Slavery is a stain in the history of the United States that will always be particularly remembered for the cruelty it exhibited. Up until 1865 slaves were imported in shiploads and treated as if they were merely cattle. On the farms slaves were given no mercy and had to work long, arduous days for nothing. Additionally they were often subject to cruel overseers who would beat and whip them on a regular basis. As brutal and destructive as the institution of slavery was, slaves were not defenseless victims. Through their families, and religion, as well as more direct forms of resistance, Africans-Americans resisted the debilitating effects of slavery and created a vital culture supportive of human dignity.
Everyone has their own understanding of what slavery is, but there are misconceptions about the history of “slavery”. Not many people understand how the slave trade initially began. Originally Africa had “slaves” but they were servants or serfs, sometimes these people could be part of the master’s family. They could own land, rise to positions of power, and even purchase their freedom. This changed when white captains came to Africa and offered weapons, rum, and manufactured goods for people. African kings and merchants gave away the criminals, debtors, and prisoner from rival tribes. The demand for cheap labor was increasing, this resulted in the forced migration of over ten million slaves. The Atlantic Slave Trade occurred from 1500 to 1880 CE. This large-scale event changed the economy and histories of many places. The Atlantic Slave Trade held a great amount of significance in the development of America. Africans shaped America by building a solid foundation for the country.
There are not very many detailed accounts from people who have experienced the Middle Passage firsthand. One of those is the autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1789) written by Olaudah Equiano. In this chilling book, he describes the awful conditions he was faced with while on a ship across the Atlantic as a slave from West Africa to the West Indies, known as the Middle Passage. The Middle Passage was a horrible way to transport slaves and there was no regard for human life on these ships. Millions of West Africans experienced these horrors for more than three hundred years (1500-1860) (Berlin 1). It has also been estimated by Curtin, a historian, that of those 20 to 30 million Africans only 9 to 12 million survived the voyage (Guillaume 1). This voyage
For more than three and a half centuries, the forcible bondage of at least twelve million men, women, and children from their African homelands to the Americas forever changed the face and character of the western hemisphere. The slave trade was brutal and horrific, and the enslavement of Africans was cruel, exploitative, and dehumanizing. The trade represented one of the longest and most sustained assaults on the life, integrity, and dignity of human beings in world history.
Throughout the colonial period and the time leading up to the American civil war, one of the most important and controversial topics facing Americans was the idea of slavery. The notion of slavery is an odd and incredibly horrifying concept, that one man can own another man, or two men, or an entire family, just because of the color of their skin. No doubt the idea was racist and repulsive, but to many Men and Women in history, across the country and across the world, slavery was just a part of everyday life: they knew no different. So when those people who were being stripped from their homeland and brought over on ships to be sold at auction to the highest white bidder, began to question the sacredness of this terrible
Throughout history, humanity has exhibited its prowess for compassion, and its capacity for evil. In the wake of recent natural disasters, specifically the tropical storms which have devastated island nations and the southern state of Texas, citizens and companies alike have banded together to provide supplies and aid. In contrast, three hundred years ago a system was implemented, a system in which its effects of can still be seen today’s in racial division. Instituted on the basis of Caucasian and European superiority, racial based slavery thrived; slaves taken from Africa were no longer humans, but a commodity- just like soy is in the modern day. Slaves were brought to the Americas on large ships. On these large ships, those who survived the voyage would have endured grotesque living conditions, and various forms of abuse. The mistreatment of slaves was overlooked because the trade was a profitable business, and became more profitable as America began to efficiently produce regional based commodities: the demand for labor increased and the price of slaves decreased, the trade began to flourish once it was realized that slavery maximized profits for colonial producers. As more slaves were shipped, word of what occurs on the ships and the purpose of their voyage spread. In fear of what happens on the ships, slaves utilized different forms of resistance to escape their future, such as escaping captivity, mutiny, and suicide.
The Middle Passage (or Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade) was a voyage that took slaves from Africa to the Americas via tightly packed ships. The trade started around the early 1500s, and by 1654 about 8,000-10,000 slaves were being imported from Africa to the Americas every year. This number continued to grow, and by 1750 that figure had climbed to about 60,000-70,000 slaves a year. Because of the lack of necessary documents, it is hard to tell the exact number of Africans taken from their homeland. But based on available clues and data, an estimated 9-15 million were taken on the Middle Passage, and of that about 3-5 million died. While the whole idea seems sick and wrong, many intelligent people and ideas went in to making the slave trade
The history of the United States is filled to the brim with an abundance of significant events. Over the course of this nation’s young history there have been numerous social institutions. Many have been a necessity in our development. However, the US was home to one of the greatest atrocities committed on mankind. The institution of slavery is not only the most embarrassing but most sever infraction on the natural rights of man. At times there were in excess of three million black Americans enslaved in this country. It was not the dismal living conditions nor the bleak existence they lived that led them into a resistance of slavery. It was the theft, the
In American history, every event and person plays a part in the future. For example, rich plantation owners helped America advance their economy. However, that would not have been at all possible without the help of their slaves. The time and institution of slavery is a time of historical remembrance. It played a primary role during the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. The treatment, labor conditions, and personal stories of these slaves’ treatment and labor conditions are all widely discussed around the world to this day.
Slavery was a dark time in America’s past. Not only did slavery separate millions of families, it destroyed the white man’s reputation to African people. Many slave owners treated their slaves well, many did not. They forced their slaves to live in deplorable conditions. Malnutrition and overworking often led to death. If you were a slave, would you risk it all and try to run away? You might not have a choice if you wanted to stay alive.
The changes of slavery shown through American history from the eighteenth and nineteenth-century, dealing with the horrific brutality and inhumane treatment accepted by much of society, all of the way up to present day, as we just recently had America’s first black president Barrack Obama elected in 2008, show drastic improvements on a national crisis that can be heavily credited to the great historical abolitionist of their time and even still the modern day abolitionists continuing to fight. The abolitionist movement was not simply pushed forward by groups of individuals who agreed on the basis that slavery and what was going on at the time was wrong, but instead was heavily impacted by key individuals who typically had experienced first person what it was like on the side of the chained captive workers who were seen as nothing more than mere property they owned. And while for a multitude of those held captive the only life they
The introduction of international trade throughout the continent provided the Americas with goods once thought unattainable. Different trade routes began to stem from the original triangle route. All of these routes had one goal; to transport the goods in high demand in the most time and cost efficient way. The different branches were trading systems between the America’s, Europe, and Africa. Through these routes, captains traded goods and services such as slaves, sugar, tobacco, cotton, textiles, and many other manufactured goods. One history changing route was the Middle Passage. The course of this route was used to transport kidnapped Africans so they could be enslaved in the Americas. Within a three hundred year period, it is
The Middle Passage was part of the triangular trade that existed between America, Europe, and Africa. It was an extremely harsh boat ride in which slaves from Africa were brought to the West Indies. The Africans were tightly packed
This eventually makes the reader realize countless of possessions and benefits that every citizen uses daily was in fact from the hard work of immigrants. But not many truly knows this with how many claim that ‘immigrants will steal their jobs’. Also many don’t realize how easy immigrants can lose their jobs. Because companies are aware of the fact who is illegal or not, when an employee, who came in illegal, is not seen useful to them anymore, the company will easily deport them right back to the country they came from. Now this where similarities of slavery start showing up. First, there’s the jobs themselves, the work immigrants do is described as dirty, unpleasant, heavy, and dangerous. This is very much how slave’s jobs were detailed to be like as well. Another parallel between these ideas is the income these groups make, or rather how very little they made. When slavery was declared illegal, congress start a new labor code called Free Wage Labor where former slave owners had to paid former slaves in addition housing, food, and healthcare, like many companies presently to provide for immigrants. But what those former owners did back then is they’d barely pay their workers anything and with addition of taxes, former slaves were in too much debt to live on their own and find a different job. Essentially they were trapped in working for the