Slave Revolt


Slave Revolt Essay, Research Paper

The American Civil War was inevitable and had numerous causes that led to

it. This paper will discuss three important causes of the war the invention of

the cotton gin, Nat Turner’s rebellion, and the abolitionist movement toward

ending slavery. There are many causes of the war, but I feel these three are

substantial causes. Each of these events or movements created more tension

between the North and the South and eventually war was unavoidable. The

invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney had a great effect on slavery and

agriculture in the South. The cotton gin was a machine that removed the seeds

from the cotton. Removing the seeds from the cotton was a long and tedious

process. This invention made processing cotton relatively fast and easy. The

cotton gin’s speed allowed the cotton plantations to produce massive amounts of

cotton. This became very profitable. To support the harvesting of all of the

cotton, more slaves were needed to run the cotton gins and harvest the cotton.

This brought more slaves to America and boosted the population of slaves in the

South. The increased number of slaves in the South actually helped heighten the

problem with slavery. Slavery was becoming more evident and people were becoming

more aware that slavery was wrong in both the North and the South. The next

cause was a slave named Nat Turner and his actions. Nat was a slave who had

found God and religion. Gradually he built a religious following that justified

a slave revolt. On August 13, 1831, Turner says he saw a halo around the sun. He

thought that this was a sign from God to begin the revolt. This was the

beginning of Nat Turner’s rebellion. On August 22, 1831, Nat Turner led eight

slaves to the Travis’s residence, a white family, and murdered five members of

their family. The slaves then moved across the county murdering white plantation

owners, their families, and other whites that crossed their path. As the group

moved, they gained in size at every stop that they made. Many slaves joined the

original eight. Not all slaves joined in on the rebellion, some stayed behind

fearing that they would be stopped and killed or sentenced to harsh

consequences. The group of men swelled to over seventy and managed to kill

fifty-eight men, women, and children including Turner’s slave owner. The killing

spree went on for forty hours before the Virginia Militia apprehended the group.

Nat Turner was able to escape capture by the Militia. Turner was able to evade

authorities for eight days in the area near Southampton. This was until Benjamin

Phipps spotted and captured Turner at gunpoint. Once in the hands of

authorities, Turner confessed and told all of his motives for the killing spree.

This killing spree caused many spin-off effects. The first effect was the

treatment that the southern slaves received after the revolt. It drastically

declined as the slave owners beat their slaves to put more fear into them to

prevent another revolt. The next effect was the owners’ fear of another revolt.

If more slaves had joined the revolt many more may have been killed. There was a

lot of tension of another revolt. The last effect that the revolt stirred up was

a heightened awareness of poor slavery conditions in the South. It drew the

attention of the north to make an effort to start the abolition of slavery. The

abolitionists played an important part in influencing the Civil War and

abolishing slavery. They worked hard to bring attention to cruelness of slavery.

They protested from the late 1700’s until the end of the war to get slavery

abolished. Emancipation was achieved by all of the northern states by 1804.

Next, slave trading was abolished 4 years later. As time goes on, the

abolitionists become more radical and eventually get louder and attract more

people on to follow the path to free that slaves. Flyers, articles and petitions

began spreading the word of abolishing slavery. All of the work of talking and

abolishing forced the friction between the North and the South to increase

steadily. Eventually the friction increased to until the American Civil War was

started. The causes of the civil war are much broader than this essay. This

essay does cover three important causes. I chose to use points from all aspects

of tension. Agriculturally, the cotton gin increased the number of slaves and

made them louder and more visible. Individuals can make their voice heard as Nat

Turner turned against his owners and made a stand against slavery. Finally, the

hard work of the abolitionist to get laws passed and voice their views of

slavery which caused a lot of tension that divided the North and the South.

These causes led America to divide and move into a long bloody battle that ended

with the Union winning and the abolition of slavery. The effects of this war are

still felt in America today

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