Slavery In The United States


Slavery In The United States Essay, Research Paper

In the history of the United States nothing has brought more shame to the face of America than the cold, premeditated method of keeping black people in captivity. People from England who migrated to America used many different methods to enslave black people and passed them down through the children. These methods were quite effective, so effective that these ?slaves? were kept in captivity for over two hundred years in this country. It was the rain of terror that kept black people in fear of their lives for so long. The invention of the gun back in the fifth-teenth century was the main reason that these people were able to go to another continent and enslave so many people. These people from Africa were mistreated very badly right from the start both mentally and physically. They were packed very tightly on ships for months at a time chained to each other with no place to go to the bathroom, little water to drink, and hardly anything to eat.

As the population constantly increased in the colonies during the 1600?s, so did the demand for slavery especially in the southern colonies where the big plantations were. These plantations were very lucrative since the owners had free manual labor and they could keep all the profit from the crops for themselves. They also had to justify what they were doing to themselves so what they did was tell themselves that these slaves were barbaric and not smart enough to be civilized. These slave owners also owned huge houses in the middle of their plantations and thought of themselves as noblemen. In acuality, it was the slaves who were living nobly while the Europeans were living barbaricly. The Europeans who owned slaves also thought that the slaves were not smart enough because they could not speak English and they did not have a written language. This was proven not to be true either because the second generation of slaves learned the English language with no trouble at all. Once the slaves started having children, the demand for slaves dropped while the market for selling slaves and their children went up. This was another way they kept slaves in slavery. If a person was born to a slave, he or she was automatically born into a life of slavery. The owners would also keep their slaves ignorant. They would not teach them how to read or write. If they could read, they would have been shocked to find that these colonists believed that every man is born with the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They also would have known that these colonists left the last country that they were in for this same reason.

Their ignorance to this fact is not what kept them in slavery for so though. What kept them obedient was the fact that they knew they would be made an example of if they tried to escape. Second of all, they had no where to escape to. It was not like they had a friend?s house to hide out in. They knew if they rebelled or acted up, they would be either beaten very badly with whips, punished by starving in the basement, or just shot. I am sure they all wanted to rebel, but they saw what happened to the ones who did rebel so most of them decided not to. As time went on, slaves were getting smarter and were learning how to read and write. They started learn that not all black people in the country were enslaved. By word of mouth or by reading, they started to learn that slavery did not exist up north. Then they started to learn that not every white person was out to get them if they knew that they were planning to escape. This was a very dangerous plan though. Some white people would actually help some slaves escape. This was called the Underground Railroad. Underground because it was kept a big secret from everyone because nobody could trust anybody back then because you would never know who would snitch and who wouldn?t. The railroad part was a string of houses of white people who would hide runaway slaves for the day so they could continue to head towards the northern states during the night for their freedom. This was the only way a slave could gain his or her freedom. One slave that had escaped was Fredrick Douglas. This man, instead of getting his freedom and forgetting about his past, wanted to help his people. What he did was prepare a speech for a huge audience of white people and tell them what was going on down south. This was a well- spoken black man who was very brave. First of all, most people up north had never even seen a black man, nor have they heard about how these slaves were being treated down south. After he was through with his speech, he received a standing ovation for his courage and that is one of the things that started the northerners strong opinion that slavery is wrong. This would eventually lead to the Civil War.

So basically, greed for money through free labor, supply and demand, and gun power is what created slavery. Keeping the fear in the eyes of the slaves is what kept them working under such poor conditions everyday, while their friends and family could be sold away at any time or place. Learning English and being able to read and write is what educated these men and women. Once they were educated enough, they could secretly plan escape routes to the north and finally get some sympathy for their people which would eventually lead to the Civil War. This war was about right and wrong. There is a moral way to make money and then there is an immoral way to make a living. Slavery is the number one event in our country?s history that has disgraced and put shame to our culture. Even though not everyone owned slaves, one bad apple spoils the bunch. Hopefully people will learn from history, and immoral actions or events like slavery will not take place again.

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