the 1800s rice, sugar, and cotton became the South’s leading cash crops. The patenting of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 made it possible for workers to gin separate the seeds from the fiber some 600 to 700 pounds daily, or ten times more cotton than permitted by hand.

The Industrial Revolution, centered in Great Britain, quadrupled the demand for cotton, which soon became America’s leading export. Planters’ acute need for more cotton workers helped expand southern slavery. By the Civil War, the South exported more than a million tons of cotton annually to Great Britain and the North. An area still called the "Black Belt", which stretched across Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, grew some 80 percent of the nation’s crop. In parts of the "Black Belt", enslaved African Americans made up more than three-fourths of the total population.

Even though slavery existed throughout the original thirteen colonies, nearly all the northern states, inspired by American independence, abolished slavery by 1804. As a matter of conscience some southern slaveholders also freed their slaves or permitted them to purchase their freedom. Until the early 1800s, many southern states allowed these emancipations to legally take place. Although the Federal Government outlawed the overseas slave trade in 1808, the southern enslaved African American population continued to grow. By 1860 some 4 million enslaved African Americans lived throughout the South.

Only Southern states believed slavery to be a major, and essential, economic factor. Whether on a small farm or a large plantation, most enslaved people were agricultural laborers. They worked literally from sunrise to sunset in the fields or at other jobs. Some bondspeople held specialized jobs as artisans, skilled laborers, or factory workers. A smaller number worked as cooks, butlers, or maids. Slavery became an issue in the economic struggles between Southern plantation owners and Northern industrialists in the first half of the 19th century, a struggle that culminated in the American Civil War.

Despite the common perception to the contrary, the war was not fought primarily on the slavery issue. Abraham Lincoln, however, saw the political advantages of promising freedom for Southern slaves, and the Emancipation Proclamation was enacted in 1863. This was reinforced after the war by the 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments to the US constitution (1865, 1868, and 1870), which abolished slavery altogether and guaranteed citizenship and civil rights to former slaves. Following the Civil War, Southern states passed laws called “Black Codes”.

A Black Code was a law which limited or restricted a certain activity or way of life for the African Americans. Mississippi banned interracial marriages with the threat of certain death if the law was broken. Other codes restricted where the Blacks could own land. All were attempts to keep the government from giving the “forty acres of land” to former slaves. Since a majority of the Southern population was made of Blacks, whites feared they would eventually “take over”. This led to the brutal killings of many Blacks by the KKK and other white supremacist groups.

Blacks who tried to exercise power were either killed or had some other form of physical action taken against them. Although in 1880 voting booths were open to all, only some Whites let Blacks vote, usually when this happened, they were watched under the careful eye of a KKK leader. Sadly enough a Black trying to pursue his right to vote was often met with death or loss of income. According to the Ku Klux Klan, they stand for five “simple” views. The first being “The White Race” being the Aryan race and its Christian faith. The second, “America First” states that “America comes first before any foreign or alien influence or interest”.

The Constitution” as they believe should be followed exactly as written and intended, and is considered by their group “the finest system of government ever conceived by man”. The fourth, “Free Enterprise” was the end to high-finance exploitation. And finally, “Positive Christianity” was the right of Americans to practice their Christian faith, including but not limited to prayer in school. Preconceived notions are quite arguably the most widely acknowledged form of racism today.

Use of derogatory terms, such as the quite offensive “n-word” and slang such as “spook”, “porch monkey”, etc. e all terms people of all race’s use to refer to Blacks. Even situations can become unnecessarily frightening because of preconceived notions we have been led to believe about Blacks. For example, if a white woman has gotten lost while driving and stumbles into a predominantly “black” neighborhood, she would be more likely to panic and become frightened then if she were lost in a neighborhood considered to be predominantly “white”. Fears and ideals such as these have been instilled in our society for years, which leads to the occurrence of racial hate.

It is obvious that racism still exists in many forms throughout our nation and throughout the world. Example of this racism is present in almost every aspect of society to this day. Although slavery was outlawed in our country following the Civil War, African-Americans have never been able to enjoy the freedom that Caucasians have, and probably never will. Years and years of oppression have led to an attitude of inferiority by the African Americans that will, quite possibly, never fade. What a humility to society in general that this institution existed.

Slavery Reparations Are Wrong

Ladies and gentlemen; I don’t believe that anyone in this chamber would move to disagree with the idea that slavery was an atrocity, committed from the depths of the darkest parts of the human sole. Africans were seized from their native land, and sold into lives of servitude into a foreign land. Indeed, it was a tragedy on such a scale that cannot be measured nor quantified. And it is this very notion of unquantifiable tragedy which speaks to the matter of reparations for slavery.

To be quite blunt, reparations, even if they may be deserved, are not feasible under any system or economic tangent indeed such an undertaking would only not remedy the situation, but it would sink Africa and her people deeper into the cycle of poverty and oppression that they have so struggled to free themselves. While the arguments against reparations may seem shallow or self-serving to advocates of such a system, upon examination, the logistics of what to give, and whom to distribute it to, preclude any potential benefits of such a system of indemnity and requite.

The point of the follow critique is not to say that Africans were not mistreated, nor that they are not worthy of reparations, but that perhaps reparations are ot an adequate solution to this situation, and indeed will only serve to worsen. Africa is a continent in dire straits. European colonization and colonialism damaged the native structure and society – some might say that this simply proves that European man caused, and ought to pay for, the damages done to Africa and her people.

However, I would argue that simply placing a ‘band-aid’ blanket over Africa, would serve only to mask their problems, and relieve us of our guilt. It was this same attitude that the early European missionaries took with Africa – that they are not capable of dealing with their own problems nd situations. Authors suggest that reparations should take the form of capital transfers and African status in the International Monetary Fund (Mazuri, 22). Does this sound like mending the deep running wounds and damage done to Africa, or like a transfer of monetary funds in order to fix Africa?

Indeed, this idea of presenting money to Africa in order to apologize for what we have done is nothing more than a quick fix solution – it is not a long-term remedy for the underlying structural damage. The very center of Africa has been changed, for better or for worse. Surface solutions, while some may laim they are a good beginning or perhaps just a token of our apologetic state, will only further social damage and entrench abusive African regimes.

A cognate situation with African Americans is with that of Afrocentric history (Asante, 174); many suggest that perhaps we ought to provide black student with their own curriculum, such as to instill in them a sense of pride that will improve their education. The U. S. News and World Report comments: The Afrocentric curriculum is usually presented as an attempt to develop pride in black children by giving them a racial istory… But what kind of pride and self-esteem is likely to grow from false history?

And how much more cynical will black children be if they discover that they have been conned once again, only this time by Afrocentrists? … It is a sure-fire formula for separatism and endless racial animosity (Leo, 26) This author suggests that indeed, conferring upon youths of African descent their own different history will not only further the racial segregation, but also provide them with a false sense of history, fueling the animosity.

If the rest of the world were to suddenly step own and bestow upon Africa special privileges and grants, it would only create a sense among the global village that Africans are ‘different’ and require some sort of special assistance in order to succeed. This type of compensatory system would not only be insufficient to ever repay blacks for the injustice to them, but also further the rigid separatism that plagues African Americans today – what they need is equality, not special programs catered to what guilty-feeling Europeans feel they owe them.

Aside from any philosophical or idea-based arguments against eparations, there exist a number of logistical barriers to repaying blacks for their suffering. Immediate questions arise in the realm of distribution – it is intuitive that such reparations would be difficult to distribute, much less to decide how much, or where to place the funds or assistance. The questions are impossible to answer: who was the most oppressed? Which family or group of people received the cruelest treatment – should they get the most money or assistance?

Such questions cannot be decided, nor is it fair to quantify or compare the suffering of different people – if we started o hand out assistance, some would invariably demand more than others. Some of African descent were never taken into slavery, nor were oppressed by whites – even if one believed they are deserved of reparations, it would be impossible for an international body to distinguish or properly disburse the requite among Africans of diverse backgrounds. Some Africans have indeed become wealthy within then white world and do not require assistance – yet it would be unfair to slight them their share – did they not also once suffer?

It is equally impossible to prove whether or not someone actually was a lave, or how long they had been slaves; no records of such history were ever kept. Also worth of addressing is African involvement in slavery – it ought be decided whether those Africans deserve reparations. Some historians agree that many early slave traders justified their actions because of African involvement in the trade itself – these African kings were bought by guns and technology from the Europeans (M’Bokolo ?? . By this logic, even if they were forced to sell these slaves, they did indeed contribute to the effort – are the nations which contain these former kingdoms today deserved of epayment? Indeed, it is unfeasible to say who did and who did not, as any logical observer would note. It is equally unworkable to decide whether or not they too were victims of the slave trade, the arguments either way would be morally irreparable – for are they responsible for the actions of their ancestors?

In total, no governing body can be sure of who these reparations ought to be distributed to, nor what form they ought to take. One might argue that just general monetary grants should be given to African nations – but that leaves African Americans out of the process, who formerly uffered as Africans. While perhaps the ideas that Mazuri presents are perhaps worthy of noting or discussion, we find that there are many unanswered questions in the issue – the risks of the distribution process outweigh potential benefits.

The final case against the organized business of reparations for slaves is that the indemnifiers… the question of who ought to bear responsibility for repaying the slaves for their oppression and abuse. Is there a certain group of people that ought to be most responsible for the reparations – should the average citizen pay for slavery? Both are questions which cannot be sufficiently responded to. No single person ought to be paying more for slavery than another; in fact few people alive today has ever committed slavery or owned slaves; they ought not to be held responsible for the actions of their ancestors who perhaps once did have slaves.

Also worth noting is the idea that those nations most responsible for slavery are unable to pay for it, such as Belgium and Portugal, while relatively benign countries like Great Britain are economic powers in Europe (Mazuri, 22). This makes the interesting point of such, and I feel that Britain oes not have to pick up the slack and pay for what other nations did – it is equally unfair as giving reparations to Africans who were not slaves. One of the suggestions that is also raised (Mazuri, 22) is that of establishing an IMF fund for African nations.

However, it is the tax money of average citizens paying for these reparations – no one say that these people were actually the ones who contributed to slavery. The hard earned taxes of the middle class should not go to foreign funds to deal with guilt for African tragedies, but to education for all people, without regard to race or discrimination. The point is, that all in all, those who did not contribute to slavery ought not pay for it – neighbors of criminals do no go to prison for being near the criminal, nor the children or grandchildren of criminals serve time to society.

I would, once again, like to make clear that I do not disagree that slavery was an act of near genocide, and ought never be forgotten nor trivialized – we owe the African of our day a great apology. Nor do I disagree that perhaps Africans contributed to global markets in the early days of European expansion (Miller, 71). However, I do not hink it right that we bandage Africa in requital of our own guilt, thusly entrenching the very notion of segregation and discrimination that we are discussing here today.

African peoples and nations may be deserved of recompense, but it will never truly be possible to requite the losses in any form of goods or services by a foreign power. If Africans need money, it need not be asked for under guise of slave reparations. We ought not bestow these requites of shallow money and assistance on Africa – it would distinguish them as something different, and entrench the mindset of racism, and the paradigm of eparate treatment.

Indeed, the point of this address was to display to the chamber the impracticality of providing such quick-fix solutions, and of ever hoping to properly distribute these funds within a reasonable timeframe of effectiveness. Indeed, I believe deeply that Africans have been abused and oppressed – yet we ought not buy the forgiveness of Africa, nor should Africa have to accept our payments. I urge you, to please have the foresight to not entrench the very notions of which it is so paramount that we battle, but to find an alternative solution to Africa’s dilemma.

Slavery And Participation In The Civil War

The foundation for black participation in the Civil War began more than a hundred years before the outbreak of the war. Blacks in America had been in bondage since early colonial times. In 1776, when Jefferson proclaimed mankind’s inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the institution of slavery had become firmly established in America. Blacks worked in the tobacco fields of Virginia, in the rice fields of South Carolina, and toiled in small farms and shops in the North.

Foner and Mahoney report in A House Divided, America in the Age of Lincoln that, “In 1776, slaves composed forty percent of the population of the colonies from Maryland south to Georgia, but well below ten percent in the colonies to the North. ” The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 provided a demand for cotton thus increasing the demand for slaves. By the 1800’s slavery was an institution throughout the South, an institution in which slaves had few rights, and could be sold or leased by their owners. They lacked any voice in the government and lived a life of hardship.

Considering these circumstances, the slave population never abandoned the desire for freedom or the determination to resist control by the slave owners. The slave’s reaction to this desire and determination resulted in outright rebellion and individual acts of defiance. However, historians place the strongest reaction in the enlisting of blacks in the war itself. Batty and Parish in The Divided Union: The Story of the Great American War, 1861-65, concur with Foner and Mahoney about the importance of outright rebellion in their analysis of the Nat Turner Rebellion, which took place in 1831.

This revolt demonstrated that not all slaves were willing to accept this “institution of slavery” passively. Foner and Mahoney note that the significance of this uprising is found in its aftermath because of the numerous reports of “insubordinate” behavior by slaves . Individual acts of defiance ranged from the use of the Underground Railroad – a secret, organized network of people who helped fugitive slaves reach the Northern states and Canada – to the daily resistance or silent sabotage found on the plantations. Stokesbury acknowledges the existence of the Underground Railroad but disagrees with other historians as to its importance.

He notes that it never became as well organized or as successful as the South believed. Even with the groundwork having been laid for resistance, the prevalent racial climate in America in 1860 found it unthinkable that blacks would bear arms against white Americans. However, by 1865 these black soldiers had proven their value. Wilson writes in great detail describing the struggles and achievements of the black soldiers in his book The Black Phalanx. McPherson discusses that widespread opposition to the use of blacks as soldiers prevailed among northern whites.

Whereas McPherson relates the events cumulating in the passage of two laws that aided black enlistment, Wilson focuses on the actual enlistment. He notes that the first regiment of free blacks came into service at New Orleans in September 1862 through the efforts of Butler. Wilson credits Butler’s three regiments of blacks as the first officially mustered into Union ranks. North Carolina and Kansas also organized additional black units where minor skirmishes proved to be successful. Wilson also notes that “Kansas has … the honor of being the first State in the Union to begin the organization of Negroes as soldiers for the Federal army.

Sewell and McPherson agree that up to this point President Lincoln had opposed the idea of blacks fighting for the Union but after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that slaves in states still in rebellion on January 1, 1863, “shall be then, thence forward, and forever free,” he reversed his thinking. At the end of the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln announced that the freed blacks “would be received into the armed service of the United States…. ” Lincoln planned to tap into a new source of fighting individuals, “… e great available and as yet unavailed of, force for the restoration of the Union. “.

Lincoln thought this would both weaken the enemy and strengthen the Union. The recruitment of the blacks took laborers from the South and placed “these men in the Union army in places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men. ” Lincoln also felt that seeing the blacks fighting against the Confederacy would have a psychological effect upon the South. Hattaway and Jones concur with McPherson in describing the Emancipation Proclamation and the importance it had for both the Union and the Confederacy.

With the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, freeing the slaves, the North began recruiting black soldiers but, as reported by Batty and Parish, this was a slow recruitment at first. Sewall supports this fact by revealing a letter Lincoln wrote to Vice-President Hamlin just six days after the issuing of the proclamation in which he states that … “troops come forward more slowly than ever… ” In the Spring of 1863 only two black regiments existed, however, this had grown to sixty by the end of 1863. By 1864 this had expanded to 80 more regiments.

Jordan provides a comprehensive account of one of the first black regiments to fight for the Union Army, the 54th Massachusetts Colored Regiment that numbered at least 1,000 soldiers. This all-volunteer regiment, lead by a white colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, helped open the 22- month land and sea assault on Charleston, South Carolina. Leading an unsuccessful hand-to-hand attack on Fort Wagner in Charleston, this regiment engaged in one of the most famous black actions of the Civil War and suffered approximately 44 percent casualties, including Colonel Shaw.

Their performance in this battle helped to make the blacks more acceptable in the Union army. One of its soldiers won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Eventually twenty-three other black soldiers earned this honor. Sewell, in A House Divided, concurs on the gallantry of the black soldiers, but he reports that 17 black soldiers and 4 black sailors received the nations highest honor. The reports of the tenacity of the blacks at Fort Wagner plus engagements at Port Hudson, Louisiana, Fort Pillow and Milliken’s Bend helped to fuel the fire of black enlistment.

Historians differ in the actual number of blacks in the Union Army. Foner and Mahoney reported that by the end of the war approximately 190,000 blacks had served in the Union Army and Navy, while Stokesbury notes that there were 300,000 black soldiers and 166 regiments. Sewell, in contrast, places this number at 500,00. Wilson explains the discrepancy in the numbers of black soldiers as he describes a practice of “putting a live Negro in a dead one’s place. ” If a black solder died in the war the commanding officers would simply put another man in his place and have him answer to the dead man’s name.

Sewell notes the causalities among black troops amounted to 68,178. Batty and Parish call the raising of the black regiments one of the “most remarkable, even revolutionary, developments of the whole war. ” Sewell agrees with Batty and Parish, McPherson and Wilson that even though these soldiers were fighting for the North and trying to escape the bonds of slavery and gain freedom, discrimination still existed in the Army. The soldiers fought in segregated companies with white commanders.

The Blacks were not equal to the whites as they received lower pay, performed fatigue duty and menial labor, such as cleaning quarters, laundering clothing, cleaning boots and cooking. Black soldiers, regardless of their rank, earned $10 a month minus $3 for clothing, while white privates earned $13 a month plus clothing. Ex-slaves could not advance into the ranks of commissioned officers until the end of the war. Batty and Parish note that less than 100 ever became officers and none ranked higher than captain. Sewell states that “with rare exception, the only blacks to obtain commissions were Chaplains and surgeons.

McPherson, who agrees with other historians that the blacks were considered second class soldiers, cites statistics to support this theory He shows the contrast in the number of white and black soldiers killed in action and in the rate of death from disease among the white and black soldiers. The black soldiers faced the prospect of execution or sale into slavery if captured. Wilson reports that one of the worst atrocities allegedly committed against the black soldiers occurred at Fort Pillow, Tennessee on April 12, 1864, when the Confederate Army indiscriminately killed some three hundred black soldiers.

The fort, stormed by General Nathan Bedford Forrest’s troops, had surrendered. Union officials claimed that the killing of the black soldiers was a massacre, however, the Confederate denied this claim, maintaining that the soldiers died in the fighting before the surrender. Wilson gives a detailed account of the battle to support the massacre theory and Harper’s Weekly called the battle, “Inhuman, fiendish butchery. ” Stokesbury, in concurring with Wilson, notes “the weight of evidence … suggests a massacre.

This massacre failed to weaken the courage of the black soldiers, but rather fueled them with a desire of determination. Just as the Union Army realized the importance of black soldiers, so did the South. The readiness to which these slaves responded to the call of fighting for the confederacy is explained by the fact that the failure of Nat Turner, among others, was held up to them as their fate, should they attempt to free themselves from their masters. In the early years of the war some Confederate states accepted blacks into their units, much to Jefferson Davis’s opposition.

Black workers found their way into armament factories and into the Confederate Army doing anything short of handling a gun. Throughout the war effort in the South, blacks willingly dug field fortifications, mounted cannons and built entrenchments to fortify cities and towns. Wilson cites an article in the Charleston Mercury on January 3, 1861, which reported, “One hundred and fifty able-bodied free colored men yesterday offered their services gratuitously…. to hasten forward the important work of throwing up redoubts… ong our coast. ”

Likewise, the states of Tennessee and Virginia enlisted the aid of the blacks. Often after completing the needed fortifications the slaves returned to the fields to help supply the needs of the confederate soldiers who were fighting to keep the blacks as slaves. As the Confederacy faced a mounting shortage of white soldiers, General Pat Cleburne developed a plan to use the blacks in the fight for the Confederacy. This plan promised freedom for the slaves but Jefferson Davis rejected the idea.

In the dying days of the war in early 1865 the Confederacy faced an army that was daily thinned more to desertion than bullets. General-in chief of the Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee persuaded the Confederate Congress to arm slaves to fight for the South. These slaves trained, drilled and paraded in some cities. However, the war ended before this program could begin. Their importance in the fighting is found in the claim they staked to equal rights following the war.

Former slave Frederick Douglas wrote, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass U. S. … and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship. ” . The role of the black soldiers also influenced moderate Republicans to believe that the federal government should guarantee the equality before the law of all citizens. Small, but significant, steps developed following the war towards easing the color line. For example, street cars became desegregated in several major cities.

Illinois, which in 1862 had banned blacks from coming into the state, now lifted the ban, and allowed blacks to serve on juries and to testify in courts. Whereas other historians confine their accounts of black involvement in the Civil War, Catton notes that as a result of their fighting along side white soldiers a new attitude developed towards the blacks. Many northern soldiers had grown up knowing only the black as portrayed on the stage – grinning, big-mouthed, carefree loving possum and watermelons and eating fried chicken.

What they found was a real human – struggling to be in control of his destiny. He describes a Wisconsin soldier’s feelings by saying, “The black folks are awful good, poor miserable things that they are. The boys talk to them fearful and treat them most any way and yet they can’t talk two minutes but tears come to their eyes and they throw their arms up and praise de Lord for de coming of de Lincoln soldiers. ” Deeply entrenched in the institution of slavery, the black population responded by playing an important role in the Civil War.

This role began years before the actual fighting, with the foundation being laid by outright rebellion and individual resistance as the slaves dreamed of freedom. Building on this foundation historians agree that the role of the blacks in the fighting of the Civil War was important to both the North and South efforts. Consequently, the historians agree agreement that one important result of their fighting was the advancement of the idea of their freedom and steps toward equality. This idea of freedom and equality gave great confidence and pride to these long oppressed people.

Incidents in the Life Of A Slave Girl: Linda Brent

Chapter I

The conditions of this master-slave relationship are that the slave (Linda) is there to do work for her mistress, or master, which is now her sister’ s daughter. Linda is supposed to take care her new owner’s five year old daughter, help plant things, take care of any animals and anything else she is told. As a slave, she should also do everything else she is told by her master. After a brief period of suspense, the will of my mistress was read, and we learned that she had bequeathed me to her sister’s daughter, a child of five years old. I think that before her former master died and she was sent to her master’s sister’s daughter, the conditions were different. Linda’s master taught her how to read and spell, which was a privilege, because most slaves were not taught how to do this. While I was with her, she taught me to read and spell; and for this privilege, which so rarely falls to the lot of a slave, I bless her memory.

Chapter II

The author’s purpose for including this chapter is to show just how unfairly, and cruelly slaves (she) were treated. People saw the slaves as scapegoats and were blamed for everything. She gives many examples of situations in which someone (one of the masters or mistresses) wasn’t happy with something and blamed it on the slave(s), forcing them to deal with the harsh consequences. An example is when the cook sends dinner out to Dr. Flint. Sometimes, when he does not like a dish, the cook gets whipped, other times he shoves all the food down the her throat until she chokes. I feel that this is very offensive treatment because that is not a justified reason to do something, as severe as choking someone. Even though she was one of his slaves, instead of doing that, he could have just told her, or even yelled, to cook something different-she would have gotten the point. I guess Dr. Flint, just like many other whites, felt he had to use violence to punish her (even though I totally, strongly, disagree with his decision, it was probably a regular thing to do during that time period. She being a slave, was probably used to it.

Chapter V

Linda shows her strong moral character in many ways. When she was a young girl, and pre-teen, she was offered many of the same things that the mistress’s children were offered. Even though she thought this as only fair, she still offered her help to the members of the family in return for their kindness. Linda also knew that people were to be treated with respect. When Dr. Flint, repeatedly called her bitter names, and abused her, deep down she knew it wasn’t right, and felt he was corrupting her and her pure mind, but chose not to say anything for fear of her serious consequences, even death. She just keeps going on with her life, helping him and his family, deep down inside knowing what he was doing was unjust and cruel.

Chapter VIII

I think that it was very ignorant of the slaveholders to tell their slaves vicious lies about the North. First of all, some of the slaves could read. Being able to read meant being informed (newspapers) of worldly news, such as what was occurring in the North. Did some of the slaveholders really think that their slaves would believe these stories? In Linda’s case, a slaveholder once told her that one of her friends, also being a slave, was in horrendous shape, pleading to be returned to her master. Linda later found out this whole story was untrue, and that this former slave never wished to return to slavery. I’m sure that many slaveholders did this as a tactic to get slaves to think that they had it good. The slaveholders probably thought that if they could make the North sound terrible, and impossible to survive in, their slaves wouldn’t want to run away. Although this may have worked in some cases, I’m sure the slaves weren’t that naive.

Chapter XI

After her son was born, Linda has mixed emotions of love and pain. In one sense she loves her son very much and wants his life to continue. She said that when she was sad or depressed, all she had to do was look at him, or watch him slumber and she would be happy. In the other sense, she felt like she was hurting her son and wished he had died in infancy. She felt this because he had been born a slave. Born subject to disrespect, cruelty, abuse, and everything else that came with being a slavery. She had once prayed that he would died, and then when he became sick, she prayed that he would become well again. Linda felt that death was better than slavery and didn’t want her son to have to go through the horror that she went through.

Incidents In The Life Of A Slave Girl by Harriet Ann Jacobs

No one in today’s society can even come close to experiencing the heartache, torment, anguish, and complete misery suffered by women in slavery. Many women endured this agony their entire lives, there only joy they found was through their children and families, who were torn away from them and sold, never to be seen or heard from again.

In the book, Incidents in the Life of Slave Girl, Linda Brent tells a spectacular story of her twenty years spent in slavery with her master Dr. Flint, and her jealous Mistress. She speaks of her trials and triumphs as well as the harms done to other slaves. She takes you on the inside of slavery and shows you the Hell on Earth slavery really was. She tells you the love and heartbreak she experienced being an unmarried slave mother.

At the age of twenty or so, Linda escapes and with no place to hide she ends up in very small garret outside her grandmothers house. The garret was only nine-foot long and seven-foot wide, so small she could not even stand up. She lived in this hole with no light, no fresh air, and she barely moved for almost seven years. Linda finally escaped the confines of the garret and made her way to the North where she and her children lived much happier and most of all they lived free.

Linda Brent said, “Slavery is terrible for men, but is far more terrible for women.” She makes a good and true point, for when her life and the life of other slave women are compared to men’s, mentally, slavery takes a much larger toll on the suffering of women.

Women are responsible for their children, and the children of their masters. Mothers are often left feeling guilty for bringing their children into the cruel world of slavery. As Linda Brent expresses, “I often prayed for death; but now I didn’t want to die, unless my child could die too . . . it’s clinging fondness was a mixture of love and pain . . . sometimes I wished that he (Benny) might die in infancy . . .death is better than slavery”. In the book Linda has mixed feelings about her children because she so dearly loves them. She doesn’t want them to suffer in slavery as she has so she wishes they would die, but she loves them and she doesn’t want to lose them as many slave mothers had. I can only imagine how torn and incapable she must have felt as a slave and a mother.

Linda also speaks of “The Slaves New Year’s Day”, this was the time that slaves everywhere were sold and leased. Many mothers were torn from their husbands and their children. Linda speaks of one woman she witnessed, “I saw a mother lead seven children to the auction-block. She knew that some of them would be taken from her, but they took all . . .(The woman screamed) Gone! All gone! Why don’t God kill me?” Linda explains that these things happened daily, even hourly. This is only a small piece of the torture it was to be a woman in slavery.

Linda’s master often made perverted comments to her in which she expressed as too filthy to tell. He constantly threatened her and her life explaining that she was his to with as he pleased.

When Linda became pregnant with the son of a white man, Dr. Flint became very angry and he constantly reminded her of the fact that her baby was also his property, like a piece of land. When she had the boy she named him Benjamin, he was premature and Linda herself became very ill after the delivery. Linda refused to let anyone send for a doctor, because the only doctor that could treat her was Dr. Flint and she despised him. Finally when they thought she would die they sent for her master. He treated her and her child (Benny), and soon they recovered.

Almost three years later Linda had a daughter whom she named Ellen, which angered Dr. Flint even more. Once when Benny ran to cling to his mother when Dr. Flint was striking her, Dr. Flint knocked the child all the way across the room nearly killing him.

After the abuse afflicted on Benny, Linda finally escaped in search of a safe way to the North; she hid in various places, first, in a white friend’s house, where she was made very sick when concealed in a very damp place under the floor. She then remained in a locked storage room upstairs until she found out her children were sold to their father, who never really claimed them. Mr. Sands the children’s biological father handed the children and their papers over to Linda’s grandmother, so they thought. The woman Linda was staying with finally thought it best for both their sakes that she left, because people were becoming suspicious.

When Linda left, her family had no where to conceal her so, they disguised her and sat her out at the snaky swamp for two days while they build her a small garret outside her grandmother’s house. At the swamp she described the snakes, as being so plentiful that they had to push them away with a stick and the air so thick with mosquitoes she became ill from all the bites.

They finally finished and Linda hid out in the small garret that measured about three feet in height, nine feet in length, and five feet in width. Linda spoke of the suffocating air, the dampness always about during the rains and the smothering heat in the summer. She even talked about the rats and mice crawling over her body. She told about watching her children Ellen and Benny grow up through a small peephole. Her grandmother would bring her food at night and talk with her. Even as her great aunt was dying she could not leave to tend to her; all she could do was stay in her little smothering space.

Soon Dr. Flint began saying that Linda’s children belonged to his daughter and the contract of their sale was not legal because she was too young to consent to sale them. So in fear that he would take Ellen, Mr. Sands said he would send her to stay with a cousin, in the North where she would go to school.

Linda and her grandmother agreed and Ellen was on her way to Boston. The night before Ellen left her mother came out of her hole and into the house to talk with her. She told Ellen, “I am your mother.” and Ellen replied, “Are you really my mother?” Ellen couldn’t even remember what her own mother looked like. Linda spent that night with Ellen and they wept on each other and spoke of the things that had happened over the years. Ellen departed for Boston the following morning.

Finally, Linda received word that there was a safe way to get to the North and she left, after spending almost seven years in that tiny space. Linda finally made it to the North, safely and discreetly, no one suspected a thing. Dr. Flint assumed she’d lived in the North for years, he’d even gone in search of her several times. Although the North wasn’t everything Linda thought it would be, she was for the most part free. The people weren’t as nice as she thought they would be, and many of them were still extremely prejudice.

On her train ride to New York Linda had to pay to ride in a back car full of the smells of tobacco and whiskey. Shockingly, when Linda got there her Ellen had not been living very well. She had worn thin clothes and sometimes no shoes. She hadn’t even been sent to school even though she could have attended public schools for free. Ellen was extremely unhappy. She had actually been given to Mr. Sand’s niece as a handmaid. Although Linda was extremely angry she said nothing for fear of the selling of her daughter.

Linda found a job being a nurse to a nice family by the last name of Bruce and eventually got her daughter back and they later sent for her son to be with them. Dr. Flint continued to come to the North in search for her, but she had many friends who hid her.

In September 1850, a few years after Linda arrived in the North the Fugitive Slave Law was passed, it made it easy to legally seize and enslave any black man or woman at-large. All they had to do was apprehend the person, go before the commissioner, swear to the ownership of him or her and get a certificate of arrest. The commissioner received ten dollars for giving the certificate and five for denying it. Therefore, there were few denials.

The black man or woman accused of being a fugitive slave had no right to a trial and jury.
After the death of Dr. Flint, and Linda’s dear grandmother, Linda began thought it necessary to reading the paper everyday to see the new people checking into town. Linda especially looked for her mistress’s name, Mrs. Dodge, whom she’d heard, had been very low of funds and needed Linda simply to get some money.

Sure enough Mrs. Dodge showed up, Linda ran with the baby she nursed to California to stay with her brother. Benny was learning a trade with her brother and Ellen was in boarding school. At last Linda’s dear friend Mrs. Bruce purchased her for three hundred dollars. The Dodge’s were so certain that they’d never find her and so low on finances that they probably would have sold her for anything.

At last Linda and her children were free. Never to become captured by the Fugitive Slave Law and never again burdened with the thought that someone might know them and turn them in. What a relief that must have been after living such a long life as a runaway slave and poor slave mother.

As you could see Ms. Linda Brent was a very strong woman who’s love for her children fueled her determination to ensure that they would not live the horrible slave life as she had for so many years. She endured many painful years with the thought of one-day securing freedom for herself and her children, which she finally obtained. But I often wondered how strongly Linda must have about the word “free”. As I stated in my opening sentence no one from today’s society will ever come close to understanding the life of an enslaved person, and for that reason we will never understand the intense feelings Linda had about the word free.

Benito Cereno by Herman Melville

Herman Melville uses Benito Cereno as a voice for his observations and comments on the state of America and its people. He uses the two captains to represent two opposing attitudes toward slavery adopted by his pre-Civil War audience, and his own ideas about where the country is headed.

In the end of the story, Captain Delano seems to learn that things are not necessarily always as they seem, but that is about all he learns. Even this, he seems to label as purely circumstantial and not to be applied to every situation. There does come a moment of clarity during the struggle between Don Benito and Babo right after the two have jumped into Captain Delanos boat, and later during his discussion of these events with Don Benito, when the good Captain becomes aware of what is actually going on and the faults in his assumptions. Instead of changing his assumptions however, Delano simply says what good luck it was that he was so nave to what was really going on because if he had been more suspicious he would have tried to remedy the situation and may have only added to the mess.

Before he sets foot on the San Dominick, Delano knows that something is not right with the ship. He knows he is in a bad place for anything to go wrong because no one is around to help him, and that there are stories surrounding the area that should make him nervous. He is not nervous however, because he is, a person of a singularly undistrustful nature, not liable, except in extensive and repeated incentives, and hardly then, to indulge in personal alarms, any way involving the imputation of malign evil in man.(2372) I believe this is actually an understatement.

Even in the extreme and repeated incentives he encounters on the San Dominick, any alarm that he experiences he immediately rationalizes and ignores. When Benitos story falls apart, and the servant, who apparently makes him so nervous in the scene in his cabin when Babo is shaving Benito, wont leave his side and after watching the two conference together over every step the captain takes, not even when Benito starts asking him all about the crew and fire power, and supplies on his ship, not even then does Delano take heed of these obvious alarms. He would rather think Don Benito was crazy than think that either Benito or Babo had anything but good intentions for him and his crew, as well as for each other.

Several times he uses the setting to dispel any misgivings he has regarding his situation on the San Dominick. At first he says that he only feels uneasy because of the eerie atmosphere. The perfect calm of the place and the bleak gray sky dont give him much hope of getting either the Bachelors Delight or the San Dominick safely to port, and the lack of a good wind prolongs his stay with the strangers because his boat cannot use sails. Later, after the wind picks up a little, and after spending a little more time on the ship observing the strange way it is run and Don Benitos more apparent lack of control, he uses the wind to cheer himself. He thinks that surely his own boat will return soon with supplies and that this wind will serve him well, that he will save the ailing Don Benito and his ship, and that any uneasiness he experienced was mere foolishness and everything will soon be as it should be just because the wind has picked up.

When he tries to cheer Don Benito with news of the wind, he gets no response. Delano thinks he does not welcome this change in the weather because he does not believe it will last owing to the story he has been told of their journey. A story Delano didnt completely believe, but he is not suspicious of this, he just feels sorry for the poor affected captain. In reality, Benito does not welcome the wind because he knows that either Captain Delano will leave and he will lose control of his ship to Babo again, or Babo will follow through with his plan to take the Bachelors Delight. However, Delano is so unsuspecting that this goes unnoticed.

Part of the reason for Delano being so unaware of the situation is, as Melville says, he is by nature a very trusting man. He has a lot of faith in the general goodness of the human race. The other part of his problem, I believe, lies in the assumptions he makes about Babo and the rest of the Africans on the ship. He doesnt think they are capable of outwitting the Spaniards and taking control of the ship. After all, they are the slaves and the Spaniards are the masters, it is ridiculous to him to think that the roles might be reversed. On observing Don Benito praising the blacks and speaking poorly of his own sailors, he thinks, The whites, too, by nature were the shrewder race.

A man with some evil design, would he not be likely to speak well of that stupidity which was blind to his depravity, and malign that intelligence from which it might not be hidden?(2395) He thinks that if anyone is plotting anything, it must be Don Benito, not that he seems very capable, Delano has already said that he thinks he might be affected mentally by the stress of the fictitious voyage. However, as unlikely a character as Benito is to be plotting anything, it is the only explanation open to Delano, because anything else would put the whites in a position of submission to the blacks, and this is inconceivable to Delano.

On the voyage to Lima, Don Benito finally puts all the pieces together for Delano, explaining Babos role as conspirator and the captains necessity of conforming to his former slaves will. Still, Delano is unwilling to change his assumptions about the Africans intelligence and cunning. He simply says how lucky they are that everything turned out the way it did, and that they should forget about it. He makes the comment to Benito that, the past is past, why moralize upon it?(2426) He says that the sun has forgotten about it, that the sea and the sky have turned over new leaves, and that he and Benito should do the same. Benito replies that this is because, they have no memory they are not human.(2426)

The American and the Spaniard play opposite each other here, as they do throughout the story. Delanos physical health and friendly altruistic attitude represent all the things missing in Don Benito. Similarly, the sickly, introverted, suspicious captain of the San Dominick is a reflection of all the qualities missing in Delano, including the thoughtful contemplation that serves both to make him aware of his world, and to give him his grimmer outlook on the world. Both captains can be used to represent aspects of Melvilles audience.

For the most part, his readers would have identified with Delano. He represents the general pre-Civil War American public. Several times Melville refers to him as, the American and we can easily make the transition to a more general reading of this title. As a preface to the excerpts from the trial, we are told that, at first, many of the events as Don Benito recalled them were not taken seriously because of his disturbed mental state. It says he, raved of some things which could never have happened.(2417) This reaction is indicative of many of the assumptions Delano makes regarding the cunning of the blacks aboard the ship.

The American public at the time was very content in thinking that their African slaves were mentally inferior and wanted nothing more that to please their masters the way Babo appears to desire the health and happiness of his master. The reality, however, as Don Benito is all too aware, is that, not only are they cunning enough to want something more, but they can take this inane assumption and use it to their advantage the way Babo does to fool our good Captain Delano. The American public may think that they are learning something along with Captain Delano, specifically that things are not always as they seem, but if they never apply this to their assumptions about the mental capacity of their slaves, they are missing the point.

Leaving it up to the reader to determine exactly what it is that Delano learns at the end of the tale propagates this ambiguity. If the reader is willing to analyze the story as more than a story, he will eventually see that his assumptions are wrong, however, it is more likely that he will just pass it off as an entertaining story. Another reason for Delanos unwillingness to give the blacks credit for their cunning is that this would imply something evil about slavery. If the blacks actually are not happily living a purposeful life serving their masters, they must want something else and be capable of more. If this is true, slavery is no longer the natural order of things, the weak inferior race serving the superiors, instead it is maligning nature and is inherently evil.

The small portion of the American public who would have identified with Don Benito at the end of the novel are those who look deeper into the meaning of the story. They would notice that although the Spanish Captains tale was brushed aside at first, it was later supported by the testimony of the remaining sailors. They might learn, along with Delano and the others, that appearances can be deceiving, but they would realize that this applies to Delanos assumptions about the intelligence of the blacks on the ship, and consequently to their own assumptions about the state of their own black slaves in the South. They would then realize that the ways of their world are dieing along with Don Benito, and that this novel really foretells the passing of an age.

In the opening paragraphs, after describing the unusually trusting disposition of Captain Delano, Melville comments, Whether in view of what humanity is capable, such a trait implies, along with a benevolent heart, more than ordinary quickness and accuracy of intellectual perception, may be left to the wise to determine.(2372) Melville is asking us to look deeper into his story, saying that it has not been written just for entertainment, and he would have favored Don Benitos interpretation of events over Delanos no matter how bleak and unappealing it may seem.

He saw that the reality of slavery and the direction America was headed was very bleak and unappealing, and it wouldnt do any good to ignore the reality of it any longer. He doesnt come out and directly say this to his audience however, because it would not have been received very well. By making these implications more ambiguous than we would like, he is actually reaching a wider audience and not risking offending them so much that they would right him off as crazy they way Delano and the court were ready to do with Don Benito.

Universally Accepted Declaration of Human Rights

The preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) proclaims that the rights discussed in the document are “a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. ” This document, along with the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), are meant to be global agreements that span all cultures and traditions. These documents however do not live up to their intent.

In fact, the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights prove this unrealized and unrealistic expectation of the earlier universal and international treaties. Theoretically perhaps, there does exist a set of universal human rights, but in this diverse world any set of human rights that is to be recognized internationally must be more of a universally accepted set of human rights. This Declaration of Universally Accepted Human Rights would be a document focused on overlapping consensus of many cultures.

In order to accomplish this, first, an all inclusive document must be drawn up that deals with those rights that fall under an overlapping consensus of the many different cultures of the world. Specifically, more input from African, Asian, and Middle Eastern cultures must be included in this consensus. Second, the legacy of imperialism and slavery must be acknowledged and addressed. Many African and island cultures have suffered and continue to suffer because of these practices. The novels Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe, and A Small Place, by Jamaica Kincaid, deal with many of these issues.

The purpose of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was to establish a standard of human rights that is universal. Unfortunately, shortly after the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10, 1948 the United States found itself politically and ideologically at odds with the Soviet Union and China, the latter falling to the Communists in 1949 (Donnelly 7). As a result, human rights issues became just another political outlet for the world superpowers to attack each other (Donnelly 7).

Much work for the advancement of human rights was put on the back burner because of cold war politics. The ICESCR and ICCPR were put off for over a decade and split into two separate entities as a result of ideological conflicts between the US and USSR (Donnelly 8). This weakened their effectiveness as universal treaties. The political arm wrestling between the US and Soviet Union also shows why building an overlapping consensus was so difficult during the cold war. Additionally, many African and Asian countries were under Western colonial rule during the initial drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Donnelly 8).

This left many voices unheard. As a result, documents such as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam and the Banjul Charter have been drafted and signed by Islamic and African nations, respectively. The Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam was signed by the Organization of the Islamic Conference on August 5th, 1990. In the preamble it states a wish to “protect man from exploitation and persecution, and to affirm his freedom and right to a dignified life in accordance with the Islamic Shariah.

Article One of the Cairo Declaration states that “All human beings form one family whose members are united by submission to God and descent from Adam. ” These religious references to the Shariah, God, and Adam are all aspects of the Islamic viewpoint that are obviously not in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights because in the UDHRs attempts at universality it can not embrace one religion openly. Some articles in the Cairo Declaration could be interpreted at odds with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Article 6a of the Cairo Declaration specifies that women are equal to men “in human dignity” and have “rights to enjoy as well as duties to perform. ” Article 6b declares the husband as the caretaker of the family. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights makes no mention of gender roles for the family. Article 16a of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights addresses the right to marriage without discrimination “due to race, nationality or religion” and equal rights to marriage, during marriage, and after marriage.

Article 16b states that marriage shall be entered with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The corresponding article in the Cairo Declaration, article 5, neglects to mention religion as an unacceptable reason to restrict marriage, equal rights for men and women before, during or after marriage, and does not address the issue of consent for spouses. The fact that the Cairo Declaration was written so many years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would leave one to believe these exclusions to be purposeful.

Bielefeldt writes that these are specific issues that are at conflict between universal human rights and Islam (595-96). Article 10 of the Cairo Declaration prohibits the conversion from Islam to another religion. This violates Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which proclaims the freedom of religion, which “includes freedom to changereligion or belief. The Cairo Declaration also specifically addresses the prohibition of colonialism, a western practice, as “one of the most evil forms of enslavement” (Article 11).

For the most part, the Cairo Declaration claws back some rights specified in the UDHR and reshapes the remaining ones to reflect Islam. Perhaps a document that a majority of Middle Eastern Muslims agreed upon and would only seek to strengthen with their own focused Muslim charter would prove better than a document they seek to neutralize and negate. The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights also strongly addresses the issue of colonialism. The African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights was adopted by the Organization of African Unity on June 17th, 1981 and entered into force on October 21st, 1986.

In the preamble the Charter states a “duty to achieve the total liberation of Africaand undertaking to eliminate colonialism, neo-colonialism, apartheid, zionism and to dismantle aggressive foreign military bases and all forms of discrimination. ” The Charter also addresses colonization in article 20-2, “Colonized or oppressed peoples shall have the right to free themselves from the bonds of domination by resorting to any means” Article 20-3 defines foreign domination as political, economic, or cultural.

Both the Middle East and Africa were heavily colonized areas of the world when the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, therefore nothing is specifically mentioned about colonialism in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Naturally, both the Cairo Declaration and the African Charter specifically prohibit these practices because of their first hand experience with the negative effects and legacy of Western colonialism. There are other differences between the African Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Chapter II of part I of the Charter goes into depth about an individuals duties, while the Universal Declaration of Human Rights simply mentions that everyone has duties (Article 29). An individuals duties, according to the African Charter, include preserving national unity, independence, and territorial integrity, paying taxes, strengthening African cultural values, and promoting African unity (Article 29). Also, Article 14 of the African Charter states that the “right to property shall be guaranteed.

It may only be encroached upon in the interest of public need or in the general interest of the community. ” The elaboration of an individuals duties and the wording of Article 14 on property make the African Charter sound like more of a socialist, or at least a collectivist, document. This alone does not put the Charter in contradiction with the UDHR, however it does show another example of a culture and society that felt misrepresented by the UDHR.

The difference between the Cairo Declaration and the African Charter is that instead of clawing back on several specific articles in the UDHR the African Charter clarifies that an African individuals rights and duties revolve first around Africa and its protection from neocolonialism and its unity. Many differences exist between the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. This shows the lack of universality in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the case of the Cairo Declaration the disparity in universality in the UDHR focuses on religion, and in the case of the African Charter it is more of a cultural and regional issue. If an overlapping consensus could be reached and a minimum standard could be agreed upon between all cultures then the binding force of such international documents as the International Bill of Human Rights would be much greater and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be called the Declaration of Universally Accepted Human Rights.

Specific articles should address the role of slavery and colonialism and their aftermath, as in the Cairo Declaration and the African Charter, as a manner to stimulate a true international and universal role to the documents. In his novel Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe tells the story of the Igbo tribe and its initial encounter with British imperialists. The main character Okonkwo first loses his oldest son to the British culture and “the poetry of the new religion” (Achebe 104). Soon the symbols of the tribes culture are attacked as in the killing of the sacred python by one of the osu converts (Achebe 112).

Achebe never judges either culture but shows what happens when one culture actively seeks to dominate another. First, the Igbo are dominated religiously and culturally, then politically and legally. Okonkwos friend Obierika tells him: The white man is very clever. He came quietly and peaceably with his religion. We were amused at his foolishness and allowed him to stay. Now he has won our brothers, and our clan can no longer act like one. He has put a knife on the things that held us together and we have fallen apart. (Achebe 125)

Slowly, Okonkwos culture is being assimilated and erased. When the British first arrived it was voluntary converts to Christianity that followed the white man, but by the end the British courts and officers are telling the people of Umuofia to break up their village meeting because “the white man whose power you know too well has ordered this meeting to stop” (Achebe 144). Achebe shows how one culture can dominate another, politically, economically, and culturally, but the results of colonialism are better shown in another novel.

Jamaica Kincaids novel, A Small Place, tells the reader of a small island nation called Antigua that falling apart due to excessive corruption and exploitation. This is a free nation, once colonized by Britain, that is still suffering from the effects of imperialism. There are too many examples of Kincaid citing the aftermath of colonialism as the direct cause of the islands corruption. One of the earliest describes the day Antigua became free of Great Britain, “and Antiguans are so proud of this that each year, to mark the day, they go to church and thank God, a British God, for this” (Kincaid 9).

Antiguans religion is that of the old colonists. Kincaid also tells of how the West refuses to acknowledge the role slavery and underpaid black labor played in making these counties the wealthy economic powers they are today (10). Antiguas natives are descended from slaves. The Antiguan people may no longer be slaves, yet they their Hotel Training School that teaches young Antiguans to be good servants (Kincaid 55). A servant is just a slightly better paid slave. Perhaps countries are not starting on an equal playing field in regards to human rights, especially economic human rights.

Kincaid continues describing the conditions of post-colonial Antigua. She writes that it is “odd that the only language [she has] in which to speak of this crime is the language of the criminal who committed the crime” (Kincaid 31). Antiguas national language is English, the language of the colonizers. Even the government of Antigua suffers the lasting effects of colonialism. The island has been ruled by the same government for twenty of the past twenty-five years (Kincaid 70). The corruption and exploitation of the government in Antigua is just one more thing learned from the English colonial government (Kincaid 33).

The people have been exploited since their ancestors first left Africa. First, they were slaves, then a colonized relocated people robbed of their own culture. These issues of colonialism, post-colonialism, and slavery must be addressed in human rights documents in order to represent the vast amount of the population that continues to be affected by their legacy. Otherwise, a Euro-centric human rights agenda will look and feel like cultural imperialism to the African continent, as well as many Eastern cultures.

If the west cannot, at least, admit its own mistakes in the past then how could any other culture trust them in the future. In conclusion, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is not universal. Through documents such as the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights one can see failings of the UDHR. These documents, representing mostly Middle Eastern and African People, show some of the voices that were left out of the original drafting of the UDHR. These were a heavily colonized people during this time.

Now with freedom from Western Imperialism these countries justifiably reject many ideas of human rights from the West as cultural imperialism, which is the reason these separate cultural documents are drafted. If a new declaration, entitled the Declaration of Universally Accepted Human Rights or the International Declaration of Human Rights, were drawn up and represented an overlapping consensus of many different cultures that called for the minimum standard of human rights that all agreed upon then this document would be more universal and would be a stronger pillar to base international law.

These rights may or may not be inherent in the nature of humans, but internationally the vast majority of countries choose to recognize and accept their existence. Cultures and regions could then write up their on documents adding and strengthening the original declaration for their people if they chose to do so. However, in order for their to be a truly international effort on this task the West must admit and perhaps alleviate some of the burdens placed upon many smaller countries as a result of colonialism and slavery. The new international declaration should also contain articles addressing these issues and outlawing them.

The Influence of Black Slave Culture on Early America

The Black slaves of colonial America brought their own culture from Africa to the new land. Despite their persecution, the “slave culture” has contributed greatly to the development of America’s own music, dance, art, and clothing. Music It is understandable that when Africans were torn from their homes and families, lashed into submission , and forced into lifelong slave labor, they would be, on the most part, resentful and angry. Various forms of expression, clandestine yet lucent, developed out of these feelings. One such form was music.

Native African music consisted mainly of wind and string melodies punctuated by hand lapping, xylophones, and drum beats. Along those lines, an early type of slave music was the spiritual, which has its roots in Protestant hymns taught to the slaves. Spirituals were “long thought to be the spontaneous creation of African-American slaves and the only original folk music of the U. S. ” Spirituals told tales of suffering and struggle, but these true meanings were often hidden.

An example is in the song “Gospel Train” with the lyrics, “Get on board, little children/There’s room for many a-more/The gospel train’s a-leavin’ … The “gospel train” of the song likely represented an escape method, such s the Underground Railroad. Another type of music distinct to African slaves was gospel. These songs originated in plantation fields as work songs, and were later sung in churches of Black congregations. They were intended to enliven a crowd, and employed bright music and joyful lyrics. Gospel music contributed to the development of musical genres historically considered “white”, such as rock’ n’roll and country and western.

Religion Before Blacks came to America, they had their own highly developed religious beliefs. Most cultures believed in one almighty God, and the ideas of good and evil. They also practiced “ancestor worship”, believing that dead family members could influence aspects of their lives. A main difference between African and Christian religions, however, is that Africans did not find it necessary to convert all other cultures to their religion. Thus Africans were rather resistant to the preaching of Christian ministers when they came to America.

The Christian ideas they did absorb, however, were indoctrinated into their lives with the addition of culture such as gospel music (see Music). Later, a minister of mainly of African-American congregations would use istinctly “Black” preaching methods, as when “he begins to employ numerous stock phrases and ideas,” and, “Midway in the message the preacher begins to chant his words rhythmically. ” Art 17th-century Africans had art forms that would be considered advanced even today. Most of their expression was religious in nature.

But when they were brought to the New World, “[slaves] could not do this because Protestants had always frowned upon religious imagery in the church as being worldly. Thus, there was little opportunity for the slave to express his creativity in graphic nd plastic art for the church as he had done in Africa where religion and art were inseparable. Moreover, the slave was afforded few opportunities to carve on his own or his master’s time. ” This repression of the slave’s creativity doubtlessly impeded the development of an African-American art standard.

Although slaves could be trained in the practical arts, such as typesetting or furniture making , they could really not fully express themselves until released from the bonds of servitude. Incidentally, there was an outpouring of African-American art after emancipation. This was a time when former slaves could finally put their reativity to use, and the results were a genre individual in itself, yet complimentary to American art as a whole. Blacks became sculptors, painters, block printers, actors, and architects.

But it would be a long time yet before Black art could be fully appreciated, or even accepted as mainstream. Science America’s earliest African-American scientists and inventors are largely unknown — their contributions to America buried in anonymityWhile historians increasingly recognize that blacks had a significant impact on the design and construction of plantations and public buildings in the South and that rice arming in the Carolinas might not have been possible without Blacks, the individuals who spearheaded these accomplishments remain anonymous.

The previous excerpt from The African-American Almanac describes an all too-common situation in African-American history: the accomplishments of Blacks are claimed as those of whites, or not recognized at all. Some scientific discoveries, however, are duly attributed to famous African-Americans. One such invention was the grain harvester, historically credited to Cyrus McCormick. Though, as new research tells us, “Jo Anderson, one of

McCormick’s slaves, is believed to have played a major role in the creation of the McCormick harvester” On the other hand, much more credit for invention was given to freed slaves, such as Henry Blair, the patent-holder for a seed planter, and Augustus Jackson, for the invention of ice cream. The sad truth of the matter is, as with accomplishments in art, early inventions and scientific discoveries by Blacks were simply not heralded with interest.

It was not until much later, after the slaves were freed, that Blacks would be respected as scientists. It may be that Africans had scientific ethods native to Africa that they brought to the New World, but these were overlooked by supremacist slave-owners and gradually disappeared. Linguistics Of course, African slaves had their own language before they came to America. But what happened to this language when they were taken from their homeland and immersed in English-speaking society?

As would be expected, they adapted to the English language retaining distinctly African subtleties. The changes made to English by Black slaves are still seen today in the African-American vernacular. This altered language is sometimes referred to as Black English,” and is said to be “spoken at times by as many as 80% to 90% of African-Americans. ” “Much in Black English that seems grammatically incorrect actually represents the consistent application of African structural principles.

In other words, phrases such as “ain’t” and “wasn’t” that are wrong in English would have made perfect sense in an African language. Considering that they had to start as slaves and “work their way up”, the contributions of Black Americans are astounding. Their advancements in music, art, religion, language, and science have helped shape American culture as a whole.

American Slavery Paper

The purpose of this report was for me to research and explore the connection between African American women and music. Since prior to the slave decades, music has been an integral part of African American society, and served as a form of social, economic, and emotional support in African American communities in the past and present. This paper will cover three different types of secular music that emerged during the slave days, through the civil war, reconstruction, and depression periods. They are blues, jazz, and gospel music. Each of these forms of music are still in existence today.

In addition to exploring the history of each of these genres of music, this report will identify three African American female music legends, Bessie Smith, Emma Barrett, and Mahalia Jackson. Blues emerged in the period between the end of the civil war, and the beginning of the 20th century. Originating in the fields of the rural south, it became popular after the emancipation of the slaves. In this form of music, the singer and composer is one in the same, a characteristic not evident in the spiritual songs of the slave communities. Spirituals were somewhat of a passage way for blues.

Blues followed blacks to urban societies as spirituals followed the slaves onto the plantations. The differences between these types of music were that spirituals were collective, whereas an individual sang blues. Blues attributed to the evolution of black society toward individualism after the collective society of slavery. Blues became know as the music of the black working class. It was a way for African Americans to express the modern problems of economics, social errors, and poverty and power struggles they faced after they became free. African Americans were still living in unjust societies, where jobs were hard to find.

They began to migrate north, but the case remained the same. They used music for economic gain in nightclubs, corner halls, publishing, and recording. One of the greatest African American female blues singers was Bessie Smith. She was born on April 15, 1894 or 1898. The exact date is unknown. Her father William was a preacher, who died when Bessie was very young. This left her mother to raise seven children on her own. When Bessie was nine years old, her mother Laura had passed away, and two of her brothers had died as well. The oldest sister brought up the five remaining brothers and sisters.

Prior to the death of Bessie’s mother, she was singing on a street corner to the accompaniment of her brother’s guitar. The money that she made went to support the family. At the age of eighteen, she began performing professionally as a dancer. While traveling the south and mid-west, she met Ma Rainey, “The Mother of Blues”. She joined the most influential agency handling black artists, Theater Owners’ Booking Association (TOBA). In February 1923, Bessie recorded for Columbia Record Company. Her songs “Down-hearted Blues” and “Gulf Coast Blues” sold 780,000 copies in less than six months.

The contract Bessie signed with Columbia yielded a $20,000 yearly salary. Her popularity increased rapidly, and TOBA was able to book her for theater and club shows paying up to $2,500 per week for personal appearances. Life for Bessie became hectic, as she was unable to manage such large sums of money. By 1928, her popularity leveled off due to a decline in the popularity of blues. In addition to this, TOBA folded in the summer of 1930. In the same year, Columbia renegotiated her contract for half of the original contract of 1923. And, in 1931, Columbia dropped her altogether.

The swing era was emerging, and taking over where blues was leaving off. Bessie attempted to make a transition to the new genre of music. Late September 26, 1937, she left Memphis, Tennessee, for Darling Mississippi, when her car struck a parked van. Bessie died the following morning at a black hospital. She was buried in Sharon Hill, Pennsylvania. Like blues, jazz began to shape during slavery, and in the years after the civil war. The end of slavery meant the end of an isolation period that prevented blacks from sharing ideas and art forms such as music.

Jazz differed from blues, because it was not much different than the slave spirituals. Jazz was an approach to feelings, personal expression, pain and pleasure of physical life. It was combination of spirituals and a new form of music. Black women contributed to the development of jazz. During slavery, they wrote songs about, and that became a part of every day experience. In the late 1800’s, ex-slaves bought small organs. Work songs and spirituals were recreated on the organs. This became a main source of family entertainment, and the creation of jazz music. New Orleans, Louisiana became the first great jazz center.

The Middle Passage

The Middle Passage was the most infamous route of the triangular trade. This voyage carried Africans across the Atlantic Ocean. Captains of slave ships were known as either “loose packers” or “tight packers,” depending on how many slaves they crammed into the space they had. However, most ships were “tight packers” (especially those in the 18th century); life for the slaves on these ships was extremely uncomfortable. Slaves were taken from the holding forts, shackled together impairs with leg-irons and carried to the ships in the dugout canoes.

Once they were aboard, they were branded with red-hot iron, like cattle, to show who owned them and their clothes removed. Slaves were housed in the ships as if they were cargo. Men were kept in chains while women and children were allowed to go free, they laid on specially built shelves with about 0. 5 meters of vertical space. As long as the slaves were in the hold, they had to remain lying on their backs. There were times when the captain of some ships would allow the slaves to be brought up out their dungeon area.

However, the men’s legs were linked to a chain running down the center of the ship’s deck to prevent them from jumping overboard. While on deck a good captain would have the slaves washed down with warm vinegar and scrubbed and some did not bother in rough weather (would not allow the slaves out at all). These conditions allowed for sickness and disease flourish and the slaves. The heat in the hold could be over 30 degrees and the slave would have no toilet or washing facilities, causing many to die. They were forced in these conditions for 6 weeks to 3 months depending on the length of the voyage.

Other causes of death among the slaves were the choice of committing suicide by jumping overboard choosing to die by drowning or shark attack rather than endure what was faced on board. There was also inadequate ventilation causing suffocation and at time there, revolt on the ships, which the captains used, advanced weapons such as pistols and rifles to slaughter numerous of slaves. Nevertheless, the average loss was 1/8 of all slaves it can be estimated that a further 1. 5 million Africans were buried in the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and the Americas.

However, it is important to understand why this cruelty occurred. Slavery began in 1440 when Portugal started to trade slaves with West Africa. By the 16th century, Western Europeans developed and organized system of trading slaves. However, the slave trade did not run as smoothly as expected. Slaves began to revolt and tried to flee from hardship and labor. Regardless of their attempts, slavery expanded, leading the “Triangle Trade,” between Europe, Africa, and the Americas. This organized system lasted until 1800’s, shortly after the War of Independence that was intended to abolish slavery.

The law was stalled when the U. S. allowed the slavery to continue until 1800. A federal law, which was passed in 1793, allowed for the Fugitive Slave Act, which continued the slave trade and prohibited the freedom of Africans. Before the passage began, slavery had already existed in Africa, but it was much different from the one that Europe would create. In Europe, slaves were dehumanized and viewed as property but in Africa humans were still humans. A reason why Africans were enslaved in their own country traced back to their status.

If a person had committed a crime, were prisoners of war, or had debt that was unpaid then they were enslaved. Europe and Africa began their ill-fated relationship; the influx of European goods (particularly firearms) slowly disrupted the West African culture. To Europe improved technology brought power and wealth, but to Africa it brought only more efficient means to capture slaves for market. The religious and political power structure of West African states was peculiarly susceptible to corrosive effects of the slave trade.

Believing in divine kingship and divided by intense religious loyalties, the forest people of Guinea looked upon one another as contemptible heretics who deserved death or slavery. In addition, since the tribes that captured the most slaves received the most European goods it became a competition in the interior between the Ashanti and Dahomeans, to raise in power as specialist in the art of slavery. The kingdoms eventually pushed toward the sea, extending the zone the terror as their power increased.

However, the triumph of the Dahomey had destroyed the orderly fashion of the slave trade. The African that may have been selling slaves on day may be a slave themselves the next. However, the Europeans did not care who was who and how it came about all they wanted was profit, the merchants did not scruple at kidnapping or inciting raids on peaceful villages. The difference is that the European nation captured innocent people for their own purpose. But, unfortunately some of the Africans began to sell themselves.

Why, didn’t the Europeans enslave their own people, it was free labor. Sugar cane became the number one crop produced for Europe, which increased their growth. There were a number of factors that contributed to the Atlantic Slave Trade ending (officially in the early 19th century) after it had been going on for over 400 years. One factor was the growing public revulsion against the slave trade, an important person that brought about the change was Olaudah Equiano. He was born in Nigeria (what is present-day Nigeria) and taken to the Americas as a slave.

During his life he was able to buy his freedom (which was very rare) and wrote about his experience being captured and sold into slavery. The publishing of his book was read throughout America and Europe in multiple languages and it had a profound effect on public opinion of slave trade. In addition, between 1801 and 1803, there had been a successful slave revolt in the Caribbean island nation of Haiti, which shook people throughout the Americas to realize that the system of slavery should be changed and overthrown.

Under the leadership of Toussaint Louverture, an ex-slave, in 1804, Haiti became the first black republic in the world and the first country in the Western Hemisphere to abolish slavery. At last, the Industrial Revolution in Europe and North America, which occurred simultaneously with the Atlantic Slave Trade, was fueling and growing a demand free rather than labor. In the early years of the Industrial Revolution, cheap raw materials (like cotton) produced by slave labor in America was essential, but by the 19th century continued industrial expansion was dependent on a flexible and mobile labor force.

However, leaving European and American industrialist who supported slave trade in the 18th century a change of mind, because it was no longer an economic benefit. In 1807, Britain became the first European nation to ban slavery. However, since Spain and Portugal did not follow the same rule. African slaves continued to be sent to countries in South America until near the end of the 19th century. Britain attempted to stop slave trade by trying to intercept the ships with war ships (off the west coast of Africa).

When successfully intercepted the Africans were shipped back to Africa in the areas of Liberia (“Liberty”) and Sierra Leone (Freetown) in West Africa, which was established by US and Britain anti-slavers as haven for freed slaves. But the end still was yet to come, because in spite of the efforts to end slave trade slavery continued to be practiced in the Americas. The British freed slaves in the Caribbean colonies in 1883. Then the French abolished slavery in the American colonies soon afterwards.

Slavery was not abolished in the US until 1864. Cuba and Brazil were the last countries in the Americas to abolish the practice of slavery in the late 19th century. Abolitionist in the north began a movement to end slavery because were beginning to view slavery as an “evil deed. ” They began an anti slavery movement which also existed in the south, but most southerners regarded slavery as profitable means and over time thought of it as a good thing rather than bad. Slavery soon became a major issue in the US presidential election of 1860.

Many democrats in the north were against slavery and those in the south favored it, each wanted to elect it’s own president resulting a splitting of party. There were also some republicans that of the expansion of slavery as a bad thing because they considered it as something that would cause tension between the states and colonies. So eventually, Lincoln was elected president in 1860. Southerners began to fear that he would limit slavery or ban it al together so one of the started seceded from the union (12/20/1860).

South Carolina was the first of these states and on April 12, 1860 Confederate troops attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina (starting the American Civil War). Lincoln’s main concern at the start of the Civil War was to preserve the union not to abolish slavery. At first he did not want any African American to join the union army in the Civil War because he thought that would cause more states to secede from the union. However, Lincoln decided in March of 1862, to give congress a plan for the freedom of slaves.

He signaled the plan and ended slavery in all the federal territories, he began to accept African Americans in the union army. After the bill he signed, he then issued a preliminary order to emancipate free slaves. He wanted everyone to have rights and freedom. The order declared that all slaves in the areas of the states in rebellion against the US be free. On January, 1, 1863, the final order was issued (Emancipation Proclamation). Which strengthen the north’s war effort and weakened the south’s. After the Civil War was more than 500,000 slaves had fled to freedom behind the northern lines.

The emancipation hurt the south by discouraging Britain and France from entering the war. These nations depended on the south to supply them cotton, the confederacy also hoped that they would fight on their side. But since the Emancipation Proclamation made the war a fight against slavery most Britain and French citizens opposed slavery so they gave their support to the union, leading to the end of slavery in the US. The Freedmen’s Bureau was established by the congress on March 3 to provide health care, education, and technical assistance to emancipated slaves.

However slavery continued in the states that were part of the union forces. Slavery came to an end in 1865 under Andrew Johnson (vice president of Abraham Lincoln) after Lincoln was assassinated (April 15). The Thirteenth Amendment states: Slavery would be outlawed in the United States. However problems still remained so during July 1867, Frederick Douglass was asked by President Johnson to take charge of the Freedman’s Bureau, a position that would have allowed him to oversee all the government programs administering to the needs of southern blacks.

Douglass was tempted by the offer, the first major post to be offered to a black man, but he realized that by associating with the Johnson administration, he would be helping the president appear to be the black man’s friend. Instead, he refused to serve under a man whose policies he detested. By 1867, Douglass could see that Johnson’s days in office were numbered. The president was unable to stop Congress’s Reconstruction acts, which divided the South into five military districts and laid out strict guidelines for the readmission of the Confederate states into the Union.

The new laws required the southern states to ratify the Fourteenth Amendment and to guarantee blacks the right to vote. The radical Republicans were angered by Johnson’s attempts to block the Reconstruction measures, and they instituted impeachment proceedings against him, the first time a president underwent this ordeal. The impeachment measure fell one vote short of the two-thirds majority in the House and Senate needed to remove Johnson from office, but the president exercised little power during the last two years of his term.

Economic View of Slavery

Slavery was caused by economic factors of the english settlers in the late 17th century. Colonists continually tried to allure laborers to the colony. The headright system was to give the indentured servant, a method of becoming independent after a number of years of service. Slavery was caused by economic reasons. Colonists chiefly relied on Indentured Servitude, inorder to facilitate their need for labor. The decreasing population combined with a need for a labor force, led colonists to believe that African slaves were the ost efficient way to acquire a labor force that would satisfy their needs.

Before the 1680’s, Indentured Servitude was the primary source of labor in the newly developed colonies. After the 1680’s, the population of the Indentured Servants decreased, exponentially. Their were a number of different reasons why the population of Indentured Servents had decreased. The indentured servents were running away from their temporary masters, to find a job where he could become more independent. Indentured servents were also dying of many diseases, hich was caused by harsh conditions.

The immigration of servents thus declined, becuase of the people in England being informed of the harsh treatment in the colonies. The society was where the land was easy to find, while the labor was most scarce. Indentured servitude, was a form of labor which was declining, and the need for labor increased rapidly. In the 1600’s, when tobacco was founded by John Rolfe, tobacco became the main source of income for most of the colonists. The economic prosperity of the colonies was primarily dependent on the mount of tobacco produced.

The growing of tobacco, needed a large amount of land, with a large stable work force. The increased demand for a large, stable work force combined with the availability of African slaves, led to the use of slavery in the colonies. During the late 17th century, the indentured servants were running away from their masters farms, if a slave had run away from their master’s farms, then the slave would be easier to discern because of the color of his skin. To the planter, slavery was the ideal form of labor that ould be most beneficial to productivity of his crop.

Planters had an abundance of land and a shortage of labor. This relationship, made the amount of tobacco directly proportional to the number of slaves that the planter owned. Slavery was the backbone of the prosperity of the colonies. A major factor in the consideration of slaves on plantation, is the flux of the land. Tobacco was the major crop of the 17th century, and tobacco is a plant that exhausts nutrients from the soil, which led to the rotation of crops, inorder to replenish the crops.

The planter needed to educate his workers on certain agricultural techniques inorder to know how to make the land most productive. With a permanent work force, such as slaves, the slaves would only require to be educated once, instead of the planters having to re-educate indentured servants every X number of years. The African slaves also had other characteristics that enticed colonists to use them as a labor force. The African slaves were immune to malaria, which resisted them from disease. The africans also were subsistence farmers in africa, thus, they had a tradition of arming, and essential agricultural skills.

Slavery was a course in history, where it was opportune for the colonists to use slavery as a labor force. The decline in population of indentured servants exacerbated the situation, as time progressed, slavery became more and more imminent. Morality was not taken into consideration, because of the settlers were only viewing slavery from a economic view, rather than a humanitarian point of view. The introduction of slavery into the colonies can be summarize with a cliche of the settlers being “at the right place at the right time”.

Individuals That Contributed To The Civil War

Who Were Some of the Individuals That Contributed The Civil War was brought about by many important people, some that wanted to preserve and some that wanted to eradicate the primary cause of the war, slavery. There were the political giants, such as Abraham Lincoln, and Stephen Douglas. There were seditious abolitionists such as John Brown, escaped slaves such as Dred Scott, and abolitionist writers like Harriet Beecher Stowe.

These were the people who, ultimately, brought a beginning to the end of what Lincoln called “a moral, a social, and a Southern states, including the 11 states that formed he Confederacy, depended on slavery to support their economy. Southerners used slave labor to produce crops, especially cotton. Although slavery was illegal in the Northern states, only a small proportion of Northerners actively opposed it.

The main debate between the North and the South on the eve of the war was whether slavery should be permitted in the Western territories recently acquired during the Mexican war, which included New Mexico, part of California, and Utah. “Opponents of slavery were concerned about its expansion, in part because they did not want to compete against slave labor”(Oates 15). In 1851, a literary event startled the country. Harriet Beecher Stowe, an American writer and abolitionist, wrote an antislavery novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, that was published serially in a newspaper and in book form in 1852.

It was a forceful indictment of slavery and one of the most powerful novels of its kind in American literature. The success of the book was unprecedented, selling 500,000 copies in the United States alone within five years, and it was translated into more than 20 foreign languages”(Oates 29). It was widely read in the States and abroad, and moved many to join the cause of abolition. The South indignantly denied this indictment of slavery. “Stowe’s book increased partisan feeling over slavery and intensified sectional differences.

It did much to solidify militant antislavery attitude in the North, and therefore was an important factor in the start of the American Civil In 1854, Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, and stated that each territory could be admitted as a state “with of without slavery, as their constitution may prescribe at the time of their admission”(Oates 42). This repealed the old dividing line between free and slave tates as set by the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

With the passage of this act, a new Lincoln emerged into the world of politics. Although he was as ambitious for political office as ever, he was now, for the first time in his career, devoted to a cause. He became a forceful spokesman In 1857, the Supreme Court of the United States added to the mounting tension by its decision in the Dred Scott Case. Dred Scott was a slave owned by an army surgeon in Missouri. “In 1836, Scott had been taken by his owner to Fort Snelling, in what is now Minnesota, then a territory in which slavery was explicitly forbidden according to the Missouri Compromise”(Oates 50).

In 1846, he brought a suit in the state court on the grounds that residence in a free territory liberated him from slavery. The Supreme Court of Missouri, however, ruled that since he was brought back into a state where slavery was legal, the status of slavery was reattached to him and he had no standing before the court. The Scott case was then brought before the federal court which still held against Scott.

The case was finally appealed to the Supreme Court, where it was argued at length in 1856 and decided in 1857. “The decision handed down by a majority vote of the Court was that there was no ower in the existing form of government to make citizens slave or free, and that at the time of the formation of the United States Constitution they were not, and could not be, citizens in any of the states”(Oates 51). Because of this, Scott was still a slave and not a citizen of Missouri, and therefore had no right to sue in the federal courts.

Their decision meant that slaves could be taken anywhere within the United States, that the Missouri Compromise was in violation of the Constitution, and that slavery could not be prohibited by Congress in the territories of the United States. The case, and particularly the court’s decision, aroused intense bitterness among the abolitionists, widened the gap between the North and the South, and was among the In 1858, Stephen Douglas, writer of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, was running for re-election to the Senate against Abraham Lincoln, then the leader of the Republican Party in Illinois.

The campaign opened in Chicago, and Lincoln and Douglas argued over, among other things, the question of the expansion of slavery”(Oates 64). Douglas stood on his doctrine of popular sovereignty, holding that the people of the territories could elect to have slavery. They could also elect not to have it. He attacked Lincoln for his “house divided” speech, accusing him of trying to divide the nation.

Lincoln replied by calling for national unity. Recalling the Declaration of Independence, he said, ‘Let us discard all this quibbling about this man and the other man — this race and that race and the other race, being inferior, and therefore they must be placed in an inferior position. Let us discard all these things, and unite as one people throughout the land, until we shall once more stand up declaring that all men are created equal’”(Oates 66). Lincoln argued that slavery as “a moral, a social, and a political wrong,”(Oates 66) and that it was the duty of the federal government to prohibit its extension into the territories.

In July, Lincoln challenged Douglas to a series of face-to-face debates and Douglas accepted. It was arranged that seven debates would be held in seven different cities between August and October. In the debates, both candidates respected each other and kept to the issues. The basis of discussion was the morality of slavery. “Although the Republicans carried the state ticket and outvoted the Democrats, the Illinois legislature re-elected Douglas to the Senate”(Oates 73). The campaign, widely reported in the newspapers, had an importance far beyond the fate of the candidates.

It demonstrated to the South that the Republican Party was steadily growing in strength and that it would oppose the extension of slavery by every possible means. The campaign also showed Douglas to be an unreliable ally to the South. He had said repeatedly in the debates that he did not care whether slavery was voted up or down. In addition, Lincoln, previously known only locally, gained a national reputation even in defeat. One year later, John Brown made his famous raid on Harpers Ferry, Virginia.

John Brown was already an outlaw from a previous incident in which him and his five sons became active participants in the fight against proslavery terrorists from Missouri, whose activities led to the murder of a number of abolitionists at Lawrence, Kansas. Brown and his sons avenged this crime, in May of 1856 at Pottawatomie Creek, by killing five proslavery followers. This act, along with his success in withstanding a large group of attacking Missourians at Osawatomie in August, made him nationally famous as an hostile foe of slavery.

Now, aided by increased financial support from bolitionists in the northeastern states, Brown began in 1857 to formulate a plan to free the slaves by armed force”(Oates 87). “He secretly recruited a small band of supporters for this project, which included a refuge for fugitive slaves in the mountains of Virginia”(Bradford 54). “After several setbacks, he finally launched the venture on October 16, 1859, and with a force of 18 men, including his sons, he seized the United States arsenal and armory at Harpers Ferry, Virginia, and won control of the town. After his initial success, he made no attempt at offensive action, but instead occupied defensive positions within the rea’”(Oates 88).

His force was surrounded by the local militia, which was reinforced on October 17 by a company of U. S. Marines under the command of Colonel Robert E. Lee. Ten of Brown’s men, including two of his sons, were killed in the consequent battle, and he was wounded and forced to surrender. He was arrested and charged with various crimes, including treason and murder. He distinguished himself during his trial, which took place before a Virginia court, by his powerful defense of his efforts in behalf of the slaves”(Oates 90).

Convicted, he was hanged in Charleston, Virginia in December of 1859. For many years after his death, brown was generally regarded by abolitionists as a martyr to the cause of human freedom. By 1860, the North and the South had developed into two very different regions. “Divergent social, economic, and political points of view gradually drove the two sections farther and father apart”(Oates 99).

Each tried to impose its point of view on the country as a whole. Although compromises had kept the Union together for many years, in 1860 the situation was explosive. The election of Abraham Lincoln as president was viewed by the South as a threat to slavery and ignited the war. During the ampaign many Southerners had threatened that their states would secede from the Union if Lincoln was elected because they feared that a Lincoln administration would abolish slavery. Few people in the North believed them.

A month before the election, however, Governor William Henry Gist of South Carolina wrote to the governors of all the Southern states, except Texas, that South Carolina would secede in the event of Lincoln’s election and asked what course the other states would follow. “As soon as it was certain that Lincoln had won, the South Carolina legislature summoned a special convention”(Oates 101). “It met in December of 1860, in Charleston, and three days later the convention unanimously passed an ordinance dissolving ‘the union now subsisting between South Carolina and other States’”(Bradford 81).

Similar conventions were held by other Southern states, and similar ordinances were adopted. The first states to follow South Carolina’s actions were: Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas. In April of 1861, Lincoln called for states to send militias for national service to suppress the rebellion. The upper South refused to send their militias to restrain the seceded states. Instead they joined the lower South with the secession of Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

This secession by the South lead to the opening to the American The war over slavery was brought about by many important people, who used many different ways to express their points of view. Some exhibited their dissatisfaction with slavery by debating, some by using violence, some by suing in court, and some by writing a story. These were all effective strikes against the South, and primary causes of the war. In conclusion, these people ultimately brought a beginning to the end of what Lincoln called, “a moral, a social, and a political wrong”(Oates 66).

Genovese and Northup

Slavery as a global institution tends to have an unreal aura surrounding it. Modern perspectives cannot be empathetic because it is not an institution even partially realized in the last century of American life. This is why even through reading Eugene Genovese’s Roll, Jordan, Roll and examining most of the aspects of slave life, slavery still remains a mystery in the personal sense. Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave, in addition to being one of Genovese’s own resources, fills this void with its brutally honest personal story of a slave’s life.

Northup’s account enlightens and strengthens Genovese’s arguments, specifically those concerning labor, the master-slave relationship, and rebellion, by putting global descriptions in a personal perspective. One of the main advantages of 12 Years a Slave is that Northup is a slave himself, and in that respect does not have to be an apologist for slavery and slaveholders. It is not that Genovese himself is an apologist, but as a modern Caucasian, he must approach the subject of casting any light that might be perceived as positive on slaveholders with trepidation.

Although Genovese does his best to present a fair and accurate depiction of slavery, he cannot know the slaves’ perceptions of their masters. It is really in this respect that Northup’s account is so useful. By portraying slaveholders as people with human faults and sensibilities, he shows how the institution affects everyone involved. Slaveholders can still be good people, and that goodness shines through the peculiar institution. This is a vital piece of the story of slavery that Genovese cannot put in his comprehensive history.

Northup’s words must be left to stand alone, and draw specifics against a general background. The details of working cotton and sugar cane differ little from Genovese to Northup. Genovese puts the slave gang working grueling hours with specific daily goals, and Northup backs this up with his description. “The hands are required to be in the cotton fields as soon as it is light and they often times labor till the middle of the night. “(1) This is a prime example of how Northup is able to lend his personal experience to Genovese’s general description of slavery.

Northup tells us that even after such long hours, the slaves are still extremely afraid, because the master demands a certain amount of cotton from each slave. Merely meeting that goal is not be enough; if a slave exceeds it, then the expectations for that slave’s ability would be raised. However, if the goal is not met, then the slave is whipped(2). These specific elucidations of Genovese’s general work theme strengthen his thesis and make slavery a much more personal experience. The description of Northup’s experience of working cotton and cane again ties together many things Genovese outlines in Roll, Jordan, Roll.

Even though Northup is not really working in a gang, the work style is much the same and the demands are even more personalized to the worker. “Each one is taskedaccording to his picking abilities, none, however, to come short of two hundred weight. ” Northup goes on to explain about Patsey who picked around five hundred pounds a day, and if she didn’t pick at least four hundred pounds she “would surely have been beaten. “(3) Genovese suggests that the general trend of slaveholders is to use this kind of inducement to keep their slaves on their toes, but he doesn’t have descriptions as graphic as this.

When Genovese discusses labor, he seems to focus mainly on the southern idea that slaves are lazy. Northup’s tale hones in more on what the individual experience is in slavery; and it is not one concerned with trying to avoid work. Northup is a slave, and any work he does for his master he does under duress, and so the benefit of his tale is to refocus the discourse on labor out of rhetoric and into a tangible sense of what is demanded of slaves. The power of the whip is not really detailed by Genovese in any descriptions by slaves of how the whip increased productivity specifically.

The closest he gets is quoting of a grandfather’s advice that working hard would avoid the whip(4), but Northup actually describes how the whip would increase his work speed for a while. Of course, there is always a line to be a drawn where the whipping is counter-productive, but Northup is in a unique position to show that it was an effective tool that could be used with all property alike to advantageous results. He relates that the whip would “infus[e]into mybody a little temporary energy” (5). This is a chilling portrait that perhaps Genovese prefers not to relate, or has little other evidence to support.

But Northup has personal experience, and his picture extends what Genovese has to say about the motivation of the whip tenfold. Northup also enlightens other pragmatic practices of his masters. Although Edwin Epps is not an excessively kind or intelligent man, he recognizes that to maximize profit, he has to work his slaves slightly differently from his other property. Whereas he might whip an ox into performing a specific task, he recognizes that Northup is simply unable to pick cotton well. So when the whip fails, he attempts to find a better-suited task to Northup.

Sugar cane is the answer, and both Northup and Epps profit from this solution: Northup is excellent at cutting the cane, and so that gives him a sense of pride and lets him set the pace of the work, and Epps receives more money as a result of his pragmatism. Edwin Epps also does his best to use every one of Northup’s talents for his own benefit – socially as well as financially. This is the general idea of his take of the master-slave relationship. He hires out Northup’s violin playing for money and entertains his wife and friends with his slaves.

Northup describes the horrifying custom of forcing the slaves to dance: “Usually his whip was in his hand, ready to fall about the ears of the presumptuous thrall, who dared to rest a moment, or even stop to catch his breath. ” (6) The concept of whipping slaves to entertain oneself seems much more evil than forcing them to work for food for the household and themselves. Epps is so unfeeling that he sees his property as not only a way to make money and to have personal servants, but also as a form of personal entertainment.

Northup handles the sheer cruelty in an almost casual way, and this again makes 12 Years a Slave a much more harrowing experience than Roll, Jordan, Roll. The fact that such a horrific experience is described in an almost matter-of-fact circumstance speaks volumes about this master’s master-slave relationship. This is one part of Northup’s account that draws a contrast from Genovese’s argument. Epps is certainly not a paternalistic figure as he whips his slaves in submitting to his many whims. Although Epps’ own perspective is unknown, it is doubtful that he would ever feel that he himself was in a father-like role over his slaves.

He clearly treats all as his property. While they are not cattle, they are not “men” either, as he makes clear in his debate with Bass(7). On the other hand, Epps clearly sees himself as a father to his children, which is evidenced in his amusement at his children whipping his slaves. This is clearly not even remotely similar of his behavior toward the slaves. This is not to say that Genovese’s paternalism is to be discarded in light of Northup’s account. In contrast, Northup would agree with the paternalistic self-view of some masters. Certainly William Ford saw his slaves much as he would see his children, and his slaves reciprocated.

In fact, Northup recounts a conversation with Ford’s slave Harry: “[he] spoke kindly and affectionately of him, as a child would speak of his own father. ” (8) This is exactly the feeling that Genovese uses to describe the things that slaveholders would think their slaves would say. “Paternalism” is designed by Genovese to be a general term that would fail in individual examples, and so it does. In this way of highlighting certain aspects of the general picture, Northup brings slavery to a more vivid perspective. The slave-master relationship, Genovese notes, is paternalistic because slaves connect themselves with their masters(9).

Occasionally they will feel a kinship with a master like Northup does with Ford, but the general paternalistic situation is one of slaves being more connected to a master than a slave community. This certainly rings true to Northup’s story. He never once trusts a slave once in bondage in Louisiana his whole story. Even though they share bondage, the sense of slaves vs. masters is not fully realized. Certainly slaves bond together, as evidenced in Northup’s “fake” whippings of his fellow slaves, (10) but he does not try to take them out of bondage when he leaves by purchase or otherwise.

And the slaves that run away, as described by Northup, go alone. Northup agrees with Genovese at least to the extent that the system of slavery in Bayou Boeuf has some aspects of paternalism: slaves are more locked into their location than their race, slaves depend upon the master for almost every base resource, and, while the master may not be a father figure, he assumes the role of the boss. Northup has two decidedly different types of feelings about his various masters, but they resonate along the same theme: fear. Northup fears Tibeats because he is unstable and cruel.

Northup trusts – but not absolutely – William Ford, because he is stable and kind. Northup fears Epps because he is cruel, but is aware of the stability of their relationship. Yet all these masters owned Northup, and that fact in itself creates an impassible barrier of absolute fidelity. However, Ford and Northup had a fairly paternalistic relationship. Ford was kind and reasonable to Northup, even going so far as not to follow the custom of whipping an escaped slave. (11) And Northup did his best to please Ford under any conditions – as a son would try to impress his father.

Northup clearly enjoyed this work, but it is questionable how much of that enjoyment is expressed in retrospect after having unreasonable and unrewarding masters. Still, Ford and Northup have a paternalistic relationship quite similar to Genovese’s general idea of the concept. Paternal or not, in every relationship Northup has with a master or any white person there is an overriding feeling of fear because he is property. The inability to escape or how confidence in escape is a direct result of the fear.

This is another example of how Twelve Years a Slave puts a personal experience on Genovese’s grand picture. Genovese describes the difficulties of rebellion and escape, but Northup really captures the helplessness of the slave. Even in his privileged position of being free, literate, and with friends ready to help as soon as his location is known, it takes Northup a long twelve years, and then it is only happenstance that he is saved. As he speaks to his readers, “No man who has never been placed in such a situation, can comprehend the thousand obstacles thrown in the way of the flying slave. 12)

Northup is not the first or the last slave to realize the futility of escape from such a southern state, and he does not have a family to tie him down and has many advantages over the “average” slave. This overwhelming weight can then be applied over the millions of slaves who could not read or write, were not free, and did not have free friends to show how truly hopeless the situation was. Again, while Genovese gives an analytical broad picture, it is only through Northup that the extent of immobility is realized. The white power structure as defined by both Genovese and Northup overwhelmingly powerful.

Both show poor whites as using the patrols as an advantage to assert their power over slaves. It is clear from Genovese that the business of the South in the days of slavery was to make sure that slaves had no hope of escaping, and Northup’s account only reinforces this view. Genovese’s perspective of slavery is taken from a purely analytical background. He does not want to influence the history of slavery by making it overly preachy or emotional. By this approach he gives a broad and accurate picture of slavery from the slaves’ point of view.

But the personal accounts he uses are short and always taken out of larger stories and edited and interpreted by Genovese for the reader. By not having long personal experiences, he has not given a good account of how slavery succeeded over the slaves themselves. He does not describe the process of assimilation in the peculiar institution; yes, in the nineteenth century, slavery is firmly entrenched, but how could an entire race of people accept the situation? All insight Genovese lends to answering this question is buried under piles of short accounts and various facts about slaveholders.

In this way Solomon Northup’s book is a wonderful companion to Roll, Jordan, Roll because it shows how an educated freeman becomes a slave. Solomon becomes Platt, and accepts his situation. He actually becomes a separate person and takes his position of being in bondage as an absolute. After only five years in slavery, it is so entrenched in his soul that he is no longer Solomon Northup. He does not discuss it or write it, and the longer it has been since freedom, the less real it becomes. Northup himself asserts that “I would have died a slave” had it not been for the blind luck of Bass working on Epps’ house.

And while stories of Ford might give slaveholders more ammunition for the advancement of slavery, and while the fights with Tibeats might cause more pity for the plight of Northup and his fellow slaves, it is really Epps who is the perpetuator of the institution. Slavery with Fords and Tibeatses would not last long; it is the Eppses of Northup’s tale who make slavery profitable and manageable. Although Epps is unstable (as evidenced by frequent drinking and attempting to kill Northup(13)), he is stable enough to keep his farm running. It is indeed Epps himself who truly reduces Northup to Platt, his slave, his property.

Because Genovese only uses snippets of stories and intense analysis, this personal side of agony never really hits home. Only in the light of Solomon Northup does Genovese’s history become a “real” experience. It is the highlighter on the page that emphasizes that what Genovese writes is not just a peculiar institution to be studied; it actually happened to humans who were little different from those who enslaved them. Solomon Northup is not a self-appointed critic or apologist. He is the truthteller who sets the pages of Eugene Genovese alive.

African Diaspora In the New World

The study of cultures in the African Diaspora is relatively young. Slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade brought numerous Africans, under forced and brutal conditions, to the New World. Of particular interest to many recent historians and Africanists is the extent to which Africans were able to transfer, retain, modify or transform their cultures under the conditions of their new environments. Three main schools of thought have emerged in scholarly discussion and research on this topic.

Some argue that there are no significant connections between Africans and African American ommunities in the Americas. Others argue that Africans retained significant aspects of their cultures. Similar to this argument, some have argued that Africans, responding to their new environments, retained and transformed African cultures into new African-American ethnic units. Detailed research done on slave communities in Surinam, South Carolina and Louisiana allow us to look deeper into the stated arguments.

Having recently addressed the same issues using Colonial South Carolina as a case study, I will focus largely on some of the arguments and conclusions drawn from this study. The evidence from South Carolina, Louisiana and Surinam supports the second and third arguments much more than the first. The third argument, that of cultural transformation, is the argument I find to be most valid. John Thornton’s analysis of this issue is extremely helpful. He addresses the “no connections” arguments in chapters 6, 7 and 8.

He outlines the claims made by scholars Franklin Frazier, Stanley Elkins, Sidney Mintz and Richard Price. Frazier and Mintz believe that the extreme trauma and disruption experienced by Africans during the process of enslavement and the middle passage minimized the ossibility that they maintained aspects of their cultures in the new world. They argue that this process “had the effect of traumatizing and marginalizing them, so that they would became cultural receptacles rather than donors” (152).

Mintz and Price have argued the slave trade had the effect of “permanently breaking numerous social bonds that had tied Africans together… ” (153). Another element of the “no connections” argument claims that Africans did not receive enough associational time with each other or with those of similar ethnic backgrounds to ensure survival of cultural practices. Drawing largely upon the study of Anthropology, Thornton attempts to outline conditions for cultural survival and transformation.

He contends these arguments stating that opportunities existed for viable communities to be formed, that there were prospects for passing on “changing cultural heritage to a new generation through training of offspring” and that there existed opportunities for Africans to associate with themselves (153). Thornton finds much more evidence for cultural transformation than cultural “transplantation. ” He notes the tendency of researchers to focus on specific “Africanisms” rather than the cultural totality and tresses the fact that “cultures change through constant interaction with other cultures… (209, 207). I agree with Thornton’s analysis.

As stated in a passage from our paper: It would be nave to think that after being enslaved and transported across the sea to a foreign continent African slaves were able to physically transplant their cultures in this new environment. It would be equally nave to believe no elements of African culture made their way to this region… Africans were interacting with Europeans and other Africans of different ethnic groups, adapting to he realities of their new environments and transforming elements of both old and new into their own African-American culture.

Evidence exists that shows Africans were allowed enough associational time to form viable communities, that they maintained strong family structures and that they exercised a large degree of control in the raising their own children. An example for the argument of significant retention of Africanisms could be that of the Maroon communities in Surinam. In the film I Shall Molder Before I am Taken, we saw examples of African escendants separated from European masters, living largely isolated in the Jungle in a similar manner to that of their ancestors.

The community was strikingly similar to the Asante communities described in the film Atumpan . There was much ceremonial detail in addressing the chief or headman of the village. Just as with the Asante, citizens and visitors had to address the headman through an interpreter. Leadership was also determined through matrilineal lines as in Akan societies of Ghana. In felling a tree, the Saramaka would explain to the spirits how the tree was necessary for their survival and would be sed wisely.

They concluded by thanking the spirits and the forest for the tree and leaving an offering for its taking. The Saramaka also used mediums such as song, dance and stories to recreate and teach important elements of their history and culture. All of these practices can be almost directly traced to their previous African societies. Still, the Saramaka Maroons lend sufficient proof to the argument of cultural transformation. Even after hundreds of years of isolation in the jungle, the Saramaka showed significant examples of cultural adaptation and borrowing.

As witnessed in the Price Literature and Film, “everything from botanical medicines to basketry and fishing techniques was learned from the Native Americans” (Jason & Kirschensteiner 9). Inquiring about the plants used by the medicine man to treat tendinitus, Price found that much of the treatment of disease and knowledge of medical plants was learned through Indians. The Maroon Creole language, consisting of a mixture of English, Portuguese, Dutch and African languages, is also symbolic of the cultural transformation that had taken place. Colonial Louisiana also provided opportunities for viable African maroon communities.

The geographic environment of Louisiana with its bayous, thick swamps and intricate river system, contributed to the ability of Africans to evade capture and move about with relative freedom. Gwendolyn Hall depicts how Africans created a network of “secret” communities in the cypress swamps surrounding plantations. These Maroons would hide out “for weeks, months and even years on or behind their master’s estates without being detected or apprehended” (Hall 203). Hall describes the creolization of Africans and Europeans in Colonial Louisiana: “Conditions prevailing… molded a Creole or Afro-American slave culture through the process of blending and adaptation of slave materials brought by the slaves… ” (159).

Lower mortality rates among slaves, levels of freedom gained through escape and survival in the swamps and a relatively small white population led Hall to characterize Louisiana as creating “the most Africanized slave culture in the Untied States” (161). Creole culture came out of a consolidation of African, European and Native American cultures. The dominance of African linguistic and cultural patterns made this culture predominately an Afro-Creole culture.

Providing compelling evidence for the argument of transformations of African culture is the study of slave life in Colonial South Carolina. Africans contributed tremendously to the successful settlement of the Colony and adapted and retained elements of their roots into unique African American communities. These communities included unique family and religious structures. Before the Stono Rebellion of 1739, slaves were allowed a considerable amount of freedom to associate among themselves. They were also encouraged to have families and allowed to exercise a large degree of autonomy in aising their children.

As noted by Peter Wood, slave families; similar to African families, would serve an important function in passing down cultural heritage to the young. In accordance with African tradition, South Carolina slaves relied on folk tales as the primary vehicle for education of young. Slaves modified these tales to fit their situation and environment in South Carolina. The traditional “trickster”, recurrent in West African folk tales, was replaced by the rabbit. In religious worship Africans adapted old traditions to their new situation.

Many slaves in Colonial South Carolina became Christians. This was not done without adding elements of their previous beliefs systems. “Africans in Colonial South Carolina worshipped their new Christian god with ‘the kind of expressive behavior their African heritage taught them was appropriate for an important deity’ ” (Bright & Broderick 11). Slaves also used African forms such as dances, chants, trances and spirit possession in their practice of Christianity. The call and response pattern characteristic of West African music was adapted to this new religion.

Sundays were designated as free days for South Carolina slaves and this day was ften devoted to family, religious and community activities. In this process of transformation there was also an element of rebellion. After having gained elements of community and family ethnic identity and freedom, slaves in Colonial South Carolina would not become totally accepting of their condition and would resist attempts to limit those freedoms they did have. An element of African culture that was modified for the purpose of rebellion was the use of poison. In the tradition of the West African Obeah-man, powers could be used to cure or to punish enemies.

In this respect, poison could be used in negative capacity. The use of poison as a form of rebellion is visible in both the examples from Colonial South Carolina and Jamaica. Cases of death by poison in Colonial South Carolina leading up to the Stono Rebellion led to its inclusion in the Negro Act of 1740. The Act made poisoning a felony punishable by death. In conclusion, both significant African retentions and transformations took place in the early European settlement of the Americas. More recently, there has been a tendency to overemphasize or even romanticize the “Africanisms.

While acknowledging “Africanisms” id make their way into the Americas, I find the evidence from accounts of early slave cultures and the Anthropological background provided by Thornton on cultural transformation and change persuasive in suggesting the formation of Afro- American rather than “Afro-centric” communities. This approach to the slavery and the slave era is relatively young and will have to be developed. A conclusion that is clear after studying works of Peter Wood, Gwendolyn Hall and Richard Price, is that the early arguments suggesting no connection of African heritage to the Americas are entirely invalid.

Thomas Jefferson On Slavery

“We Hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness—“(Jefferson). These words are arguably the most recognized words ever written in American history and are the backbone of our countries right to freedom. Thomas Jefferson, the author of The Declaration of Independence, is one of the few historical American leaders that need no introduction. Jefferson was born on April 13th, 1743 in Albemarle county, Virginia.

Jefferson was a man of many talents that included, but not limited to, law, politics, writing, architecture, and planting. The three achievements that Jefferson wanted to be remembered for, which were inscribed on his tombstone, are, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence, the introduction of the Virginia bill of religious liberty, and the founding of the University of Virginia. Jefferson not only founded the University of Virginia but “He conceived it, planned it, designed it, and supervised both its construction and the hiring of the faculty”(Borden).

Jefferson is considered one the greatest pioneers of America, but one issue that troubled him throughout his lifetime was slavery and his ownership of more than two hundred slaves. The question that puzzles most Americans is, how could the man who wrote, “All men are created equal” own slaves? This question has been asked over and over throughout the history of our great nation. This is the thing that contemporary Americans find most vexing about him.

In order to answer this question we first must explore the society and times that Jefferson grew up in and considered being the standard. In 18th – century Virginia, slavery was the fabric of society. Slavery was the backbone of Virginia’s economy and was common with plantation owners of this time. Although slavery was the norm in Jefferson’s lifetime, this cannot be used to justify his ownership of slaves. Jefferson spoke out tirelessly throughout his life against the institution of slavery, slave trading, and for the right of black people to be free.

Most people in today’s society would probably argue that he was a hypocrite for owning slaves and at the same time, denouncing slavery. We must place ourselves in Jefferson’s times and not judge on today’s standards. “Do not mistake me. I am not advocating slavery. I am justifying the wrongs we have committed on foreign people…On the contrary, there is nothing I would not sacrifice to a practicable plan of abolishing every vestige of this moral and political depravity” (Jefferson).

The question on his ownership of slaves should be stated in more historical terms: How did a man who was born into a slave holding society, whose family and friends owned slaves, who inherited a plantation that was dependant on slave labor, decide at an early age that the institution of slavery was morally wrong and declare that it should be abolished? When we examine this question in a more historical context, it could be argued that Jefferson went against his society and his own self-interest to denounce slavery and urge its abolition.

When the question of his ownership is explained this way, another question usually follows: If Jefferson knew holding slaves was wrong, why did he continue to enslave them. He did not release any of his slaves while he was living, although he gave five of them their freedom in his will. Jefferson’s decision to continue ownership of slaves is probably one that cannot be answered in our lifetime. One might argue that he needed the labor to keep up his plantation, others might say that the slaves did not want to leave because they were treated so well. Yet another view that might be taken, was Jefferson’s idea of emancipation.

Jefferson did not believe that if slaves were given their freedom and introduced into the community, that they would be able to assimilate themselves into eighteenth-century Virginia. “The cession of that kind of property, for so it is misnamed, is a bagatelle which would not lost me a second thought, if in that way a general emancipation and expatriation could be effected; and gradually, and with due sacrifices, I think it might be”(Jefferson). The answer to slavery for Jefferson was the emancipation of slaves. He thought that it would do more harm than good to abolish slavery with no plan for the slaves.

Jefferson conveyed this point when he wrote: …it will probably be asked, why not retain and incorporate the blacks into the state, and this save the expense of supplying, by importation of white settlers, the vacancies they will leave? Deep rooted prejudices entertained by the whites; ten thousand recollections, by the blacks, of the injuries they have sustained; new provocation; the real distinctions which nature has made; and many other circumstances, will divide us into parties, and produce convulsions, which will probably never end but in the extermination of one or the other race (Jefferson).

Jefferson can not be accused of being a bigot for seriously doubting that a racially integrated society of white Europeans and black Africans was truly feasible. This observation by Jefferson was remarkable in that harsh prejudices between blacks and whites have occurred throughout history and still continue today. Jefferson’s plan for emancipation called for the gradual removal of slaves from America to the coast of Africa.

In a letter to Jared Sparks in 1824 Jefferson wrote: In the disposition of these unfortunate people, there are two rational objects to be distinctly kept in view. First. The establishment of a colony on the coast of Africa, which may introduce among the aborigines the arts of cultivated life, and the blessings of civilization and science. By doing this, we make to them some retribution for the long course of injuries we have been committing on their population.

And considering that these blessings will descend to the “nati natorum, et qui nascentur ab illis, we shall in the long run have rendered them perhaps more good than evil… The second object, and the most interesting to us, as coming home to our physical and moral characters, to our happiness and safety, is to provide an asylum to which we can, by degrees, send the whole of that population from among us, and establish them under our patronage and protection, as a separate, free and independent people, in some country and climate friendly to human life and happiness (Jefferson).

Jefferson did not just want to emancipate the slaves, he also proposed that the white Americans educate and train them to be a self-sufficient society which included providing them with the necessary materials to establish a colony on the coast of Africa in which they could life in harmony with themselves. His first attempt at emancipation was in 1769 before the Virginia Legislature, as he recalled in his autobiography: “I made one effort in that body for the permission of the emancipation of slaves, which was rejected: and indeed during the regal government, nothing liberal could expect success”(Jefferson).

Jefferson was also instrumental in ending of slave trading. In 1776, Jefferson proposed a bill to end slave trading. In 1778 Virginia adopted it as law. In a biography written about Jefferson, it stated that, “The may session of the 1778 also, notwithstanding the exigencies of the war, was distinguished by a civil transaction which in intimately connected with the reputation of Mr. Jefferson and the honor of our country, namely the abolition of slave trade “(Coates).

This bill proposed stern penalties for the introduction of any slaves into Virginia and provided for the immediate release of any that were brought in illegally. Virginia led by example and was followed by Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. “In 1794 congress of the United States interdicted the trade from all ports of the union under severe penalties” (Coates). It is also not well known that in Jefferson’s original draft of the Declaration of Independence he denounced slavery and the slave trade.

He has waged cruel was against human nature itself, violating its most sacred rights of liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended him, captivating and carrying them into slavery in another hemisphere, or to incur miserable death in their transportation thither. This practical warfare, the opprobrium of INFIDEL powers, is the warfare of the CHRISTIAN king of Great Britain. Determined to keep open a market where MEN should be bought and sold, he has prostituted his negative for suppressing every legislative attempt to prohibit or to restrain this execrable commerce.

And that this assemblage of horrors might want no fact of distinguished die, he is now exciting those very people to rise in arms among us, and to purchase that liberty of which he has deprived them, by murdering the people on whom he also obtruded them: thus paying off former crimes committed against the LIBERTIES of one people, with crimes which he urges them to commit against the LIVES of another (Jefferson). Most people did not know that this passage existed because the Continental Congress edited it out. This hurt Jefferson very much.

The passage also answers the question of whether Jefferson meant to include blacks in the language of the declaration. Another issue that has threatened Jefferson’s character is that of his alleged affair with Sally Hemmings. Jefferson has been accused of fathering one or more of her children. The first public accusation of this was in 1818 by James T. Callendar. Although nothing was made of it, Callendar wrote in the Richmond Recorder, “It is well know that the man, whom it delighteth the people to honor, keeps, and for many years has kept, as his concubine, one of his own slaves.

Her name is SALLY”(Callendar). These allegations have continued long after Jefferson passed away. Most of these allegations were brought about from the descendants of Sally Hemmings. Recent DNA tests have once again brought these allegations to the attention of contemporary Americans. The DNA tests provided [“strong evidence” suggesting that Thomas Jefferson was the “likely biological father”of at least one of the male children (Eston Hemmings)] (Coates). By just reading the headlines, one might be lead to believe that the allegations have been proven true.

The blood samples were taken from descendants of Tom Woodson and Easton Hemmings, Sally Hemmings oldest and youngest sons respectively. A sample was also taken from descendants of Jefferson’s uncle, Field Jefferson. The DNA from each sample was compared and the results showed that the DNA from Easton Hemmings and Field Jefferson were a match and the DNA from Woodson did not match either of the other two. This is significant because it had been alleged, through oral family history, that Thomas Jefferson fathered Tom Woodson.

It proves that Sally Hemmings was not truthful in her accounts to her sons that Jefferson was there father. One explanation for the match in the DNA is that Easton Hemming’s father was a male relative of Jefferson. An article in the Washington Post discounts this theory. “No other Jefferson males were know to have spent substantial time at the estate”(Coates). The point made was that they didn’t spend “substantial time” at Monticello, but proves that they did spend some time there.

Upon a close review of the DNA evidence, one thing that comes to the forefront, the DNA tests do not prove, without a reasonable doubt, that Jefferson was the father of any of Sally Hemmings children. “Even the DNA evidence, while definitely scientific, is not at all conclusive, since it does not specifically identify only Thomas Jefferson as the possible father” (Coates). Natalie Bober, an award winning author, stated,” I think we must consider who Thomas Jefferson was.

The idea that Thomas Jefferson could have had a young mulatto mistress in a house overflowing with young children whom he adored is inconsistent with everything we know about the real Thomas Jefferson”(Bober). Thomas Jefferson was a magnificent man and a great statesman. His masterpiece, the Declaration of Independence, was the single most important episode in the development of the American ideal of equality and freedom. Although Jefferson was a slave owner, he denounced the institution of slavery and proposed the concept of emancipation.

He led the way for the abolishment of slave trading. Many people call him a hypocrite; I call him a hero to America. His Declaration of Independence laid down the framework for the abolishment of slavery. In Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, which ultimately ended slavery, [He declared that not only the essential meaning of the Civil War, but also the national purpose itself was epitomized in Jefferson’s phrase, “all men are created equal”] (Will). In conclusion, Jefferson’s name has always been synonymous with that of slave owner.

Jefferson struggled with this his whole life. On the other hand, he was indirectly instrumental in the abolition of slavery. “Jefferson had taken what was merely a national struggle, the American struggle for independence and cast it in rhetoric that made it a human struggle. And by doing so, he sowed the seeds of the end of the peculiar institution of slavery” (Will). Thomas Jefferson should be remembered as the founding father that arguably did more for our great country than any other man or women of his time.

Slavery Position With Writers

The issue of slavery in the nineteenth century produced an overwhelming issue in society. There were some writers that favored slavery and then there were some that did not favor slavery. In favor of slavery were William Gillmore Simms, and Caroline Hentz. Those opposed to slavery were Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry David Thoreau, and Herman Melville. All of these writers presented their views of slavery in the their literary works. William Simms was a supporter of slavery and this evident in his novel, Woodcraft.

This novel takes place in the south during the closing of the Revolutionary War. Simms was born in Charleston, South Carolina, so he was raised on the souths position of pro-slavery. In Simms novel Woodcraft, he states, Exhaustion not wisdom, or a better state of feeling, was the secret of the peace which was finally concluded between the two nations (America and Great Britain), and of which, South Carolina, and Charleston in particular, was eagerly expecting the benefits.

Great Britain had spent most of the Revolutionary War occupying Charleston and the soldiers would stay at the peoples home with out the homeowners consent. This angered many townspeople in Charleston and many other townspeople throughout the south. Since the war was coming to an end the people of Charleston could have their city and homes again. Also meaning plantation owners and slaver owners could resume back to their work of the land, which was the major source of economy in the south. During the Revolutionary War, Great Britain was re-stealing the slaves of slave owners in the south.

In Woodcraft, it is stated, South Carolina had already lost twenty-five thousand slaves, which British philanthropy had transferred from the rice-fields of Carolina to the sugar estates of the West India Islands; and there were yet other thousands waiting to be similarly transported. (Simms 35,36) Great Britain was taking slaves from America to use for their sugar estates. Many slave owners were very angry with the British for this, but in hindsight the slave owners had done the same thing when they would take slaves from their families or would split slaves families up. Carolina Hentz was also a supporter of slavery.

She believed that the slaves were treated well and that they were best suited as slaves. Hentz uses examples in her novel, The Planters Northern Bride, as to how well treated slaves were. In this novel, Hentz shows how the slave owner Mr. Moreland treats Albert, whom is Mr. Morelands slave. Albert is dressed just as eloquently as Mr. Moreland and his dialect was not that of a Negro. Hentz tells this to show that the slaves would have just as good a life living in the south as in the north. This novel also shows how Hentz believes that the slaves are very loyal to their slave owners or masters.

Hentz shows this by the answer Albert gives to his master of the question, how does he feel about the north trying to persuade to him that he is free and that he can runaway from his master. Albert states, they couldnt come around this boy with that story; Ive hearn it often enough already; I aint afraid of anything they can say and do, to get me away from you as long you want me to stay with you. Harriet Beecher Stowe and Frederick Douglass were writers that led the way against slavery. Stowe became an internationally known writer and helped start the Civil War sooner than later.

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote, Uncle Toms Cabin, in which Stowe depicts how slaves were treated and how they were perceived. Stowe often presents how slave owners just thought of their slaves as an article. This is best shown in Uncle Toms Cabin were Mr. Shelby states to a young black boy, Now Jim, show this gentleman how you can dance and sing. (Stowe 2354) Here Mr. Shelby treats the young boy as if he is just a possession and a toy to him. Here is another example of this action as Mr. Shelby says, Why, Ive got a friend thats going into this yer branch of the business–wants to buy up handsome boys to raise for the market.

Fancy articles entirelysell for waiters, and so on, to richuns, that can pay for handsomeuns. It sets off one of yer great placesa real handsome boy to open door, wait, and tend. They fetch a good sum; and this little devil is such a comical, musical concern, hes just the article. (Stowe 2355) Stowe also presents in this novel how blacks are treated unequal and sometimes treated as if they are of another species to whites. As for example, Mr. Shelby states, Lor bless ye, yes! These critters (slaves) ant like white folks, you know; they gets over things, only manage right.

Mr. Shelby said this right after he talks about how slaves handle being split from the their families and especially their birth mothers. Stowe is also very adamant towards how slaves were spilt from their birth mothers and their families. In this novel a lot of blacks are ridiculed by being referred to as Cudjoe and Sambo. Mr. Shelby states to Jim Crow, Now Jim, walk like old Uncle Cudjoe, when he has the rheumatism. Harriet Beecher Stowe opened a lot of eyes about the life that slaves endured and she helped start the Civil War sooner that it would have probably started.

Frederick Douglass was a man that was a slave that became a United States Ambassador. Douglasss narrative told how slaves were being treated and how difficult of a life they had. Douglasss autobiography also shows what slavery did to the mind and spirit of the slaves, but perhaps more, of its terrible effect on the slaveholders and white Americans in general. Douglass talks about the Auld family in Maryland, where he lived for a few years, and how they he was treated by them. Mrs. Auld teaches young Douglass how to read and write, but she then as to stop due to her husbands request, cause he believes slaves should not hold such attributes.

Douglass also showed us how slaves were beaten by their owners and in some cases just to show their power they had over them. For example Douglass states, I lived with Mr. Covey one year. During the first six months, of that year, scarce a week passed without his whipping me. I was seldom free from a sore back. (Douglass 265) Douglass also shows some of the reality of how slaves were fed, which was sometimes not very much or they were just not given much time to eat at all. Douglass states, Mr. Covey gave us enough to eat, but scarce time to eat it. We were often less than five minutes taking our meals.

Douglass 265) Douglass was really the first prominently known black man that became successful and well- known. With out Douglass there would not have been black regiments. Douglass devoted his time and energy to freedom and he wrote to try to abolish slavery. Henry Thoreau was another writer that was against slavery. When the United States was at war with Mexico, which was a war that was perceived as a war to try and acquire more land for slaveholders. Thoreau refused to pay a Massachusetts tax because he believed that the money was going to support an unjust war and help southern slaveholders.

Thoreau was jailed for his failing to pay the tax and some unknown person paid the tax for him and he was released. Thoreau was not a practical man, meaning he did not do things in a practical solution. Thoreau always wanted to do something purposely and thoughtfully. Thoreau did not believe in slavery and he purposely did not pay the tax to show he did not support slavery. Herman Melville was also another writer that was against slavery. Melville wrote about voyages on the sea and how sailors of different colors were not perceived any different than anyone else. Everyone was treated the same and they all held a bond to each other.

They were all mates to one another. Melville did not believe in slavery and in his writings he tries to perceive that people of color are no different than from whites. The issue of slavery produced some great writings in the nineteenth century. Slavery was a very hotly contested issue during the nineteenth century. Writers were split between the ones who opposed slavery and the ones who supported it. Those who were opposed to slavery were Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Thoreau, Herman Melville. Those who favored slavery were W. G. Simms and Caroline Hentz.

The American Civil War

The Civil War was a brutal war between the North and South of America over the issue of slavery, which was spurred on by the secession of the southern states from the Union of a America. At the time slavery was one of the main issues in America that caused a disagreement between the north and south and these disagreements about humanity and slaves added to the tension that would finally lead to the out break of war.

Slavery was almost totally abolished in the northern states after 1787 when the Constitution was drafted at the Philadelphia Convention and slavery was looked upon as the ‘peculiar institution’ of the southern states, by the north. The southern states looked upon slavery as a way of life and were in no way prepared to give up what they felt was there property and a very important part of their cotton and farming production.

Another implication that caused great tension between the north and south over the issue of slavery was that even though their were anti-slavery supporters in the south; some of the abolitionists of the north would write notices and say that all southerners were evil and cruel slave owners, who would treat their slaves badly. This angered the southerners who felt that the northerners were just being hypocrites and didn’t know what they were talking about, which turned pro anti-slavery southerners into stronger supporters of the south.

It was thought by some anti-slavery groups in America that slavery would die out because America had in 1808 stopped the participation in the international slave trade, which meant no supplies of new slaves would be coming in. But this theory proved wrong because slavery in the south began to expand due to the great demand of raw cotton from cotton mills of the Industrial revolution from overseas places like Britain. Also the cotton-based expansion of slavery came due to the invention of the cotton gin, by Eli Whitney in 1793, which cleaned the cotton plant and refined it on a mass scale.

The south started more tension over slavery when they decided they had to expand their territory westwards and gain more states because other wise they would be out voted in congress and slavery would be abolished completely, also they needed new land to replace all the over used farming land in the other southern states. The Abolitionists were another factor that came into the tension point of slavery. People such as William Lloyd Garrison who published the newspaper, “The Liberator”, which attacked southern slave owners. Making them and the slave traders out to be criminals.

He and followers of his such as Wendell Phillips used these accusations against the southerners based on the fact that they said that slavery was a sin in the Christian religion and was in general, immoral. Another abolitionist that fought hard for the abolishment of slavery was Fredrick Douglass, an ex-slave who escaped from slavery and urged other black people to do so. Douglass became the “station-master and conductor” of the Underground Railroad in Rochester, New York which helped fugitive slaves escape to the north since the southerners had congress pass the Fugitive Slaves Act in 1850.

This act meant that all American citizens had to help recapture fugitive slaves and that all Negroes were assumed slaves unless they could prove they were free. Douglass also established the abolitionist newspaper North Star, which he edited until 1860. Books such as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, which was published 1852 helped to strengthen the anti-slavery feeling in the North. Finally as one historian described the figure, “that was the single most important factor on bringing on the war”, was the most extreme abolitionist, John Brown.

Brown believed that he was ‘an agent of God’ and dedicated his life to the abolishment of slavery and believed the way to achieve it was by using force. He was a member of the radicals, who tried to abolish slavery by defying the law and not a member of the gradualists who tried to abolish slavery through legal means. Brown and his sons went to Kansas to fight against the pro-slavery terrorists there and finally his last venture was in 1859 when he and 18 men seized the US Arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia and won control of the town.

Later the US marines under the command of Robert E. Lee arrested and charged Brown with treason and murder, he was hanged on the 2 December. People such as this contributed greatly to the cause against slavery that in the end was one of the most important causes of the start of the Civil War. The second major cause of the American Civil War was the extremely different societies of North and South. The north was none slave owning, as I’ve already mentioned, and the south was slave owning; these were not the only differences in their two societies. The South was extremely agricultural, produced cash crops-cotton, tobacco and sugar cane, which they would export either to the north or to Europe.

The North on the other hand was very industrial, with many factories with paid laborers, and manufactured much of the equipment that the south required for their economic structure. Not only were their two economic structures different but also were their life styles and the parts of America that they lived in. In the South there was a tropical climate with rivers and land inhabited by wild animals, such as alligators. Also the people in the south had different accents and they lived much a different lifestyle to the Northerners.

In the North they too had a different climate, one where it would snow in winter and in general would be much colder then the south. Their lifestyle was very formal compared to the south and lastly the two sides had very different political ideas. These differences made the North and South seem like completely different nations and in the end led to a crucial cause to the start of the war. The third and most important cause that finally led up to the war was Secession. But before the actual secession act happened there were other events that led up to this point.

Firstly the Nullification crisis which happened in 1832-3 when the state of South Carolina declared the US’s tariffs to be unconstitutional by declaring this, the state put the ‘nullification doctrine’ in to operation. They used this to basically show that if the federal government were to exceed their powers, such as abolish slavery, any or all states could nullify this action, in other words a precedent. Later the controversy was resolved through a compromise which modified the US tariff but the wider issue remained and states such as South Carolina hung onto their right to nullify what ever they felt was unconstitutional.

Later their came compromises such as the Compromise of 1850 where newly acquired states such as California were admitted to the union as none slave states but states like Utah and New Mexico, were set up with a choice of slavery or not and this would be decided by the settlers in the area. Then came the Missouri Compromise where slave-owning Missourians applied for statehood this started a problem as it upset the balance of free and slave states which were 11 each at the time. This compromise led to the formation of the Republican Party that was committed to preventing the spread of slavery.

Later it was to become clear that the issue of slavery in western expansion of starting new states and settlement had divided North and South and there would be no compromise to settle it, instead civil war would come. After all these hostile compromises and westward expansion in 1860 there was a general election where Abraham Lincoln was elected into power. Lincoln was not an abolitionist but believed that, “All men should have equal rights” and not just white men. He wanted to halt the spread of slavery but not destroy it immediately.

To the Republicans Lincoln was a moderator but to the southerners he was an evil figure that became a sign that the union was to become radicalized. Just after the election of Lincoln South Carolina, followed by six other Southern states, took steps to secede from the Union. Although secession was illegal the union had no power to oppose it and all alternative compromises failed and so in February 1861 a new southern government was inaugurated as the, ”Confederate States of America. ” This new government drafted its own constitution and elected its own president, General Jefferson Davis who was a Kentuckian like Lincoln.

An as Lincoln so wisely said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”, which meant America divided in two couldn’t carry on. So that April morning in 1861 when the confederate army opened free fire on Fort Sumter a fort being held by the union on southern soil, it would be the final act that all these causes and tensions that I’ve mentioned would finally have built up to. Which would have set off one of the most horrific wars of all time. And as most Americans describe it, “It was a war that defined America’s character. ”

Slavery as a Cruel Institution

Cruelty can be defined as an inhumane action done to an individual or group of people that causes either physical or mental harm. Slavery, at its very core, was a cruel and inhumane institution. From the idea behind it to the way that it was enforced, it degraded the lives of human beings and forbade the basic liberties that every man deserves under the Constitution of the United States. Three major areas where cruelty was especially prevalent were in the slaves working conditions, living conditions, and loss of fundamental freedoms.

Working conditions for slaves were about as bad as can possibly be imagined. Slaves worked from dawn till dusk and sometimes even longer. Solomon Northrup describes his experience as a slave on his Louisiana plantation: The hands are required to be in the cotton field as soon as it is light in the morning and with the exception of ten or fifteen minutes, which is given them at noon to swallow their allowance of cold bacon, they are not permitted a moment idle until it is too dark to see, and when the moon is full, they often times labor till the middle of the night (Northrup 15).

The slaves lived in constant fear of punishment while at work, and it was that fear that drove them to obey. Northrup continues to say that, “No matter how fatigued and weary he may be…a slave never approaches the gin-house with his basket of cotton but with fear. If it falls short in weight—if he has not performed the full task appointed him, he knows he must suffer” (10). He goes on to explain that after weighing, “follow the whippings” (10). This was not the end of the workday for a common slave though.

Each slave had his or her own respective chores to do. “One feeds the mules, another the swine—another cuts the wood, and so forth (Northrop 11). Then there were jobs to do in the slaves’ quarters, jobs that were necessary for their basic needs and survival. Finally, at a late hour, they reach the quarters, sleepy and overcome with the long day’s toil. Then a fire must be kindled in the cabin, the corn ground in the small hand-mill, and supper, and dinner for the next day in the field prepared (Northrup 12).

The slaves got very little sleep because, “an hour before day light the horn is blown,” and it was “an offense invariably followed by flogging, to be found at the quarters after daybreak” (Northrup 14). “Then the fears and labors of another day begin; and until its close there is no such thing as rest…” (Northrup 14). After an extremely difficult day of labor, the cruelty continued when the slaves returned to housing that could be described as “inadequate” at best.

Jacob Stroyer, one of fifteen children, was born on a plantation in South Carolina in 1849. He relates the conditions that his family lived in: Most of the cabins in the time of slavery were built so as to contain two families; some had partitions, while others had none. When there were no partitions each family would fit up its own part as it could; sometimes they got old boards and nailed them up, stuffing the cracks with rags; when they could not get boards they hung up old clothes (Stroyer 14).

Families were forced to live under less than ideal conditions, and sleeping was a challenge: When the family increased the children all slept together, both boys and girls, until one got married; then a part of another cabin was assigned to that one, but the rest would have to remain with their mother and father, as in childhood, unless they could get with some of their relatives or friends who had small families, or unless they were sold (Stroyer 14). The hot summer months made it impossible to sleep indoors so, “when it was too warm for them to sleep comfortably, they all slept under trees until it grew too cold” (Stroyer 16).

Francis Henderson was another slave who, after escaping from a slave plantation outside of Washington, D. C. at the age of 19, described living conditions on his plantation: Our houses were but log huts- – the tops partly open- – ground floor- – rain would come through. My aunt was quite an old woman, and had been sick several years; in rains I have seen her moving from one part of the house to the other, and rolling her bedclothes about to try to keep dry- – everything would be dirty and muddy.

I lived in the house with my aunt. My bed and bedstead consisted of a board wide enough to sleep on- – one end on a stool, the other placed near the fire. My pillow consisted of my jacket- – my covering was whatever I could get. My bed tick was the board itself. And this was the way the single men slept- – but we were comfortable in this way of sleeping, being used to it. I only remember having but one blanket from my owners up to the age of nineteen, when I ran away (Drew 45).

These living conditions caused many to resort to immoral methods of survival, as Henderson relates: Our allowance was given weekly- – a peck of sifted corn meal, a dozen and a half herrings, two and a half pounds of pork. Some of the boys would eat this up in three days- – then they had to steal, or they could not perform their daily tasks. They would visit the hog- pen, sheep- pen, and granaries. I do not remember one slave but who stole some things- – they were driven to it as a matter of necessity. I myself did this- (Drew 48). Mealtime was far from a joyous occasion.

In regard to cooking, sometimes many had to cook at one fire, and “before all could get to the fire…the overseers horn would sound: then they must go at any rate” (Drew 50). Slaves like Henderson “never sat down at a table to eat except at harvest time” (50). He says, “This (eating at harvest time) was more like people, and we liked it, for we sat down then at meals,” (50). The slaves did not feel like people for they were treated as animals. They were beaten regularly, and most of the time unjustly accused. Henderson describes how one of his master’s four sons remained at home to be a driver.

He would often come to the field and accuse the slave of having taken so and so. If we denied it, he would whip the grown-up ones to make them own it” (Drew 51). Though the son would often punish them for idleness, under the harsh conditions, idleness is obviously an excusable act. “If any had been idle, the young master would visit him with blows” (51). And perhaps the most cruel and unmanly act that this master’s son committed was his mistreatment of women. Henderson relates that, “I have known him to kick my aunt, an old woman who had raised and nursed him, and I have seen him punish my sisters awfully with hickories from the woods” (52).

Perhaps the most blatantly cruel and most obvious element of slavery is the fact that the slave loses his/her freedom. Slavery is the possession of another person as one’s own property, thereby relieving them of their basic liberties and freedoms. This total disrespect for humanity was shown in a variety of ways. The slave had no rights whatsoever. Henderson tells about the situation with the poor white patrols that would pay the slaves for goods they (the slaves) stole, and encourage them to steal whatever they could.

Henderson says, “It’s all speculation- – all a matter of self- interest, and when the slaves run away, these same traders catch them if they can, to get the reward. If the slave threatens to expose his traffic, he does not care- – for the slave’s word is good for nothing- – it would not be taken” (Drew 56). White southerners did not regard slaves as people, and thus did not treat them as such. Former slave Josiah Henson wrote an autobiography in which he explains the lack of rights afforded to slaves. He describes a scene in which his father is being hunted because he attacked the overseer who was trying to molest his mother.

The fact of the sacrilegious act of lifting a hand against the sacred temple of a white man’s body… this was all it was necessary to establish. And the penalty followed: one hundred lashes on the bare back, and to have the right ear nailed to the whipping- post, and then severed from the body” (Henson 32). They eventually captured his father and inflicted this penalty. His father was shipped off and for a while his family lived in relative peace, until the owner of the plantation died, and they were forced to leave. Henson laments that: Our term of happy union as one family was now, alas! at an end.

Mournful as was the Doctor’s death to his friends it was a far greater calamity to us. The estate and the slaves must be sold and the proceeds divided among the heirs. We were but property- – not a mother, and the children God had given her” (Henson 35). Henson further describes the slave trade experience with amazing detail, saying: Common as are slave- auctions in the southern states, and naturally as a slave may look forward to the time when he will be put upon the block, still the full misery of the event- – of the scenes which precede and succeed it- – is never understood till the actual experience comes.

The first sad announcement that the sale is to be; the knowledge that all ties of the past are to be sundered; the frantic terror at the idea of being “sent south;” the almost certainty that one member of a family will be torn from another; the anxious scanning of purchasers’ faces; the agony at parting, often forever, with husband, wife, child- – these must be seen and felt to be fully understood (35). In an accurate depiction of what an incredible burden slavery was on families and how cruel it was, Henson remembers how the rest of his family was sold.

My brothers and sisters were bid off first, and one by one, while my mother, paralyzed by grief, held me by the hand. Her turn came, and she was bought by Isaac Riley of Montgomery County. Then I was offered to the assembled purchasers” (Henson 36). Henson’s mother wept profusely and begged the man who purchased her to buy him as well, but he simply disregarded her and kicked her out of the way. This is a fine metaphor for the way that slaves and African-Americans were treated in the early 1800’s.

Finally, slavery was a cruel institution, and the slaves were treated cruelly. The slaves were treated inhumanely. Perhaps Henson sums it up best with his reaction to the treatment of his mother at the slave trade: “This was one of my earliest observations of men; an experience which I only shared with thousands of my race, the bitterness of which to any individual who suffers it cannot be diminished by the frequency of its recurrence, while it is dark enough to overshadow the whole after-life with something blacker than a funeral pall” (36).

Resistance to Slavery and Race Oppression

Slavery in the early eighteenth century was horrible for African Americans. Men were being killed, women were being raped and children were being sold. To avoid the unjust treatment of slavery, slaves did the unthinkable. Some ran away, others killed their masters, and women even killed their own children. What were they trying to accomplish by this? Resistance. In the modern reinterpretation of slavery, considerable attention has been devoted to the subject of slave resistance.

Earlier observers argued that such slave characteristics as clumsiness, slovenliness, listleness, destructiveness, and inability to learn indicated racial inferiority. Recent studies of slavery attribute these observed characteristics to the slaves, defiant determination to resist slaverys worst manifestations and to make the institution as livable as possible. Slaves recognized that they could take day-to-day action on an individual or small group basis, engaging in what historians has termed personal or communal foot dragging.

Such resistance successfully thwarted the masters attempt to gain total control over their lives. The extent and success of this day-to-day resistance depended upon the support of a strong and close-knit slave community. Despite white societys belief that slaves were nothing more than laborers, they were in fact part of an elaborate and well defined social structure that gave them identity and sustained them in their silent protest. In slave quarters, slaves expressed themselves with relative freedom from white interference. Religion provided a similar support.

By attending their own church, whether openly or in secret, slaves fashioned a Christianity that emphasized salvation for all peoples, slaves included, and promised rewards in the afterlife. In church, blacks assumed leadership roles and openly expressed feelings they usually suppress. Masters tried to use religion negatively to teach slaves obedience and duty; slaves used it positively as an affirmation of their self worth and as a promise of future. Their community provided slaves with the chance to be among their own people, to express themselves, to develop their own culture, and to have control over some portions of their own lives.

These opportunities were limited and varied greatly, but the ability to be fathers or mothers, to worship in their own church, to take part in a communal holiday celebration, to use gathered gossip against the master all helped to give bondsmen the strength and will to resist the dehumanizing aspects of their enslavement. Specific forms of slave resistance varied as much as masters and slaves differed in their personalities and situations. The absence of a single slave personality was, in fact, one of the frustrating facts of life for masters.

Just when they thought they knew their slaves, the slaves responded in unexpected ways. How could the same individual be a compliant hard worker one day, a slow moving worker the next, a fugitive the third? Many masters found such unpredictable behavior puzzling and troubling. Slaves tried to work at their own pace, resisting speedups, trying, as much as they could to avoid being overworked. Some of the techniques they used were to feign illness or pregnancy, break or misplace tools, mistreat horses and mules, and fake ignorance so they would not have to learn any sophisticated tasks they wished to avoid.

When the master or overseer was not looking, slaves might hide among the rows of cotton plants and then load their bags with rocks or sand or wet cotton to camouflage their malingering. If an overseer tried to correct them too harshly, they might become clumsy and destroy crops rather than tend to them. Masters and overseers thought this kind of slave activity exasperating, and some masters responded by planting inferior crop strains, purchasing less efficient but more durable tools, and, in general, lowering agricultural expectations.

When such activity failed to ameliorate a condition slaves found oppressive, they might run away. Some proslavery theorists saw this tendency toward flight yet another African mental disease, calling it drapetomania. Unless slaves lived near free terriortory, or near a city where they could mix into an urban free black population, they knew that permanent escape was unlikely. Bondsman were more likely to run off for a few days, perhaps to nearby woods, and risk punishment when they return. Other slaves joined in the pursuit and conspired to feed and hide a fugitive until they could pass word that it was safe to return.

Only rarely, did a large group of slaves attempt a mass escape or try to establish and maintain an extended independent existence. On numerous occasions, however, groups of runaway slaves either attacked white slave patrollers or tried to bribe them. Sometimes slaves could neither effectively slow down their work nor successfully run away. Alternatively, they had specific grievances that caused them to want to strike back at the master especially hard. Then they turned to methods that are more surreptitious.

Throughout the south, many slaveholders watched newly harvested crops go up in smoke or saw a building burn to the ground from unknown causes. This kind of slave resistance was so prevalent, or at least so widely suspected, that as early as 1740 South Carolina passed an arson law. Slaves generally saw nothing wrong in lying to protect themselves or others. Those who could write would also sometimes forge passes or other documents to trick their enslavers. Whether it was verbally or in writing, such deception became an accepted weapon in the arsenal of slave resistance.

When slaves became desperate enough, they openly resisted their masters. Numerous examples illustrate slaves refusing to accept punishment and battling with the white man trying to administer it. Fredrick Douglas, for example, fought with a slave breaker, an individual specializing in reforming rebellious slaves. Douglas found that the white man desisted once he realized that his slave would resist any whipping. This experience exhilarated Douglas. When a slave can not be flogged, he concluded, he is more than half free.

Such slave resistance was rarely successful, however, because most masters refused to tolerate it. Physically or verbally, opposing a white man was dangerous, and running away, disrupted work patterns, and destroying or stealing property could result in similarly harsh punishment if detected. When such resistance was too dangerous, slaves employed more subtle ways to voice their opposition. Slaves masters consistently tried to erase African culture from their slaves memories, insisting repeatedly that slavery had rescued blacks form the barbarism of Africa and introduced them to the superior white civilization.

Some slaves came to believe this propaganda, but the continued influence of Africanisms in the slave community indicated salve resistance to acculturation. Some slaves, for example, answered to English name in the fields but use an African name in the quarters. Sometimes they wore clothes or wore their hair according to remembered and transmitted African styles. The slaves lives were filled with remnants of African culture, and their gravestones, artwork, music, and architecture reflected this influence. It was in music, dance, and storytelling that slaves most expressed their African heritage and passed it along to their children.

They played a wide variety of stringed and percussion musical instruments similar to those used in Africa. Musical tempos were based on African rhythms, and the words expressed a defiance that whites failed to recognize. Dances similarly were African-inspired and expressed an exuberant affirmation of a self-worth and artistic creativity that masters insisted that slaves did not possess. Folktales served the same function. Slaves told stories about clear African origins abut weak humans or animals that, through native cunning, often outsmarted their more powerful adversaries.

Brer rabbit and a slave named Old John were the major folk heroes who entertained and encourage slaves. Listening to these stories, slaves gained a fictional victory denied them in real life. Brer rabbit repeatedly made the seemingly more powerful brer fox and brer bear look foolish. Stories of his activities encouraged the slaves to believe that their own resistance might not always be fruitless. Slaves were constantly told that the master was their white father, and they were his children.

When an overseer proved to be particularly demanding, therefore, the slaves appealed to their father directly, or they planted suspicions about the overseer with him. Sometimes the master fired an overseer because of such slave tattling, or he intervened to soften some discipline. At the very least any suspicion of the master toward the overseer worked to the slaves benefit, weakening the white solidarity against the blacks and making efficient discipline more difficult. When all else failed, slaves still had other means of resistance. Plantations often had conjurers, slaves with supposed supernatural powers.

Particularly aggrieved slaves would appeal to the conjurer for a spell to punish an offending white. Because many whites also feared conjurers, these slaves held unusual power within their community. Their position told the slaves that not all whites were superior to all blacks. The conjurer was the only black person regularly able to frighten the normally dominant masters. Sometimes circumstances became so oppressive that slaves received little satisfaction from their usual means of resistance. Then, in their despaired, they turned on an oppressing white, or, in further despair, turned on themselves.

Slaves sometimes assaulted whites or murdered them, using guns, knives, clubs, and poison. Murder by poisoning was apparently so prevalent that, as early as 1748. Virginia passed a law prohibiting slaves from handling medicines. Slaves also mutilated themselves to avoid work, punishment, or sale. They cut off fingers, hands, toes, or feet, and disfigured other body parts of their bodies to make themselves less valuable slave property. Some slaves committed suicide to escape enslavement. There is even some evidence of parents murdering their children to keep them from having to live lives as chattels.

Some newly captured slaves from Africa believed that death would cause them or their children to return home, a belief that provided additional incentive for suicide and infanticide. The resistance slaves offered to their enslavement were rarely open or violent confrontation. Rather, it was constant, steady pressure. The main goal of resistance was survival to insure the most decent life possible within an intrinsically indecent institution. Slaves rarely were able to overcome the masters ultimate control over them, but they were able to prevent such control from becoming total.

History Slavery Essay

The issue of slavery has been touched upon often in the course of history. The institution of slavery was addressed by French intellectuals during the Enlightenment. Later, during the French Revolution, the National Assembly issued the Declaration of the Rights of Man, which declared the equality of all men. Issues were raised concerning the application of this statement to the French colonies in the West Indies, which used slaves to work the land.

As they had different interests in mind, the philosophes, slave owners, and political leaders took opposing views on the interpretation of universal equality. Many of the philosophes, the leaders of the Enlightenment, were against slavery. They held that all people had a natural dignity that should be recognized. Voltaire, an 18th century philosophe, pointed out that hundreds of thousands of slaves were sacrificing their lives just so the Europeans could quell their new taste for sugar, tea and cocoa.

A similar view was taken by Rousseau, who stated that he could not bear to watch his fellow human beings be changed to beasts for the service of others. Religion entered into the equation when Diderot, author of the Encyclopedia, brought up the fact that the Christian religion was fundamentally opposed to Black slavery but employed it anyway in order to work the plantations that financed their countries. All in all, those influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment, equality, liberty, the right to dignity, tended to oppose the idea of slavery.

Differing from the philosophes, the political leaders and property owners tended to see slavery as an element that supported the economy. These people believed that if slavery and the slave trade were to be abolished, the French would lose their colonies, commerce would collapse and as a result the merchant marine, agriculture and the arts would decline. Their worries were somewhat merited; by 1792 French ships were delivering up to 38,000 slaves and this trade brought in 200 million livres a year. These people had economic incentives to support slavery, however others were simply ignorant.

One man, Raynal, said that white people were incapable of working in the hot sun and blacks were much better suited to toil and labor in the intense heat. Having a similar view to Raynal, one property owner stated that tearing the blacks from the only homes they knew was actually humane. Though they had to work without pay, this man said slave traders were doing the blacks a favor by placing them in the French colonies where they could live without fear for tomorrow. All of these people felt that the Declaration of the Rights of Man did not pertain to black people or their descendants.

All people were not ignorant, however. There was even a group of people who held surprisingly modern views on slavery; views some people haven’t even accepted today. In his Reflections on Black People, Olympe de Gouges wondered why blacks were enslaved. He said that the color of people’s skin suggests only a slight difference. The beauty of nature lies in the fact that all is varied. Another man, Jacques Necker, told people that one day they would realize the error of their ways and notice that all people have the same capacity to think and suffer.

What Does The Word Bias Mean

Bias is a mental predilection or prejudice. The essay “The View from the Bottom Rail” by James West Davidson and Mark Hamilton Lytle opened my eyes on how American history could be looked at as one sided and even bias. Even today there is still bias in America. In today’s society, racism and stereotyping occur in all aspects of life. It can occur because of one’s gender, race, religion, culture, economic status, etc. It even occurs amongst our finest, our law enforcement officials. “The View from the Bottom Rail” explains the history of slavery.

It implies a lack of accuracy from the people that the information was obtained, either black or white. Most of the black slaves could not read or write. The ones that did, hid it from their masters. Because of this, most of the written books and documents and even diaries on slavery were written by the white masters. At that time most of recorded history was based on how the white masters viewed slavery. You did not get a view on slavery from the slaves themselves. In the 1920’s, black scholars like W. E. B. Du Bois, Charles Johnson, and Carter Woodson, started a project to collect oral evidence from ormer slaves who were still living.

Even these interviews could not be viewed as 100% accurate. One example, is a geographic bias. The people that were interviewed were only a very small portion of the millions of freed slaves. Counting the number of slaves interviewed from each state, it was discovered that there were only 155 interviews from black people living in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, and Kentucky, which is about 6% of the total number of published interviews. Twenty-three percent of the southern slave population lived in those states. In these statistics, the upper-south was nrepresented. Another example would be the ages of the ex-slaves interviewed.

Two-thirds of them were over 80 years of age, leaving the question of how accurate were their memories. Also, most of the interviewees were under the age of 20 when they were slaves. Since the conditions for children were not as harsh compared to adults, they might have an optimistic view of slavery. Finally, the different effects the interviewer had on the interviewees. There were two interviews done on the same lady named Susan Hamlin by two different interviewers. One interviewer was a white lady named Jessie Butler and the other was a black man named Augustus Ladsons. Susan thought Jessie was from the welfare office.

Susan possibly told Jessie what she thought Jessie would want to hear in order to increase her chances of getting a welfare check. She spoke of her master as though he was the kindest. All the slaves loved their master. He gave them shoes in the winter. He kept the children with their mothers and when the war started he took everyone including the slaves to a safer place. On the other hand, Susan told Augustus a totally different story. She spoke of the whippings in cruel detail. She also spoke of how the slaves families were torn apart, and children were taken from their mothers.

There were no shoes given to the slaves in the winter. Which interview is closest to the truth? How do you tell? In my past I have experienced many bias situations. I am a Puerto Rican male living in America. I have hazel eyes and light skin. Because of my eyes and skin color, I have been mistaken for Caucasian. I have had to deal with people calling me “white boy” all the time. As a child, one of my uncles gave me the nick name “gringo”, Spanish word for white boy. I grew up in East New York (Brooklyn, NY), which is a predominantly African American, with a few Latinos and almost no Caucasian.

In East New York, the African Americans and Latinos tend to get along. For me this was not so. Being that I looked Caucasian, most of the African Americans and Latinos tended to harass me and start trouble, which caused tension constantly. In Denver back in 1992, the Denver Post ran an article on police harassment among Hispanic youths by Judith Brimberg. The article stated there had been complaints to Mayor Wellington Webb by Northwest Denver residents oncerning the police harassment on Hispanic youth because of their skin color.

The Mayor subsequently notified the Civilian Complaint Department of the city of Denver. After the investigation a report was released on August 8th,1992 stating that hundreds of complaints of unprovoked harassment were filed with the Police Department, but were never reported to the Civilian Complaint Division. Mayor Wellington has ordered the District Attorneys’ Office to begin an investigation of the Police Department for possible obstruction of justice charges. As of this writing the Police Department had no comment.

Felipe Suarez, President of Community Board 14 in Denver said “This investigation is long overdue, our people have been treated like second class citizens for too long. ” This article is just an example of how racism and stereotyping exist today amongst our law enforcement officials. It does not seem to matter if you live in an urban or suburban community, police harassment seems to be all over the United States. In conclusion, history can be very misleading. If one is to seek out the truth, he/she would have to view the primary source of materials in terms of the context in which they originated.

They must also take into account all the possible bias that may exist in their sources. Racism persists as a trigger for discrimination, just like all of the “isms” that divide us: race, ethnicity, culture, faith, age, gender, sexual orientation, physical ability, citizenship status and economic class. Communities or institutions that discriminate are neither whole nor healthy. We as individuals should be committed to creating healthy communities through civil discourse and respect, which include each of us as individuals and all of us members of the whole.

The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad, the pathway to freedom which led a numerous amount of African Americans to escape beginning as early as the 1700s, it still remains a mystery to many as to exactly when it started and why. (Carrasco). The Underground Railroad is known by many as one of the earliest parts of the antislavery movement.

Although the system was neither underground nor a railroad, it was a huge success that will never be forgotten. I chose to research the Underground Railroad because I have heard so much about it, but my knowledge about the subject was very minimal. I found the Underground Railroad very interesting at first.

The more I learned about this movement, the more interested I became. When I chose this topic, I was interested in learning about the entire movement in general. I wanted to learn more about the locations of the slave hideouts, and who was involved. I wanted to find what led to the start of this movement, and when it started. I was successful with my research, and learned about all the things I was hoping to find. The Underground Railroad was a remarkable pathway to freedom which freed many from slave states and left behind an incredible story to show the importance of this event to history today.

First of all, the impact of the Underground Railroad has helped form Americas legacy like no other event in our nations former times. (Dewine par. 4). No one knows exactly when it started, but there were definitely advanced cases of help given to runaways as early as the 1700s. (Carrasco). Slaves had more than one reason for turning to freedom. Most were scared of being parted from friends and family, but some just wanted to live a normal life. Some slaves had it so bad that they had to escape just to stay alive. There are several different myths as to where this legendary path to freedom got its name.

Some say the name probably originated from the popularity of the new railroads. (Carrasco). Other people say it was called the Underground Railroad because of the swift, secret way in which slaves escaped. (Donald par. 1). The Underground Railroad began in the 1700s under Quaker support. The activity gained recognizable fame after the 1830s. (Underground). Details of escaped slaves were highly exposed and overstated in the North and South. (The Columbia). The phrase Underground Railroad was first divulged during the early 1840s. (The Columbia).

Other railroad terms were soon added. There was no specific location for the Underground Railroad because of the fact that the members collaborated and traveled all over the country bound for freedom. The various paths to freedom led through the North East and Mid West to Canada, and headed South to Mexico or Florida. The final destination point for the trip would be the Caribbean Islands. For over 100 years the landmarks of the Underground Railroad have perished in dimness. (Mallory par. 2,4). Several buildings standing today during that time served as stations.

This movement was a free group of antislavery northerners, mostly blacks, that illegally helped runaway slaves find security in the free states or Canada before the Civil War. (Underground). Not only did the Underground Railroad have a huge impact on history, one of the most questioning characteristics of the Underground Railroad was its lack of formal organization. (Carrasco). When possible, conductors met at border points in Cincinnati Ohio, Wilmington Delaware, lake ports of Detroit, Sandusky Ohio, Erie Pennsylvania, and Buffalo New York. These were all locations for a quick escape to Canada.

The Underground Railroad created a very clever way of communication with the slaves on the journey. They created so called code words by using railroad terms for their secret organization to protect the fugitives and other people involved. (Donald par. 1). For example, slaves were referred to as passengers. Guides were known as conductors, and homes were called stations. (The Columbia). A successful escape was usually less the product of coordinated assistance and more a matter of the runaways resourcefulness and a great deal of luck. (The Readers).

The Underground Railroad was an accordance of trails through the woods and fields, river crossings, boats and ships, trains and wagons, all fearing recapture. (Carrasco). All railroad lines headed North from Southern plantations to stations in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Canada. (The Underground). Railways were made up of back roads, water ways, mountains, forests, and swamps. (Dewine). Slaves main escape destinations on their way to freedom were either in the Northern states or Canada. (The Readers). The slaves would travel by whatever means they could.

They would move fast in the night, and hide during the day. To avoid detection, slaves would travel by night relying on the north star to guide them. (Underground). Normally runaways would travel alone or in small groups. It is said that approximately 40,000 slaves traveled to free soil on the Underground Railroad. (Dewine). After receiving food and comfort during the day, runaways were either covered with carpets and straw and hidden on wagons, or smuggled in boats that traveled the Wissahickon Creek. (Mallory par. 11). Slaves were provided with food and a place to hide by free blacks and some whites in the North and South.

According to Warren Van Tine, Ohio was perhaps the key state in regards to the success of the Underground Railroad because of its location. Ohio was helpful in more ways than one. The Ohio river and Lake Erie gave access to Canada and Virginia. (Winbush). It is said that more than 150 key Underground Railroad sites have been identified in Ohio. (Dewine). Van Tine also noted that Ohio was very important to the success of the Underground Railroad. (Winbush). Although Ohio played a big role in the flight to freedom, Pennsylvania was the first taste of freedom. (Mallory par. 10).

The state of North Carolina was very dominate on their opposition to slavery. Roughly 50,000 people left for Ohio and Indiana to object slavery before the Civil War. (The Underground). Following the freedom celebration, the Fugitive Slave Act was passed. This act passed in 1850 allowed slave traders and bounty hunters to enter free states and recapture runaways. (Mallory par. 9). In addition to the impact on history and questioning characteristics, the slaves flight to freedom was made possible by the noble men and women who believed in the right of all humans to be free from domination.

The most involved workers were free Northern blacks who had little or no support from white abolitionists. (The Readers). Slaves were also assisted by African Americans and whites who risked their lives to rescue slaves to freedom. (Carrasco). Some Southern slaves helped runaways escape also. (Donald par. 2). Harriet Tubman who is famous for her heroic actions in this movement was the railroads most valuable conductor. She escaped in 1849 from the Eastern shore of Maryland and later became known as Moses. (Carrasco).

She often stopped in the Philadelphia suburb of Germantown, arriving during the middle of the night. (Mallory par. 11). Tubman once said I have seen hundreds of escaped slaves, but I never saw one who was willing to go back and be a slave. Another person who had a huge impact of the success of the Underground Railroad was a man named Levi Coffin. Coffin was a Quaker who was named the President of the Underground Railroad because he helped more than 3,000 slaves escape. (Donald par. 5). The amount of slaves assisted was very unbalanced.

Only a small amount of those being held ever escaped. (The Readers). It was once thought that more than 60,000 slaves gained their freedom through the Underground Railroad. (Underground). The Underground Railroad showed how much determination there was to end slavery. (Donald par. 6). The Underground Railroad was a widely arranged, national, confidential organization that achieved numerous goals in capturing slaves from the South. (The Columbia). Although womens rights were limited during this time, that did not stop many from giving their assistance.

William Good stated, I think the operation of the Underground Railroad is a very important part of American history. (Winbush). The Underground Railroad is taught in many schools and many adults study this movement as well. This movement is remembered by many as a great success. The heroic actions made by the courageous men and women will be will never be forgotten. And so, the Underground Railroad, also known as the Liberty Line (Underground), promised freedom to slaves who ran away to fight with British.

Following this, the Freedmens Bureau Bill was created and guaranteed certain protection to slaves. (Buckmaster 191). This bill allowed slaves to end the fight and continue their way to freedom. The need for the railroad slowly began to decrease as the fight for abolishment grew stronger. The final action that brought the railroad to its final stop was the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by Lincoln, ending all slavery in our now free country, forever. (Buckmaster 171).

Brazilian Haitian Slavery

The European colonies in the Americas were built upon the backs of the African slaves whose unpaid labor produced immense capital for Atlantic economies. Taken from their African homelands and thrust into the Americas, Black slaves labored under the hot Western sun to produce cash crops to add to the coffers of others. The slaves had no economic incentive to produce for their masters. To provide the necessary motivation, the slave masters relied above all on violence to coerce their slaves into labor.

The slave trade and the production of cash crops created great wealth and was of great benefit to men on either side of the Atlantic, with the notable exception of the individuals who actually performed the labor. The history of Africans in the Americas is as much a history of slavery as it is a history of resistance to enslavement. From the moment they set foot on American soil, Africans plotted against their masters. Haiti and Brazil were two regions where slavery was as especially important as it was harsh.

An African, upon touching Brazilian soil, had a life expectancy of sixteen yearseight years if he was sentenced carrying coffee. (Conrad 125) One third of all Haitian slaves died within several years. (Klubock) Both nations offer countless tales of Black resistance to White domination. Revolutionary action was often connected to religious practice, which slaves had to conduct in secret. African slaves also sought ways to maintain their African culture through secret dances and religious ceremonies, as well as the flight to mock African communities in the Americas to escape bondage.

Manumission was also not uncommon as a relief from slavery. In Brazil, manumission was often purchased by a slave who had accumulated wealth on his own. Frequently these slaves were mulattos and more often than not women. In Haiti, children of the master, born of a slave concubine, were frequently manumitted. Haitian and Brazilian manumission created sizable populations of free blacks and mulattos, some of whom became very successful in Euro-American society. (Klubock) Though often temporary, another means of escaping slavery was to flee.

Sometimes slaves left their plantations to participate in secret dances. Other slaves attempted permanent escape. As Conrad wrote, “The problem of runaway slaves placed a permanent claim on the energies and assets of the slaveholding class” (362). The escape of slaves from their plantations was a common event in Brazil. The rosters of most slave owners included runaways, and the metropolitan newspapers were rife with advertisements with descriptions of runaway slaves and offers of rewards.

Conrad 362, 111) Gathering together in the jungles of frontier Brazil, runaway slaves formed towns and villages called quilombos (Conrad 367). These quilombos became centers of African culture where African languages and customs predominated. As in Africa, quilombos were often governed by a king. And given enough time, authority in a quilombo could become hereditary. (Conrad 368) Operating autonomously, quilombos near Brazilian towns were often able to offer their services in exchange for goods.

Such arrangements were conducted outside of Brazilian law and efforts were made on the part of the government to suppress these contacts and eliminate the quilombos. (Conrad 368)A Brazilian police report written in 1876 describes the commercial trade conducted between two quilombos and the city of Rio de Janeiro. In addition to supplying the residents of the quilombos with provisions and equipment, Brazilians from Rio de Janeiro “always warned them when there was reason to suspect that the authorities were trying to capture them”. In exchange, the members of the quilombos cut and loaded firewood for the Brazilians.

Conrad 386) Another document, written in 1854 by the British consul in Belm, Brazil, describes the members of a quilombo as “industrious in the cultivation of rice, mandioca, and Indian corn, and in the manufacture of charcoal. ” The inhabitants of the quilombo also manufactured canoes and small sail boats for navigating the rivers of the Amazon Valley and carrying on trade. Their trading partners were “the inferior class of tradesmen in the neighboring towns” with whom the members of the quilombo traded for provisions and equipment. (Conrad 390)

Despite the industriousness of many quilombos others relied on less productive means of procuring wealth. When they were located near plantations and settlements, quilombos frequently carried out raids on their Brazilian neighbors, taking back food, supplies, and often women. Because of the danger they represented, quilombos located near Brazilian settlements were frequently raided, with captured members frequently sold back into slavery. However, for many blacks, quilombos offered permanent freedom. (Conrad 368) Slave rebellions were also common to the Americas.

Frequently, the goal of insurrection was not complete liberation from slavery, but rather improvement of the conditions under which the slaves labored. The participants of an 1806 Brazilian slave rebellion produced a peace proposal to the slaves master which included demands for more time to tend their own subsistence crops and for the reduction of production quotas. (Conrad 397) Other slave insurrections had more ambitious goals, including the wholesale slaughter of all whites. One notable Brazilian hotbed of slave resistance was the region of Bahia.

By the early 1800s, blacks in that region outnumbered both whites and mulattos by more than twenty to one. Between 1807 and 1845, this region hosted at least eleven slave revolts. (Conrad 401) This high level of civil unrest may have been due to the large proportion of Africans in Bahia. Newcomers were less likely to have been “institutionalized” by slavery as Brazilian-born slaves. However, it is interesting to note that the large proportion of Africans was also an obstacle to unity in that the various ethnic groups were fractious. (Conrad 404)

Many of the African slaves were adherents of Islam, and among these a number were literate in Arabic. A document written in 1814, following a slave uprising states that “almost all of them can read and write in unknown characters which are similar to the Arabic used among the Usss, who now evidently have made an alliance with the Nags. ” This passage also demonstrates that Africans often had to overcome their own ethnic differences in order to form a united front. (Conrad 410) The same document also claims that the slaves of Bahia had knowledge of the slave rebellion of Haiti, which had come to a close ten years earlier.

They know about and discuss the disastrous occurrences that took place on the island of Saint Domingue, and one hears mutinous claims that by St. Johns Day there will not be one white or mulatto alive. ” (Conrad 405) Violence was also a common response to slavery in Haiti, where poisoning was frequent. (James 16) Often used in individual acts of vengeance, poison caused the deaths of masters and slaves alike. One of the most common causes of poisoning was the masters taking of a slaves wife.

Another cause was the jealousy of one the masters slave concubines towards another. (James 16) In addition to individual acts of murder, poisoning was employed by the slaves to accomplish larger goals. Younger children of an owner were poisoned in some instances, so as to keep the entirety of the plantation included in a single inheritance. The murder of slave children also served the larger purpose of keeping their own population in check, thereby preventing their master from embarking on schemes to increase production, and therefore demands for labor. (James 16)

In Haiti, as in Brazil, escape was a recourse frequently utilized by slaves to obtain their freedom from bondage. In Haiti, as in Brazil, escaped slaves comprised a population sizable enough to facilitate the formation of independent colonies, known in Haiti as maroons. As in the case of the Brazilian quilombos, Haitian maroon colonies became centers of African culture on the island, and spawned Voodoo, a mixing of Western and African religious beliefs. (James 20) However, The ties to plantation slaves in Haitian maroon colonies were stronger than those maintained by the Brazilian quilombos.

Slaves would frequent maroon colonies to attend maroon religious festivals and dances, and members of maroon colonies would sometimes travel to plantations to meet with plantation slaves. Whereas Brazilian quilombos represented a retreat from Brazilian society, the Haitian maroons were a source of revolutionary energy and ideas. (Klubock) One notable insurrection scheme hatched inside a maroon colony was the plot to conduct the mass poisoning of whites. This scheme was the brainchild of the Mackandal, a maroon leader from Guinea.

A political and religious figure, Mackandal claimed immortality and the ability to see the future. For six years he organized his plan to poison the whites and conquer Haiti. But, before he could bring his plan to fruition, he became drunk and was discovered. (James 21) In both Brazil and Haiti, a hierarchy existed among the African descendants, with free mulattos at the top, followed by free blacks, then skilled slaves, house slaves, and foremen at the top, and the field hands at the bottom.

The high ranking slaves were the recipients of better food, clothing, treatment were more frequently manumitted. In Brazil, free blacks and mulattos often assimilated with Euro-American society, and the high ranking slaves often maintained distance from the lower slaves. However, it is from among the ranks of the better off slaves that the Haitian revolution found its most valuable participants and leaders. (Klubock) Boukman, who led the initial insurrection that led to the overthrow of whites in Haiti, was a high level slave.

A foreman at his plantation, Boukman was also a Voodoo priest who conducted religious ceremonies in the countryside outside Le Cap. At these gatherings, he and other slaves were able to plan the simultaneous arson of the plantations of Le Cap (James 88). The execution of the plot didnt proceed precisely according to plan, with a particular plantations slaves acting prematurely. However, within a month the slaves were able to take the countryside surrounding Le Cap.

Toussaint LOverture, who had been a cattle manager for his master, joined the revolution at this point and later became its leader. (James 88) Toussaint, who was Haitian-born, looked to the maintenance of Haitian agriculture as a means to success for the island. However, the masses of African-born slaves, who comprised two thirds of Haitian slaves at the time of the revolution, wished rather to destroy all remnants of the plantation system. In its place, African style subsistence agriculture became the chief activity of Haitians.

In a sense, Haiti became a Caribbean replica of Africa. (Klubock) History has shown that, beaten down as they may have been, Black slaves in the Americas never lost their spirit. Thrown into a system that sought to deprive them not only of the fruits of their labor but also their humanity, black slaves, in the jungles of Brazil and in the mountains of Haiti, forged from their various ethnic backgrounds new societies and religious practices that were novel yet deeply rooted in Africa.

Not every attempt at freedom among the Africans succeeded. Yet, that these men were ever even able to organize and plot, or even lash out individually, proves that in the battle for their humanity the masters whips and chains were no match for human spirit. And, the powerful presence of African culture in the Americas, as exemplified by modern Voodoo, attests to the slaves success in maintaining African culture in the Americas.

Creating Slave Laws

The institution of slavery is a black mark on the record of Americans. Marking a time of hate and racism, an oppression spurred by fear that would plague our nation for decades upon decades. An Act for the Better Order and Government of Negroes and Slaves, and Conflicts between Masters and Slaves: Maryland in the Mid-Seventeenth Century, illustrate the dismay and panic European Colonials endured as they enslaved Africans. This dismay and panic generated laws to be established that further widened the gap between Europeans and Africans, stripping the Africans of any legal rights. The dismay and panic concerned loosing a valuable economic pawn.

The first piece, An Act for Better Ordinance, clearly portrays the attitude of the majority of White Europeans. “Whereaes the plantations and estates of this Province cannot be well and sufficiently manages and brought into use, without the labor and service of negroes and other slaves [i. e. , Indians]; and forasmuch as the said negroes and other slaves brought unto the people of this Province for that purpose, are barbarous, wild, savage natures, and such as renders them wholly unqualified to be governed by the laws, customs, and practices of this Province; but that is absolutely necessary.

The white men of the time felt that their superiority was deemed by a higher power, why else would their skin tones be so drastically different. Racist views of these ‘savage’ men created fear. With the growing number of slaves, they had to be stripped of everything to prevent anarchy, as the white men could not envision a world without slave labor. The white men rationalized that slaves will escape. To prevent this one must allow them nothing beyond the plantation they were running from. The white men turn to government.

And for the better security of all such persons that shall endeavor to take any run-away, or shall examine any slave for his ticket, passing to and from his master’s plantation, it is hereby declared lawful for any white person to beat, maim or assault, and if such negro or slave cannot otherwise be taken, to kill him, who shall refuse to shew his ticket, or, by running away or resistance, shall endeavor to avoid being apprehended or taken. “2 White men had granted themselves a license to kill Africans whose desire for freedom was too strong.

Likewise, the second piece, Conflicts between Masters and Slaves, continues to clarify the sentiment of white slave owners. “Whereupon Mr. Overzee beate him with some peare tree wands or tweiggs to the bigness of man’s finger att the biggest end, which hee held in his hand, and uppon the stubberness of the negro caused his dublett to be taken of and whip’d him upon his bare back . . . “3 This testimony was given at a trial holding Mr. Overzee responsible for the death of the slave that ensued from the beating described.

The case discussed illustrates that there was an extent. The license to kill apparently had restrictions. However, Mr. Overzee was acquitted when the case went before a higher court. 4 Equally important as the feelings of slave owners and the means that they used to justify their feelings is the fact that these two pieces are not biased. Securing the Leg Irons: Restriction of Legal Rights for Slaves in Virginia and Maryland, 1625-1791 and Enslaved African rebellions in Virginia continue to demonstrate the fear of slave labor disappearing caused many to turn to government.

Securing the Leg Irons vocalizes the relationship of slave and owner, “the right of personal liberty in the slave is utterly inconsistent with the idea of slavery, and whenever the slave acquires this right, his condition is ipso facto changed . . . So long as two races of men live together, the one as masters and the others as dependents and slaves to a certain extent, all of the superior race shall exercise a controlling power over the inferior.

This view on the association between the two classes does not ignore fear of the freedom of slaves as factor in legal proceedings but lays the groundwork for legal justification of the treatment of slaves. Outwin goes on to articulate the slaves were more valuable as slaves and not free. 6 How could one let a valuable commodity go without a fight? In his piece, Enslaved African Rebellions in Virginia, Tang exhibits the fact that repressive regulations had a goal in mind of preventing Africans from organizing with holding from them the ability to conspire or revolt.

Continuing with the needed separation from whites laws were passed isolate the slaves from the outside world. They were not permitted emotional relationships or attachments whites. The isolation also denied slaves an access to education; even whites that taught non-whites were punished. 8 These ideas that became laws were to not created due to racism but also to protect a labor force that came at a small financial price.

Although Thomas Jefferson had publicly expressed deep discontent toward the institution, this prominent advocate sympathized with the plight of White plantation owners and not with the inhumane treatment of other human beings Africans. 9 White slave owners were afraid. They feared violent uprisings, and economic upheaval if slave labor disappeared. In attempts to pacify their fears they created laws. Racism and the slave laws fed of one another. The laws were miles away from futile attempts to hold on to an idea. They removed any rights that slaves hoped of attaining and prevented them from fighting oppression.

The Conditions Under Which Slaves Were Brought To America

Slavery existed in all of the English colonies in America. For land owners, slaves were much more valuable than indentured servants. The master owned the slave for life, in the same way as a horse, and any children of the slaves would become slaves. The English colonists were not planning on establishing slavery, it happened gradually. Blacks were not the first slaves. Indian prisoners of war were enslaved. The Indians did not make good slaves because they knew the land which made it easy for them to escape. Because of this problem many Indians were shipped to the west Indies in exchange for

African slaves. Since Africans did not know the land it made it very hard for them to escape and if they did their skin tone made them easier to find. The first African slaves came to Virginia in 1619 and were freed after a term of servitude. By 1660 some slaves were serving for life. And by 1700 Africans were arriving in the colonies in huge amounts. Most Africans came from the western coast and western Africa. They came from many different ethnic groups and therefore spoke different languages, which made it very hard for the Africans to communicate with ne another.

Their only way of communication was a common music stile which they all shared. Lineage was very important to the Africans. Many families were separated which was one of the worst things for them. The Africans were exposed to slavery in West Africa. Slavery in Africa was much different than that in Colonial America. In Africa most slaves had legal rights, some worked with their masters, some were soldiers, and some served as governors of regions. In Africa people became slaves because they were prisoners of war, had been kidnapped, or ere poor looking for a protective master.

African rulers and merchants sold slaves to slave traders. Crimes committed in Africa resulted in the becoming of a slave in Colonial America. Some slaves were captured directly by European sailors but that was dangerous. Once the African slaves were purchased by the European traders the slaves would be branded by red-hot irons and placed into slave ships. They were packed very closely together in cramped spaces on these ships. The air smelt of sweat, vomit, blood, and bodily wastes. Some slaves pent a number of months in these conditions.

Many of the slaves died during the voyage. The survivors were known as the middle passage. Slaves were sold in small groups in Virginia and Maryland. After walking to a clearing in the woods they were given familiar-looking tools. They lived in single-roomed cabins at the end of the tobacco or cornfields. These cabins were usually miles away from their masters house. A white overseer would sleep in one of the cabins with the slaves. His job was to direct the work and life of the slaves, and when ever the slaves did not nderstand something the overseer would beat them.

Slavery thrived more in southern colonies than in the other colonies. The southern colonies depended on farming. The south was not made up of towns, it was made up of large plantations or farms scattered along the James river. Tobacco, which was a main crop in the south that quickly uses up the minerals in the soil, so farmers would be constantly using new land, and therefore called for lots of cheap workers. This was unlike the northern colonies, they didn’t have many plantations requiring cheap labor hey were more city-like.

Also, in the south because there weren’t many towns, many jobs that were usually done in towns were performed on plantations instead. This was another reason for more slaves in the south. In the northern colonies they jobs in the cities required skilled workers and most slaves were not. Slavery took place in all of Colonial America. Slaves were more useful in the south than in the north. The African slaves lead horrible lives. They were taken from their homes in Africa, separated from their lineage, and forced to do continuous labor.

America a Country Made by Africans

The development of Colonial America was based on the fundamental of slavery. Without the labor power of the first African/ Americans the existence of America would be incomprehensible. Countryman’s statement, ” Their story is “no exception” to what was otherwise a tale of success- it is absolutely fundamental to the history of colonial America. ” Countryman’s statement is in fact correct. This country is was found upon the backbone of African Americans it is evident in the three essays of Countryman’s book ” How Did American Slavery Begin?

The three essays, which support Countryman’s bold statement, are “Ancestry of Inferiority” by A. Leon Higginbotham Jr. “Gullah Roots” by Margaret Washington “Slavery and Freedom” by Edmund Morgan These essays specifically explain how the African Americans helped our founding fathers build this country physically economically and politically When the first African American set foot on this land he was here for one purpose and that was to serve someone, but that was also the same with a Caucasian American.

Even though both black and white were treated the same it was obvious that being black was a disadvantage, ‘sin’. Englishmen at that time believed that the color black was considered as “the handmaid of and symbol of baseness and evil” (pg. 88). Each servant when coming to America was to serve a master for a certain amount of years. The white servants served the masters for seven years because it was written in their contract which was made in England, but since the blacks came from Africa and had no sort of contract they were kept longer as servants (pg. 88).

This I believe is the bases for slavery, the more labors they had the more work could be done on plantation making more money. This is the physical part of the, which was built by Africans. The absolute economic success of this country was built on the back of an African American. Blacks were the actually labors and engineers who matched the amount of the world’s demand on goods produced in America such as rice, indigo, tobacco, and cotton (pg. 75). Certain blacks on the coasts of Guinea were adopted due to the fact they knew how to already ingeniously harvest rice and indigo (pg. ).

This Coast became know as ‘The Gold Coast’. This though was not the main reason for African Americans to be a major portion of the American labor system. The main reason was because they were cheap expendable labor. This is evident in the mass amount of slaves a person would have such as Robert ‘King’ Carter (pg. 19). People such as Carter used this because it was economical for him also it was economically successful for the political leaders of the country such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe (pg. 122).

The idea of the Declaration of Independence is somewhat controversial stating that, “all men are created equalright to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ” Jefferson must have thought as slave as less as a person even though they think, talk, eat, breath, and bleed. He viewed them as people in debt as he is and that you can never be free unless you are debt free (pg. 123). The political success of America was able because the blacks were doing the labor, which allowed politicians such as Jefferson to write doctrines and lead the country out of debt.

Edmund Morgan presents the idea that slaves were in fact not slave for the sake of being slaves but replacement workers while the leaders of this country fought its revolution and making it become an Independent Nation. The ‘absolute success’ of America was in fact due to the hard work of African Americans. They provided the labor for economic and political success in this country. If not for them the Nation could have been lost to the British. But was the cost of so many lives worth the survival of Nation which through out the next century treated African Americans still less than human?

African Slavery Paper

African slavery began when Africans were torn from their homes and shipped across the ocean to America. Once in America, the slaves not only lost their liberty but also their past. They had no one to appeal to for help when they were starved, beaten or sold away from their families. Northerners began to notice the injustice against the slaves. Some northerners decided to proclaim justice for these slaves and to fight for their free will. The subject of slavery became a sectional issue as it divided northerners regarding their stance on slavery.

This sectional issue inevitably caused a civil war as people held strong convictions regarding slavery. The military conflict between the United States of America (the Union) and the Confederate States of America (the confederacy) lasted from 1861 to 1865. The war took more than 6oo,ooo lives, brought freedom to 4 million black slaves and opened wounds that have not completely healed to this day (Encarta). The slaves that were freed were now faced with a new dilemma, how to deal with daily life. Toni Morrison depicts this struggle in Beloved. She connects the horrors of slavery to a victim and her descendants.

The torment and torture suffered by Sethe, not only affects her but rather all those around her. Beloveds character serves as a catalyst for re-introducing the past. Beloved re-introduces the past in two different ways. The first example is her presence in Sethe and Denvers life. Beloved is there to remind them of the suffering she lived through when she was away from her family and have them experience the same suffering. The second way Beloved re-introduces the past is by bringing back the past horrors of slavery that victims tried so hard to keep repressed in their subconscious.

Beloveds first goal is to remind Sethe of the suffering that was beginning to be forgotten due to Paul Ds presence. Paul D is the obstacle that scares the ghost off and leads to Beloveds return in a physical form. Sethe and Denver were finally beginning to find happiness and acceptance within their community. Their fears had begun to subside and things became what they were: drabness looked drab; heat was hot. Windows suddenly had view(p. 39). However, Beloveds return enforced the pain and misery Sethe had so desperately tried to forget.

Beloved is determined to remind her of her past where she lived on through Sethes memories. Paul Ds presence took third place in the household, a position which once belonged to her. Beloved felt that Paul D not only pushed her spirit away from the house, but abruptly took over the household she once controlled and empowered: And on the way home, although leading them now, the shadows of three people still held hands(p. 49). Beloved could no longer accept that someone else was reinstating her position so she decided to return as a hot thing(p. 210) and not a ghost.

Beloved refuses to let Sethe live in happiness as long as she has to live in a world of darkness wherethere is nothing to breathe and no room to move in(p. 75). As soon as Beloved arrives at their home, Sethes life goes through dramatic changes. Sethe and her familys happiness slowly decline. Beloved eventually gets rid of Paul D, the barrier to getting to Sethes heart. Beloved contemplates ways of seeking revenge by trying to learn the most possible about Sethes past and use it in the context in which she once lived. Beloveds plan is successful as Sethe attempts to make up for the past years.

Sethes guilt is overwhelming and is demonstrated in her attempt to give to Beloved everything she lacks. While paying Beloved all her attention, she neglects Denver. Sethe begins to arrive late to work and spends her thirty eight dollars of life savings to buy fancy food, ribbons and expensive fabrics to make fancy dresses(p. 240). When she lost her job and had no financial comfort, Beloved continued to demand things. Anything she wanted, she got and when Sethe ran out to give her, Beloved invented desire (p. 240). Beloved began to order around the household and Sethe, like an obedient child, fulfilled all her needs.

Her power over Sethe is present in the following: Was it past bedtime, the light no good for sewing? Beloved didnt move; said, Do it, and Sethe complied(p. 241). She also physically abuses her mother: this daughter beat her, tied her to the bed and pulled out all her hair (p. 255). Beloveds goal to make Sethe suffer was a success. The presence of Beloved, which once brought Denver joy, now caused her grief. Denver had a difficult childhood as her mom murdered her sister; her brothers, Howard and Buglar, ran away because they could no longer bear to live in a haunted house and Baby Suggs, who she looked up to, died.

Denver lived in fear of her own mother: I love my mother but I know she killed one of her own daughters, and tender as she is with me, Im scared of her because of it(p. 205). Denver grew up alone and waited for the day happiness would come into her life. Paul Ds presence enforced her misery as he chased away the ghost, her only friend, from her home and by occupying much of her mothers time which was once reserved for herself: Now her mother was upstairs with the man who had gotten rid of the only other company she had (p. ).

The resentment towards Paul D enhanced until she could no longer tolerate him: Denver ran a mighty interference and on the third day flat-out asked Paul D how long he was going to hang around (p. 43). Her hatred for Paul D diminished as Beloved emerged and gave Denver company. She finally felt like she had a companion: She smiled then and Denvers heart stopped bouncing and sat down-relieved and peaceful like a traveler who had made it home(p. 55). Denver lived in a confined world that Sethe had created for her.

Denver was extremely content to have someone, Beloved, to share her feelings with. Denver began to notice how Beloveds attachment to Sethe surpassed her desire to be with her: Denver noticed how greedy she was to hear Sethe talk (p. 63). As time progressed, Beloved and Sethe increasingly neglected Denver and cut her out of the games(p. 239) until she was isolated once again. Denver felt that unless she did something about the present situation they would all die. She built up enough courage and decided to do something even though they were too busy rationing their strength to fight each other.

So it was she who had to step off the edge of the world and die because if she didnt, they all would(p. 239). Although Beloveds presence seemed to be ideal for Denver in the beginning, the chaos that inevitably arose made her suffer more than she ever had previously. Moreover, Beloved represents the suffering of all black slaves. The physical and psychological traumas of slavery are depicted through the use of a slave on a slave ship. She mentions this man to demonstrate the conditions slaves underwent on a slave ship from Africa to America.

The latter where clustered up together in unsanitary conditions and rarely nourished. Hence, not only were they starved but also beaten if they did not conform to the captains demands: knelling in the mist they waited for the whim of a guard, or two or three. Or maybe all of them wanted it. Wanted it from one prisoner in particular or none-or all. (P. 107). On pages 210-213, the narrator presents passages of a slave on the slave ship. Through this man, we begin to get a sense of what it was like living in the times where your future was in the hands of the unknown:

I am always crouching the man on my face is dead his face is not mine his mouth swells sweet but his eyes are locked some eat nasty themselves I do not eat the men without skin bring us their morning water we have none at night I cannot see the dead man on my face daylight comes through the cracks and I can see his locked eyes I am not big small rats do not wait for us to sleep someone is trashing but there is no room to do it in if we had more to drink we could make tears. (p. 210)

Here, we see the horrible conditions in which slaves lived where they are all stuck together, with no food, having to face death right in their face. The men without skin are the white people who put them in the state that they are in. Daylight comes through the cracks refers to how they were put in to these confined areas in which the only daylight they saw was through the cracks of the wood: a door of bars that you could lift on hinges like a cage opened into three walls and a roof of scrap lumber and red dirt. (p. 106).

The small rats do not wait for us to sleep demonstrates once again that the Africans resided in inhumane conditions. in the beginning the women are away from the men and the men are away from the women storms rock us and mix the men into the women and the women into the men that is when I begin to be on the back of the man for a long time I see only his neck and his wide shoulders above me I am small(p. 211) This quote refers to the life of a slave, which was based on physical capabilities: but now he discovers his worth, which is to say he learns his physical value.

The dollar value of his weight, his strength, his heart, his brain, and his future(p. 227). Also, it is an image of the auction block on which the slaves were sold away from the family or friends they were accustomed to and taken over by a new master. They often left behind their past and were even assigned new names, often the name of their master. I am small refers to their lack of knowledge, power and freedom, which made them inferior to the rest of the population. Therefore, I, which is the first person singular, is used in the context of all black slaves that Beloved represents.

To conclude, Sethes fear that her children would inherit the same status she once possessed led her to kill her child, to avoid her from having the life she had. However, this act prevented her from moving on because she could not face her past. Hence, the guilt overwhelmed her for the rest of her life. As demonstrated previously, the horrors of slavery can tear apart a family in unimaginable ways. In other words, Toni Morrison uses the character of Beloved to portray this detachment to the family unit.

Slavery – Causes Report

Slavery was caused by economic factors of the english settlers in the late 17th century. Colonists continually tried to allure laborers to the colony. The headright system was to give the indentured servant, a method of becoming independent after a number of years of service. Slavery was caused by economic reasons. Colonists chiefly relied on Indentured Servitude, inorder to facilitate their need for labor. The decreasing population combined with a need for a labor force, led colonists to believe that African slaves were the most efficient way to acquire a labor force hat would satisfy their needs.

Before the 1680’s, Indentured Servitude was the primary source of labor in the newly developed colonies. After the 1680’s, the population of the Indentured Servants decreased, exponentially. Their were a number of different reasons why the population of Indentured Servents had decreased. The indentured servents were running away from their temporary masters, to find a job where he could become more independent. Indentured servents were also dying of many diseases, which was caused by harsh conditions.

The immigration of servents thus declined, becuase of the people in England being informed of the harsh treatment in the colonies. The society was where the land was easy to find, while the labor was most scarce. Indentured servitude, was a form of labor which was declining, and the need for labor increased rapidly. In the 1600’s, when tobacco was founded by John Rolfe, tobacco became the main source of income for most of the colonists. The economic prosperity of the colonies was primarily dependent on the amount of tobacco produced.

The growing of tobacco, needed a large amount of land, with a large stable work force. The increased demand for a large, stable work force combined with the availability of African slaves, led to the use of slavery in the colonies. During the late 17th century, the indentured servants were running away from their masters farms, if a slave had run away from their master’s farms, then the slave would be easier to discern because of the color of his skin. To the planter, slavery was the ideal form of labor that would be most beneficial to productivity of his crop.

Planters had an abundance of land and a shortage of labor. This relationship, made the amount of tobacco directly proportional to the number of slaves that the planter owned. Slavery was the backbone of the prosperity of the colonies. A major factor in the consideration of slaves on plantation, is the flux of the land. Tobacco was the major crop of the 17th century, and tobacco is a plant that exhausts nutrients from the soil, which led to the rotation of crops, inorder to replenish the crops.

The planter needed to educate his workers on certain agricultural techniques norder to know how to make the land most productive. With a permanent work force, such as slaves, the slaves would only require to be educated once, instead of the planters having to re-educate indentured servants every X number of years. The African slaves also had other characteristics that enticed colonists to use them as a labor force. The African slaves were immune to malaria, which resisted them from disease. The africans also were subsistence farmers in africa, thus, they had a tradition of farming, and essential agricultural skills.

Slavery was a course in history, where it was opportune for the colonists to use slavery as a labor force. The decline in population of indentured servants exacerbated the situation, as time progressed, slavery became more and more imminent. Morality was not taken into consideration, because of the settlers were only viewing slavery from a economic view, rather than a humanitarian point of view. The introduction of slavery into the colonies can be summarize with a cliche of the settlers being “at the right place at the right time”.

The Moral Issue Of Slavery

Jefferson had destroyed political traditions. From his contradictions and defecting his priciples, Jefferson destroyed the political precedent and is a exemplatory hypocrite, which can be seen throughout his administration. Jefferson was an admired statesman who was grappling unsuccessfully with the moral issue of slavery. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, opposed slavery his whole life, yet he never freed his own slaves. He championed Enlightenment principles, yet never freed himself of the prejudices of his soceity. Jefferson was extremely hypocritical in the issue of lavery.

Jefferson was a plantation owner early in his life, and had slaves working for him throughout his life. Jefferson had tolerated while he didn’t accept others who owned slaves. Jefferson denounced the slave owners, while he was owning and using slaves. Although Jefferson was supposedly a good slave owner, his hypocritical nature made him accuse others not to own slaves while he, himself was owning slaves. Another part of the hypocrisy was that Jefferson believed that the slaves were dependent upon the white man, while he, himself was dependent upon the slaves.

Jefferson also was hypocritcal in his acquisition of the Loisiana territory. In Jeffersonian principles, large expansive governments were bad, and small was good. This was a antithesis of that principle. Jefferson knew that the acquisition of the Loisiana territory was beneficial to the welfare of the U. S. According to the constitution, nowhere in the constitution is the acquisition of land a right of the government, Jeffersons’ predisposition was to strictly go by the constitution (as seen with the national bank controversy), this is another contradiction during his administration.

Since the appropriation of the Lousiana territory was important for the expansion of the United States, he temporarily dismissed his principles, therefore destroying political traditions. Another hypocritical event during Jeffersons’ administration was his acceptance of the National Bank. Early in Jefferson’s political career, Jefferson had debated with Hamilton on whether to have the National Bank. “When this government was first established, it was possible to have kept it going on true principles, but the contracted, English, half-lettured ideas of Hamilton destroyed that hope in the bud, We can pay off is debts in 15 years.

Early in Jefferson’s Administration, Jefferson had denounced the National Bank. At the end of his administration, Jefferson realized that the National Bank was important and this is hypocritical by disregarding his principles. The Burr conspiracy depicted Jefferson as a ruthless, and a individual who will do anything inorder to achieve his goal. Jefferson championed civil liberties and unalienable rights. Yet, Jefferson violated civil liberties by coercing witnesses, arrested with out habeus corpus and prosecuting in a “court” of his own.

Jefferson and Jeffersonians are hypocrites from the start and they destroyed political tradition as seen during Jeffersons’ administration. Jeffersonians show an immense amount of hypocritism in their policies. For example, Federalists had supported high tarriffs, inorder to protect national manufacturers and American industry. The tarriffs were a vital determinent, which kept the economy of the United States viable. The Jeffersonians, not the Federalists began the American system of protecting American industry, which initially was a major constituent of the federalist platform.

The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano

Slavery has been an issue in the world since ancient times, and in only the last one hundred and fifty years has it been dine away with in our country. The way slaves were regarded was different according to the various cultures around the earth due to regional traditions and the goods that were produced in that area. The enslavement of the African Americans did not begin with the South Atlantic System, it existed in Africas own various native tribes for centuries. In The Interesting Narrative of Olaudah Equiano, Equiano recalls the slavery in his own tribe the Ibo.

The slavery *censored* sucker system of his African tribe that he witnessed as a child differed from what he would experience as an adult. First, a man could not be kidnapped and made into a slave within the African community. In fact, a man could become a slave as a punishment for kidnapping or other crimes such as adultery. One could also become a slave if he/she was a captured enemy (Interesting Narrative 38). The Europeans, however, rounded up slaves with no thought of any Africans personal lives and captured them for the sole purpose of enslaving them.

When they did not round up the Africans themselves they would trade goods for slaves which caused tribes to attack other tribes for horny slaves to increase their own wealth and status (America 68). These two factors left damage to the African tribes. Equiano recalls that the slaves taken by his Ibo people were almost treated as one of the family. The slaves do the same amount of work that any other member of the family would do (Interesting Narrative 41). When Equiano reached the West Indies he saw the Africans being literally worked to death, because they were so numerous and wouldnt lose money if they perished.

Another principal difference in the treatment of slaves between Africa and Europe was lodging. In the Ibo tribe, the master of the slaves had them live inside his complex and dwelt in houses nearly the same manner as he did (Interesting Narrative 37,41). In contrast, Equiano witnessed the lodgings in the West Indies to be horrid. They are often open sheds, built in damp places the poor structures of the hut left the slaves cold and damp, the perfect conditions for disease to flourish in (Interesting Narrative 94). In the Ibo tribe the slave food rations were the same as the rest of the household.

They usually had permission to marry, and their children were born free (America 66). After Equiano was kidnapped he experiences African slavery, which is mixed with harsh and fair treatment. Equiano reaches the coast and sees streptococus Europeans for the first time, he says If ten thousand worlds had been my own I would have freely parted with them all to exchange my condition with that of the meanest slave in my country (Interesting Narrative 54). He probably would have given this if he had known he was headed for the dilsilious middle passage.

If the Africans survived the middle passage they were mostly taken to the West Indies and then to other destinations (America 67). The more slaves that inhabited an area, the more replaceable they became, and this and other factors contributed to the differences in slavery from place to place. Oluadah Equiano came in contact with slavery in many places all over the world including the West Indies, Virginia, Georgia, London and Philadelphia and in each place the form of slavery varied. According to Eqiuano, the harshest slave conditions were in the West Indies.

Most West Indian planters treated the slaves like animals. They were very expendable because sugar prices were high, and slave prices were low (America 73). Most slaves were malnourished and lacked adequate housing. They were under strict regulations because the slave population was much greater than that of the Europeans of the islands. They controlled the Africans with fear. Africans had no rights as citizens as Equiano points out. He tells of an African man who owned a boat, which was taken from him with no compensation. He also tells of how Africans were dismembered and tortured for running away or rebelling.

He did not remember an African who was not cut or flogged in the region (Interesting Narrative 91-92). The slaves were treated this way because the West Indies produced sugar, which was in great demand in Europe. The death rate was high because planting sugar in a sweltering tropical condition was so tedious. Because the world wanted so much sugar the planters stopped at nothing to produce it. The conditions in the Southern Colonies were similar because rice was produced on large plantations like those of the West Indies. Eqiuano accounts his rights were oppressed and goods taken from him.

In Savannah he was almost beaten to death, he never wished to return to Georgia again. The slave conditions in Virginia, London, and the northern colonies were more favorable because of their societys views and the crops and labor, which existed there. Virginian slaves usually worked on tobacco plantations and the physical labor was less demanding. These slaves lived relatively long lives because of this and no major disease epidemics (America 73). Although the labor was not as tedious, the slaves were still treated inhumanly.

The Virginians passed laws that lowered the status of Africans (America 71). The most favorable and tolerable slave conditions existed in the northern colonies and London. The farming conditions were better than southern lands and slaves developed families and culture. When Equiano reached London he found his masters very amiable, they even pushed to get him baptized into the church. Eqiuano wanted to travel to Philadelphia and his wish was finally granted. I sold my goods here pretty well; and in this charming place I found everything is plentiful and cheap (Interesting Narrative 111).

He thought very highly of the place and enjoyed traveling there. The Quakers inhabited a lot of the major farms in Pennsylvania and most of them, because of their beliefs were fair to the slaves. The port city was home to many artisans, and some slaves were apprenticed in a particular field of their master. After its discovery, a new money-hungry world developed in the west and exploited the Africans for profit. Every region had its different exports and culture, this is why slavery differed all over the new world.

Comparing Frederick Douglass and Charles Langston

Throughout Americas history, many influential and historical figures have given significant speeches to impact views of the people. For example, Frederick Douglass and Charles Langston are powerful speakers who try to convince the white community that slavery should be abolished. Of the two distinctive speakers, Douglass is more persuasive and outspoken than Langston. As a former slave, Douglass uses his tragic experiences to bring life and passion into his words. While Langston addresses his audience in a mild manner, Douglass seems to be more adamant and strong in his beliefs and views.

Even though they approach their audiences differently, both touch upon a few similar topics. Both speakers discuss: law, religion, and common humanity to support and strengthen their speeches. Douglass and Langston point out that the laws of the U. S. are unfair and do not serve justice. Though both men bring up similar ideas, Douglass is the one who exudes his strong feelings of fury and discontent. He argues that black men are punished more severely for the same crimes that white men commit. Douglass says, Slaveholders themselves acknowledge it in the enactment of laws for their government.

They acknowledge it when they punish disobedience on the part of the slave. There are seventy-two crimes in the State of Virginia, which, if committed by a black man, subject him to the punishment of death; while only two of the same crimes will subject a white man to the like punishment. (217). He also brings up the fact that the law says black men are not allowed to be educated. It is admitted in the fact that Southern statute books are covered with enactments forbidding, under severe fines and penalties, the teaching of the slave to read or to write. (217).

Douglass makes it very clear that the U. S. laws are biased and unjust. He brings up examples of such laws by pointing out that even free black men are subject to arrest at any time. A white man is able to take any black man and say that he is a runaway slave. The supposed slave is then taken to court to either receive the sentence that he is a runaway slave or that he is indeed, a free man. However, because the courts are corrupt and tend to be prejudiced, the accused runaway slave usually does not receive a fair trial. The Fugitive Slave Law makes mercy to them, a crime; and bribes the judge who tries them.

An American judge gets ten dollars for every victim he consigns to slavery, and this hell-black enactment, to send the most pious and exemplary black man into the remorseless jaws of slavery! His own testimony is nothing. (222). Douglass fervently appeals to the crowd by pouring his soul and feelings into his speech. Langston, however, has an entirely different approach. He speaks calmly and definitely lacks the fire that Douglass brings into his speech. Langston says, The law under which I am arraigned is an unjust one, one made to crush the colored man, and one that outrages every feeling of humanity, as well as every rule of right. 34).

He feels that, due to prejudice, a colored man will obviously receive an unfair trial. Langston includes the remark, Black men have no rights which white men are bound to respect. (236). Langston and Douglass have the same intentions and ideas, yet Douglass seems to have a more powerful and effective style of speech. Both men also include the controversial topic of religion into their speeches. Throughout his speech, Douglass continuously intertwines his topics with religion and God. He does not understand how a country based on religious values and morals could have such an appalling form of human enslavement.

While talking about the Fugitive Slave Law, he states, I take this law to be one of the grossest infringements of Christian Liberty, and, if the churches and ministers of our country were not stupidly blind, or most wickedly indifferent, they, too, would so regard it. (222). He points out, The fact that the church of our country does not esteem the Fugitive Slave Law as a declaration of war against religious liberty, implies that that church regards religion simply as a form of worship, and empty ceremony, and not a vital principle, requiring active benevolence, justice, love and good will towards man. 23).

Douglass not only feels that the church is unconcerned by slavery, but he feels that the church even supports the enslavement of black men. If people show no mercy and do not conduct themselves in a compassionate manner, their worship is pointless and has no meaning. He goes far enough to say that the ministers turn religion into, a cold and flinty-hearted thing. (224). In Langstons speech, he also brings up the topic of religion. Unlike Douglass, Langston does not refer to religion in a negative tone. However, he mentions the supernatural force, God, several times to support his ideas.

Langston refers to God when he says, Being identified with that man by color, by race, by manhood, by sympathies, such as God had implanted in us all (233). Douglass and Langston refer to God and include religion in their speeches because they know that our country is based on Christian beliefs. Therefore, the people would be more affected and interested in their speeches. Douglass and Langston use law and religion as important factors in their speeches. However, the topic of common humanity seems to be of greater importance.

Slavery was an inhumane and destructive system, which caused peoples lives to fall apart. The slaves were cruelly torn from their family, friends, and way of life. Douglass touches upon this subject by saying, Cast one glanceupon that young mother, whose shoulders are bare to the scorching sun, her briny tears falling on the brow of the babe in her arms. See, too, that girl of thirteen, weeping, yes! Weeping, as she thinks of the mother from whom she has been torn! (220). Treated like animals, they were viciously beaten and even worked to death.

Douglass tries to portray this outrage by describing brutal and intense scenes vividly. You will see one of these human flesh-jobbers, armed with pistol, whip, and bowie-knife, driving a company of a hundred men, women, and children, from the Potomac to the slave market at New Orleans. (220). Douglass not only describes such scenes, but he reflects on his own experiences and memories of slavery. He recalls, In the deep still darkness of midnight, I have been aroused by the dead heavy footsteps, and the piteous cries of the chained gangs that passed our door.

The anguish of my boyish heart was intense (221). He sums up how he feels in this phrase, Go where you maysearch out every abuse, and when you have found the last, lay your facts by the side of the everyday practices of this nation, and you will say with me, that, for revolting barbarity and shameless hypocrisy, America reigns without a rival. (219). Heartfelt, and deeply emotional feelings are given to the audience to experience. However, Langston (born a free man) cannot understand to the depth of Douglass knowledge of slavery.

Due to the fact that Douglass first-handedly experienced the tortures of slavery, he is always one step ahead. In Langstons speech, he tries to portray the horrendous effects of slavery as well. He describes an event when slave-catchers were capturing numerous black men to take back to plantations as a fugitive slaves. It was to the extent that mothers were afraid to send their children to school because a slave-catcher might snatch a child on his/her way. Any free slave could be claimed a fugitive runaway and be taken back to a dreaded plantation.

Langston states that all free men were, trembling alike for their safety, because they well knew their fate, should those men-hunters get their hands on them. (233). Langston and Douglass are both zealous in their efforts to help abolish slavery. However, Douglass seems to word his disturbing thoughts and feelings in a better format. He brings the audience into the captivity and horrors of slavery. Being of a more passive nature, Langston does not get his point across to the same degree. Douglass rhetorical strategy is obvious more persuasive and effective than that of Langstons.

Aboltionist to Terrorist – Labels Used to Condem Social Practice

Labeling is the act of grouping everything into an easy subdivision. While labeling often has positive, or at least neutral, effects on society, labels can often be used to attack a specific group. These labels can then be used as undesirable lumpings-a person does not wish to do anything which would incur others in the society to group them with said undesirable label. In his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Frederick Douglass speaks of a society which enslaves its fellow human beings and thinks it to be of no consequence. His attack is aimed directly at the vil of slavery, and the evil of the system which keeps slavery in place.

In Narrative, Douglass deals with the negative effects of labeling and labeling’s affect on necessary action. The label every white person fears is abolitionist. (Abolitionists are those who desired emancipation of all slaves. ) Many nineteenth century Southerners felt slavery was integral to their way of life. Therefore, abolitionists do not oppose slavery, in the Southern mind, but a Southern way of life. This practice of using the label of an undesirable group to quell dissenters and whip up public outrage hardly dies with slavery.

Currently, the word terrorist (or terrorist helper, or something to that extent) is thrown at anyone who questions President Bush’s stratagems. In Narrative, Douglass goes to work for a Mr. Gardner’s shipyard. Douglass is beaten nearly to death by a group of white apprentices. This occurred in the sight “of not less than fifty white ship-carpenters, and not one interposed a friendly word; but some cried, ‘Kill the damned nigger! Kill him! kill him! He struck a white person” (Chapter X). When Douglass’s master seeks justice, the police claim their hands are tied unless a white person comes forward.

Douglass notes: Of course, it was impossible to get any white man to volunteer his testimony in my behalf, and against the white young men. Even those who may have sympathized with me were not prepared to do this. It required a degree of courage unknown to them to do so; for just at that time, the slightest manifestation of humanity toward a colored person was denounced as abolitionism, and that name subjected its bearer to frightful liabilities.

The watch-words of the bloody-minded in that region, and in those days, were, “Damn the abolitionists! and “Damn the niggers! There was nothing done, and probably nothing would have been done if I had been killed. (Chapter X). To come forward in this situation is far from abolitionism. Wishing to see justice for someone beaten by numerous men does not constitute the desire to see all slaves, or even the victim, freed from bondage. In fact, Douglass establishes the ability of slaveholders to object to abject cruelty, even though he has himself is cruel: “[Overseer Plummer] Halways went armed with a cowskin and a heavy cudgel.

I have known him to cut and slash the women’s heads so horribly, that even master would be enraged at is cruelty, and would threaten to whip him if he did not mind himself” (Chapter I). In this way, Douglass recognizes abolitionism and objection to excess violence are not paired feelings. This emphasizes the affect of being called abolitionist. One can assume some of the men are uncomfortable by Douglass’s beating.

However, Douglass forces an understanding of the fear speaking up and being lumped with abolitionists, because “the watch-words… ere… Damn the abolitionists! ” Public ridicule is certainly a part of being abolitionist in the South, but the ridicule is only part of the public pressure. A non- abolitionist understands that to be an abolitionist is to represent a group which is contestable to the Southern way of life. Being accused of abolitionism is to be accused of being un-Southerly-a disgrace no Southern man can tolerate. It is difficult to imagine abolitionist being a dirty word. Most American students are raised to treasure the word.

Abolitionists are American heroes, they braved society norms because they knew slavery was wrong. To understand how the Southern whites viewed the word abolitionist, an example needs to be made from contemporary history. Ever since the tragic events of September 11th, the word terrorist has floated around as a penultimate insult. It is the group to which no person wants to belong. However, this does not stop society from clumping those who dissent from the majority as being labeled terrorist. Conservatives attack liberals as terrorists.

The Conservative infrastructure seems to have somehow created a situation where a person either supports our President and his war on terror or supports terrorism. Conservative writer Ann Coulter constantly creates the tie between liberal and terrorist. At times, she actually claims being a liberal is more contemptible than being a terrorist: “Even Islamic terrorists don’t hate America like liberals do. They don’t have the energy. If they had that much energy, they’d have indoor plumbing by now” (Coulter, Slander p. 6).

Ignore the numerous factual inadequacies and racisms in Coulter’s writing, and her lack of an assertion as to just who these America-hating liberals are. She, along with Rush Limbaugh (conservative talk-show host), Sean Hannity (conservative Fox News pundit), and others, have managed to tie liberalism with terrorism. Much of the American public has taken to this idea. Numerous message boards and internet blogs echo this “liberal as terrorist” viewpoint. “Mikey” from Polipundit. com responds to a liberal comment, “SOrta [sic] like the terrorists that the [liberal commentators] so admire.

“MyVitriol” at community. channel4. com writes, “The Israelis don’t play the victim when attacked, that’s [sic] what the Palastinians [sic] and Hizzbullah [sic] etc [sic] do. The Israelis stand up for themselves. But the liberal terrorist apologists [sic] prefer to call it dissproportionate [sic] esponse [sic] these days. ” (Both these message boards are found by searching “terrorist AND liberal” on Google. com). Both “Mikey” and “MyVitriol” imply similarities between terrorist and liberal.

The more this idea of the Liberal/Terrorist is expounded, the more it will be bought into. I wonder if any people in highly conservative communities choose not to speak up over issues such as abortion or the Iraq War for fear of being labeled Liberal/Terrorist, exactly the situation of the carpenters. However, it needs to be mentioned conservatives are not the only group hrowing around the moniker of Terrorist. Recently, the nation of Israel went to war with the group called Hezbollah. Hezbollah is regarded internationally as a terrorist organization.

However, Hezbollah is deeply connected to the community of Lebanon. Israel’s war against Hezbollah invariably affected innocent Lebanese civilians. Hezbollah, without the armament to fight Israel traditionally, resorts to suicide bombings and random mortar attacks against Israeli civilians. Each side declared the actions of the other side as acts of terrorism. Israel claimed Hezbollah’s ctions are those of a traditional terrorist (scare tactics aimed at civilians), and Hezbollah declared Israel terrorist through the use of negligent, random, military might.

Both sides attempt to garner international sympathy through the invocation of terrorism. This is a great example of a label being used to condemn dissenting action, even though it happened at a national, and not social, level. “Terrorist” has become a negative buzz word nearly devoid of all meaning. This is exactly what abolitionist is in Narrative. A negative buzz word. Someone who is pro-choice and anti-death penalty has little in ommon with someone who hijacks planes and drives them into buildings.

However, this does not stop the comparison from being made. Stopping someone from getting beaten half to death no way implies a desire to end a social status quo. Yet, the comparison is made. I am not implying a terrorist is the same as an abolitionist, yet I am asserting the words carried the same connotation, just 150 years apart. Douglass is claiming this fear of ridicule through a label prevents justice. To Douglass, inaction is immoral. The buzz word of abolitionist forces inaction, and is a part of the system which keeps slavery intact.

Slavery In Latin America

Before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th cent. , the Araucanians had long been in control of the land in the southern part of the region; in the north, the inhabitants were ruled by the Inca empire. Diego de Almagro, who was sent by Francisco Pizarro from Peru to explore the southern region, led a party of men through the Andes into the central lowlands of Chile but was unsuccessful (1536) in establishing a foothold there. In 1540, Pedro de Valdivia marched into Chile and, despite stout resistance from the Araucanians, founded Santiago (1541) and later established La Serena, Concepcin, and Valdivia.

After an initial period of incessant warfare with the natives, the Spanish succeeded in subjugating the indigenous population. Although Chile was unattractive to the Spanish because of its isolation from Peru to the north and its lack of precious metals (copper was discovered much later), the Spanish developed a pastoral society there based on large ranches and haciendas worked by indigenous people; the yields were shipped to Peru. During the long colonial era, the mestizos became a tenant farmer class, called inquilinos; although technically free, most were in practice bound to the soil.

During most of the colonial period Chile was a captaincy general dependent upon the viceroyalty of Peru, but in 1778 it became a separate division virtually independent of Peru. Territorial limits were ill-defined and were the cause, after independence, of long-drawn-out boundary disputes with Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. The movement toward independence began in 1810 under the leadership of Juan Martnez de Rozas and Bernardo O’Higgins. The first phase (1810-14) ended in defeat at Rancagua, largely because of the rivalry of O’Higgins with Jos Miguel Carrera and his brothers.

In 1817, Jos de San Martn, with incredible hardship, brought an army over the Andes from Argentina to Chile. The following year he won the decisive battle of Maip over the Spaniards. The New Nation O’Higgins, who had been chosen supreme director, formally proclaimed Chile’s independence Feb. 12, 1818, at Talca and established a military autocracy that characterized the republic’s politics until 1833; O’Higgins ruled Chile from 1818 until 1823, when strong opposition to his policies forced him to resign.

During this time the British expatriot Lord Cochrane, commanding the Chilean navy, cleared (1819-20) the coast of Spanish shipping, and in 1826 the remaining royalists were driven from Chilo island, their last foothold on Chilean soil. The colonial aristocracy and the clergy had been discredited because of royalist leanings. The army, plus a few intellectuals, established a government devoid of democratic forms. Yet with the centralistic constitution of 1833, fashioned largely by Diego Portales on Chile’s particular needs, a foundation was laid for the gradual emergence of parliamentary government and a long period of stability.

During the administrations of Manuel Bulnes (1841-51) and Manuel Montt (1851-61) the country experienced governmental reform and material progress. The war of 1866 between Peru and Spain involved Chile and led the republic to fortify its coast and build a navy. Chileans obtained the right to work the nitrate fields in the Atacama, which then belonged to Bolivia. Trouble over the concessions led in 1879 to open war (see Pacific, War of the). Chile was the victor and added valuable territories taken from Bolivia and Peru; a long-standing quarrel also ensued, the Tacna-Arica Controversy, which was finally settled in 1929.

Chile also became involved in serious border troubles with Argentina; it was as a sign and symbol of the end of this trouble that the Christ of the Andes was dedicated in 1904. With the exploitation of nitrate and copper by foreign interests, chiefly the United States, prosperity continued. The Transandine Railway was completed in 1910, and many more railroads were built. Industrialization, which soon raised Chile to a leading position among South American nations, was begun.

Meanwhile, internal struggles between the executive and legislative branches of the government intensified and resulted (1891) in the overthrow of Jos Balmaceda. A congressional dictatorship (with a figurehead president and cabinet ministers appointed by the congress) controlled the government until the constitution of 1925, which provided for a strong president. Former president Arturo Alessandri (who had instituted a program of labor reforms during his tenure from 1920 to 1924, and who commanded widespread popular support) was recalled (1925) as a caretaker until elections were held. Radicals vs.

Conservatives Although Chile enjoyed economic prosperity between 1926 and 1931, it was very hard hit by the world economic depression, largely because of its dependence on mineral exports and fluctuating world markets. Large-scale unemployment also had occurred after World War I when the nitrate market collapsed. The rise of the laboring classes was marked by unionization, and there were many Marxists who advocated complete social reform. The struggle between radicals and conservatives led to a series of social experiments and to counterattempts to suppress the radicals (especially the Communists) by force.

During Arturo Alessandri’s second term (1932-38) a measure of economic stability was restored; however, he turned to repressive measures and alienated the working classes. A democratic-leftist coalition, the Popular Front, took power after the elections of 1938. Chile broke relations with the Axis (1943) and declared war on Japan in 1945. Economic stability, the improvement of labor conditions, and the control of Communists were the chief aims of the administration of Gabriel Gonzlez Videla, who was elected president in 1946.

He ruled with the support of the Communists until 1948, when he gained the support of the Liberal party and outlawed the Communists. His efforts, as well as those of his successors, Carlos Ibez del Campo (1952-58) and Jorge Alessandri (1958-64), were hampered by chronic inflation and repeated labor crises. In the 1964 presidential election (in which Eduardo Frei Montalva was elected) and in the 1965 congressional elections, the Christian Democratic party won overwhelming victories over the Socialist-Communist coalition.

Frei made advances in land reform, education, housing, and labor. Under his so-called Chileanization program, the government assumed a controlling interest in U. S. -owned copper mines while cooperating with U. S. companies in their management and development. Allende, Pinochet, and Present-Day Chile In 1970, Salvador Allende Gossens, head of the Popular Unity party, a coalition of leftist political parties, won a plurality of votes in the presidential election and became the first Marxist to be elected president by popular vote in Latin America.

Allende, in an attempt to turn Chile into a socialist state, nationalized many private companies, instituted programs of land reform, and, in foreign affairs, sought closer ties with Communist countries. Widespread domestic problems, including spiraling inflation, lack of food and consumer goods, stringent government controls, and opposition from some sectors to Allende’s programs, led to a series of violent strikes and demonstrations. As the situation worsened, the traditionally neutral Chilean military began to pressure Allende; he yielded to some of their demands and appointed military men to several high cabinet positions.

In Sept. , 1973, with covert American support, the armed forces staged a coup that resulted in Allende’s death and in the execution, detention, or expulsion from Chile of thousands of people. Gen. Augusto Pinochet Ugarte took control of the country. The economy continued to deteriorate, even though the government sought to return private enterprise to Chile by denationalizing many industries and by compensating businesses taken over by the Allende government.

In 1974, Pinochet became the undisputed leader of Chile, assuming the position of head of state, and in 1977 he abolished all political parties and restricted human and civil rights. Unemployment and labor unrest grew, although the economy improved steadily between 1976 and 1981 with the help of foreign bank loans and an increase in world copper prices. In the early 1980s, the country was plagued by a recession and foreign debt grew significantly, but the economy leveled off late in the decade.

The 1981 constitution guaranteed elections in 1989, and in the 1980s political parties began to re-form despite Pinochet’s opposition. In Oct. , 1988, the electorate voted against the extension of Pinochet’s term to 1997. In 1989, Patricio Aylwin Azcar, a member of the Christian Democratic party who headed a coalition of 17 center and left parties, was elected president by popular vote. However, under the military-drafted constitution, Pinochet remained head of the army. Under Aylwin, Chile again turned toward democracy; the country’s economy strengthened, as its exports were increased and its debt lowered.

In 1994 Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, the son of Allende’s predecessor, a Christian Democrat, and the leader of another center-left coalition, became president. Frei’s free-market policies have led to a massive flow of foreign investment. Pinochet stepped down as head of the army in 1998 and was made a senator for life. Later that year, during a visit to London, Pinochet was arrested and held for possible extradition to Spain, on charges stemming from his repressive regime. Falling copper prices, exacerbated by an Asian economic crisis, caused economic and social problems in 1998 and 1999.

Slavery and Racism

The protagonist, Holden Caulfield, interacts with many people throughout J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye, but probably none have as much impact on him as certain members of his immediate family. The ways Holden acts around or reacts to the various members of his family give the reader a direct view of Holden’s philosophy surrounding each member. How do Holden’s different opinions of his family compare and do his views constitute enough merit to be deemed truth?

Holden makes reference to the word “phony” forty-four separate times throughout the novel (Corbett 68-73). Each time he seems to be referring to the subject of this etaphor as — someone who discriminates against others, is a hypocrite about something, or has manifestations of conformity (Corbett 71). Throughout The Catcher in the Rye, Holden describes and interacts with various members of his family. The way he talks about or to each gives you some idea of whether he thinks they are “phony” or normal.

A few of his accounts make it more obvious than others to discover how he classifies each family member. From the very first page of the novel, Holden begins to refer to his parents as distant and generalizes both his father and mother frequently throughout his chronicle. One xample is: “…my parents would have about two hemorrhages apiece if I told anything personal about them. They’re quite touchy about anything like that, especially my father.

They’re nice and all – I’m not saying that – but they’re also touchy as hell” (Salinger 1). Holden’s father is a lawyer and therefore he considers him “phony” because he views his father’s occupation unswervingly as a parallel of his father’s personality. For example, when Holden is talking to Phoebe about what he wants to be when he grows up, he cannot answer her question and proceeds to give her his opinion about their father’s occupation.. Lawyers are all right, I guess – but it doesn’t appeal to me,’ I said. I mean they’re all right if they go around saving innocent guys’ lives all the time, and like that, but you don’t do that kind of stuff if you’re a lawyer.

All you do is make a lot of dough and play golf and play bridge and buy cars and drink Martinis and look like a hot-shot. How would you know you weren’t being a phony? The trouble is, you wouldn’t’ (Salinger 172). When Holden describes his mom, he always seems to do so with a sense of compassion yet also with a jeering tone. Holden makes his mom sound predictable and insincere.

Slavery at America

Triangle trade brought slavery to America and helped Americans get important commodities it could not otherwise obtain. In the short term, triangle trade allowed farmers, fishermen, and other businesses to export their goods and make money, also allowing them to import goods that they needed from England. Triangle trade was necessary because of the British Navigation Acts, which restricted trade on certain items. Triangle trade also came about because sometime around the 1730s the English market had reached its saturation point with American goods.

The English had no need for American products, but the Americans still needed money to buy the English goods. The answer was in looking to foreign markets. In the early to mid 1700s triangle trade brought prosperity and important goods to the colonists. Triangle trade did indeed bring important commodities, slaves being one of them. Slavery is the most important thing that triangle trade produced. The issue of slavery continually caused tension between the northern and southern colonies/states until finally there was war. The issue of slavery divided a nation ironically named the United States.

While on an issue with all low points there is one fact which stands above the rest, somewhat. Due to the fact that it was a longer voyage for the slaves to reach America they were much higher priced than in the Southern Americas, where slaves were considered expendable and worked until death. Accoridngly, slaves where considered important and treated much better in North America. Slavery is a low point in American history many will try to forget, but will be embedded in the minds of all. The Great Awakening was a time of spiritual revival from the bland, monotone speakers of the past.

The new speakers were crazed with enthusiasm and used unheard of methods of preaching, which greatly upset old lights or orthodox clergymen. The Great Awakening caused the creation of many new denominations, preaching styles, and competitiveness in Americas churches. Jonathan Edwards was one of the first men to revolutionize the nation with these new preaching techniques. His most famous speech, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, gave a graphic depiction of what eternal damnation was like. He used an example of a spider hanging from its web over a fire to show that at any time you could die and be cast into hell.

The other prolific speaker of the time was George Whitefield. He was a fiery speaker, who was said to be able to mesmerize a crowd by saying the word Mesopotamia. He would use it at least once in each sermon no matter what the topic. He also brought Christianity down to its lowest denominator by preaching that even if you are a sinner, but you love god, you will go to heaven. These preachers formed the foundation of the Great Awakening, which changed the ideology of American churches. It unified 4/5ths of the Americans in a common understanding of the Christian faith and life.

The Great Awakening helped small denominations establish themselves and grow because they all had the same evangelical roots. Denominations like the Baptist and Presbyterian churches may not be around today if it were not for Great Awakening. It caused an explosion of mission efforts to the unsaved; namely the Blacks and Indians. Today mission efforts are still going strong as people travel all over the world to try and convert people to Christianity. If it were not for the Great Awakening people may have just sat back and accepted themselves as superior beings to the unsaved.

The Great Awakening also divided people as to how it should be interpreted, just as it does today. It was and is between those who take the scripture literally and those who adapt it to todays society. Lastly, it promoted higher learning, not just for the deeply religious but for everyone. This resulted in the birth of many universities. The Scotch-Irish had vast influence on American history, yet they had an extremely small immigration. Seven of the Scotch-Irish signed the Declaration of Independence. Eleven U. S. presidents trace their ancestry to these people.

The Scotch-Irish were forced to move from two of their homes and finally settled in the United States. The Scotch-Irish were forced to move from their homeland of Scotland when commercial farming and high rents on farmland drove them out. 200,000 of the then Scots moved to Ireland for awhile until they realized that they had not escaped the British rent racking ways. They then made their last move to the United States. Many of the Scotch-Irish settled here in Pennsylvania because of the liberal laws, low taxes, and political, economic, social, and religious freedom. They moved around the Quakers settlements to the backcountry area.

Many settled right here and in the proximity of all the areas surrounding us. The Scotch-Irish were a feisty bunch and served Pennsylvania well as a shield from Indian attacks. They also many times would clear their lands and then proceed to sell them to more permanent settlers and move farther westward. The Scotch-Irish got involved with Pennsylvania politics very early and helped to erect forts on the frontier and patrol for Indians. They adopted the slogan the only good Indian is a dead one. A very permanent contribution the Scotch-Irish gave to the American culture was the Presbyterian Church.

By 1776 the Scotch-Irish had 500 communities and each one had at least one Presbyterian Church. The Scotch-Irish played a big part in the American Revolution. John Stark was especially commendable, as he played a big part in getting the French to ally with us. Without the Scotch-Irish and their burning hatred for the controlling British the United States would not be where it is today. Nine of the first 13 governors of the newly created states were Scotch-Irish. The Scotch-Irish did some many important things in American history that it would take quite a while to list them all.

Here are a few: Robert Fulton built the first steamboat, Edgar Allen Poe was Scotch-Irish on his fathers side, Horace Greeley created the New York Tribune. The Scotch-Irish had a profound contribution to almost every aspect of the American life. The Paxton Boys made a lasting impression on the Indians of Pennsylvania and our government. Many were still reeling over the French and Indian War after the fact, leading to a smaller uprising called Pontiacs War. This was the second time the frontier of Pennsylvania began to feel the sting for invading the Indians territory. Two times were enough for the Paxton Boys who lived.

The Paxton Boys were rugged frontiersmen frustrated by their inability to inflict punishment on their Indian enemies, and were bitter over the colonys refusal to provide any aid. The Paxton Boys took their revenge on December 15, 1763 by killing a village of peaceful Conestoga Indians in cold blood. They then began their march to Philadelphia, the Capital. Lucky, Ben Franklin and his delegation of burghers talked them out of it by telling the frontiersmen they would vote on putting a bounty on all Indians scalps. The effects of the Paxton Boys march caused many alarm bells to go off. It forced Philadelphia to quickly form a ragtag militia.

Secondly, many people sympathized with the frontiersmen, especially the Lutherans and Presbyterians, which caused the delegation to rethink its eastern ways. It pressured the Pennsylvania government to move the friendly Indians to the eastern side of the state so they would not be attacked again. At one point they tried, unsuccessfully, to move the Indians to New York. Finally, Franklins conservative attitude toward the whole situation cost him his seat in the assembly. Late in 1764 he was sent back to England. The Paxton Boys were another group and set of events to affect Pennsylvanian and U. S. history.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn: A Portrait of Slavery in America

At the surface, Mark Twain’s famed novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, is a thrilling narrative told by a 13-year-old boy who embarks on a perilous journey down the formidable Mississippi River aboard a tiny wooden raft. The story’s sensationalism sometimes makes Huck’s journey seem unbelievable. Underneath, however, lies an authentic portrait of the institution of slavery in America during the 1850s. Although born and raised in Missouri, Twain vehemently opposed slavery. He witnessed the inhumane treatment of blacks and openly criticized the barbaric institution of slavery.

In an 1885 letter sent to Francis Wayland, dean of Yale University Law School, which was publicized in the New York Times, Twain sought reparations for former slaves: “We have ground the manhood out of them, and the shame is ours, not theirs, and we should pay for it. ” Twain was an early pioneer in this movement as the debate over compensating former slaves continues to rage into the 21st Century. Much of Twain’s writing identifies him as a humorist. However, he reveals his pessimistic side as a satirist in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which was published 20 years after the Civil War.

Through the nnocence of Huck’s narrative, Twain attacks slavery, racism, hypocrisy, and injustice during one of the most shameful and embarrassing periods in American history. Several main characters throughout the novel epitomize typical slave owners and their attitudes toward the bondage of another human being. They are racists who portray the worst of what society has to offer. Twain frequently satires these characters and their treatment of slaves through the use of irony and ridiculing their paradoxical behavior and ostentatious lifestyles.

Slaves had no control over their own destiny and were often sold everal times throughout their life. This severed family bonds, causing disintegration of identity and culture among blacks. Huck lives among racists. Miss Watson, the sister of Huck’s guardian, the Widow Douglas, is a slave owner. Miss Watson fosters the cruelty of a typical slave owner when she treats her slave Jim as a commodity rather than a human being. First, she tears Jim away from his family after buying him from a local farm. Later, Jim’s hope of reuniting with his family evaporates when Miss Watson sells him to a trader in the deep South.

Upon learning his fate, Jim scapes to nearby Jackson Island on the Mississippi River and unites with Huck, who is also on the lam in a quest for freedom. Although milder than her sister, the Widow Douglas preaches a moral paradox. She dictates a strict moral doctrine by force-feeding Huck lessons in “sivilized ways. ” Meanwhile, she fails to recognize the obvious inhumanity of slavery and goes along with the status quo. As Huck and Jim head into the deep South, they encounter people from all walks of life. The Grangerford and Shepherdson families represent the aristocrats.

Twain portrays them as the best of what society has to offer n the slave states. Ironically, they are hate-loving, trigger-happy killers embroiled in an eternal feud against each other. Since both families are very wealthy, they own hundreds of slaves to work their sprawling plantations. Every member of the Grangerford family-even the children-have their own personal slave to serve them in a demeaning, undignified manner. Buck Grangerford, whom Huck befriended, orders his slave to do menial tasks all day long.

Although he gets his very own slave, Huck feels awkward having someone wait on him, so he takes care of himself. In an act of cold-hearted greed, Twain shows the typical breakup of a slave family. Con artists, the Duke and the King, pose as heirs to the deceased Peter Wilks and take charge of his estate. Just two days after the funeral, the Duke and the King send the family of slaves to opposite ends of the river-the mother went to New Orleans while her two boys went to Memphis. They were sold separately, which was often the case among traders to achieve maximum profit.

Some well-meaning, conforming white characters share a myopic view toward slavery due to a warped value system enveloping their society. Whenever a slave escaped, slave laws ordered their return to slavery. Sally and Silas Phelps, Tom Sawyer’s aunt and uncle, believe they are upholding their “civic duty”when they lock up Jim on their farm until his rightful owner can be found. Twain reveals how horribly slaves were treated on large plantations through the ignorance of Mary Jane Wilks, the daughter of the deceased George Wilks.

Incredibly, she believes that her slaves are happy and treated kindly. With sincerity, she tells Huck how her family’s slaves are fortunate because they are given off every Sunday and holidays. On a deeper evel, however, this demonstrates how poorly slaves were treated, even by the kindest of slave owners. If Mary Jane represents the best of slave owners, then it is easy to imagine the atrocities of cruel masters who whipped their slaves, forcing them to pick crops in the hot sun from dawn til dusk seven days a week.

Although in a juvenile, unintentional way, even the mischievous Tom Sawyer mistreats Jim. Despite being well aware that Miss Watson set Jim free in her will after she died, Tom has fun at Jim’s expense. Upon arriving at his uncle’s farm, Tom never reveals that Jim is a free man. Instead, in a letter sent to his aunt and uncle, he conjures up a story about a band of “pirates” coming to free Jim. Unfortunately for Jim, he languishes in slavery longer than necessary and narrowly escapes being killed during a botched “rescue attempt. Twain demonstrates ignorance among whites in slave states through irony. In a conversation with Huck, Pap Finn tells how whites are superior to blacks while embarrassing himself: “There was this free nigger from Ohio… They said he was a p’fessor in a college, and could talk all kinds of languages, and knowed everything. And that ain’t the wust. They said he could vote when he was at home. ” Pap Finn epitomes the backward thinking shared by many whites in slave states who believed that blacks were incapable of intelligence or the right to vote.

Sadly, this attitude and denying blacks the right to vote and an education lingered for a hundred years after the Civil War in many southern states until the civil rights movement removed its Jim Crow laws. In addition to a cast of characters, Twain uncovers the cultural horrors embedded in 1850s’ Missouri and antebellum South. Incredibly, racism existed in religion, presumably the most sacred institution in any ociety. Although Christianity is the predominant religion in the Bible Belt, it is shown as an extension of racism and hate.

Its service to all men is a moral conundrum. Although the church preached love thy neighbor and do to others as you would want done to you, it excluded blacks. Christianity in slave states emphasized duty to God rather than brotherhood for their black neighbors who are forced into slavery. Unlike Christians in the North, the majority of southern Christians during slavery failed to see the blatant injustice tainting their moral doctrine and stood by idly while nother human being suffered. This contradictory moral doctrine is seen several times throughout the novel.

The Widow Douglas and Miss Watson browbeat Huck with Christianity to civilize him. Ironically, Huck is more civilized than his adult counterparts because he sympathizes with the plight of slaves and helps Jim escape. In an almost surrealistic scene, the Shepherdons and Grangerfords bring their feud to church. Instead of praying, the families sit in pews glaring at each other with a shotgun in one hand and a Bible in the other. Twain accurately illustrates how the justice system worked for blacks n slave states before as well as for many decades after the Civil War; they were guilty until proven innocent.

When Huck feigns his murder to escape from his abusive father, everyone assumes Jim was the killer, since he is also missing. If Jim was white, his absence would have been considered a coincidence. However, Jim was tried, convicted, and had a $300 bounty placed on his head without ever stepping inside a courtroom. The economy of slave states was predominantly agricultural. The backbone of the workforce, slaves provided plantation owners with free labor. Slaves often toiled all day long picking cotton, the most profitable crop.

Although Jim served as Miss Watson’ s slave in Missouri, his life was better than other slaves who toiled on large plantations in the deep South. If he had not run away, it is likely Jim would have endured incredible hardships harvesting crops for a cruel master. One of the most notorious themes repeated throughout the novel is the state of lawlessness in America. Twain paints a picture of anarchy with a blend of the Old West and antebellum South as Huck and Jim travel down the Mississippi River. There are the King and the Duke, who run a scam operation unopposed in every town they dock.

In the whiskey-sodden town in Arkansas, Colonel Sherburn guns down drunken, old Boggs in broad daylight and goes unpunished. Then there are the Grangerford and Shepherdson families constantly feuding and annihilating each other, but no law enforcement agencies bother intervening. And finally there are people who take justice into their own hands, as evidenced by the Phelps family who arm themselves to confront Tom Sawyer’s “pirates. ” Twain accurately uncovers the awful truth about the strongest laws of 850s’ Missouri and the antebellum South as its cruel, immoral slave laws.

First there was the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 that authorized the arrest and seizure of slaves fleeing North. This law was loosely enforced and generally ignored by northerners. As opposition to slavery intensified and to force northerners to abide with slavery laws, southerners legislated for and passed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. These new laws mandated the return of runaway slaves regardless of where in the Union they might be situated at the time of their discovery or capture. This is the case when Jim escapes from Miss Watson. Readers may wonder why Huck and Jim head downriver instead of going directly to Illinois.

It seems logical that once Jim steps inside northern territory, he becomes a free man. However, it was not that simple. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed bounty hunters to roam freely into northern territory in search of runaway slaves. Bounty hunters were sometimes indiscriminate and sent free blacks into slavery, which infuriated many northerners. Rather than venturing into territory where bounty hunters were likely ombing the landscape for Jim, Huck aims south in search of Cairo, Illinois, a junction point on the underground railroad.

It is here that Jim hopes to connect with abolitionists and head far into northern territory on the Ohio River. However, Jim’s hopes dim when Huck misses their destination in the dark night and the pair float downriver, hopelessly bound for the deep South. Bounty hunters found profit returning slaves to their owners. Inevitably, Huck and Jim encounter bounty hunters one night who are scanning the banks of Missouri and Illinois sides of the river for runaway laves. Armed with shotguns, they demand to board Huck’s raft and check for runaway slaves.

Huck sends the bounty hunters away when he says that his “family” is on board afflicted with smallpox. If caught harboring Jim, Huck would have likely been imprisoned for failure to obey the fugitive slave laws. Twain shows how fugitive slave laws were enforced as Huck and Jim enter the deep South. In an act of betrayal, the Duke and the King sell Jim to the Phelps for $40 when their money runs out. Afterward, the Phelps comply with the law and search for Jim’s rightful owner. The novel ends on a happy note when Miss Watson sets Jim free in her will after she dies.

However, it is conceivable that Jim’s freedom was short-lived. In 1857, the Dred Scott Decision upheld the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Born into slavery in Virginia, Dred Scott lived in the North as a free man for 11 years and later returned to slavery upon re-entering the South. The United States Supreme Court determined that slaves were personal property and could never be free. It is conceivable that Jim suffered the same fate as Dred Scott and returned to slavery despite Miss Watson ‘s will.

From Slavery to Equality: Americas Struggle with Race

The Emancipation Proclamation issued by the then President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, freed the black slaves in 1863. However, freedom did not guarantee the rights of equality and acceptance to these slaves. For years to come and generations to follow the black man of America, and other minorities for that matter, have had to struggle for his rights of freedom, liberty and justice. The most significant, volatile, violent and dynamic time of this struggle was during the civil rights movement in the middle part of this century.

During the 50’s and the 60’s many feared that the civil rights movement might fall apart or it will fail to achieve its objectives. Amongst them was Anne Moody who, thinking about overcoming the racial barriers, says, ” I wonder, I really wonder. ” (Anne Moody, “Coming of age in Mississippi”, Dell publishing 1968). Today, fifty some years down the road from the movements of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Bobby Seale, basic education is accessible, public facilities and institutions are open to all, affirmative action is required by employers, educators, governments and other entities.

Despite these tremendous forward leaps we find minorities in America still wanting to be equal, respected and accepted. The civil rights struggle, not the just the movement years, is still going on and will go on till all races and minorities are practically treated as equal citizens of this country. In the aftermath of the 1863 Emancipation Declaration the black men Hjh From Slavery to Equality: Americas Struggle with Race The Emancipation Proclamation issued by the then President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, freed the black slaves in 1863. However, freedom did not guarantee the rights of equality and acceptance to these slaves.

For years to come and generations to follow the black man of America, and other minorities for that matter, have had to struggle for his rights of freedom, liberty and justice. The most significant, volatile, violent and dynamic time of this struggle was during the civil rights movement in the middle part of this century. During the 50’s and the 60’s many feared that the civil rights movement might fall apart or it will fail to achieve its objectives. Amongst them was Anne Moody who, thinking about overcoming the racial barriers, says, ” I wonder, I really wonder. ” (Anne Moody, “Coming of age in Mississippi”, Dell publishing 1968).

Today, fifty some years down the road from the movements of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Bobby Seale, basic education is accessible, public facilities and institutions are open to all, affirmative action is required by employers, educators, governments and other entities. Despite these tremendous forward leaps we find minorities in America still wanting to be equal, respected and accepted. The civil rights struggle, not the just the movement years, is still going on and will go on till all races and minorities are practically treated as equal citizens of this country.