Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass And Harriet Jacobs Essay

1622 WordsNov 21, 20167 Pages
When the first nineteen slaves arrived in Virginia in 1619, an institution that would last more than two hundred years was created. These first slaves were treated more like how the indentured servants that came to the New World from England were. However, as time passed and the colonies grew larger, so did the institution of slavery. Even after the importing slaves internationally was banned in 1807 by Congress, the internal slave trade expanded exponentially. The growth and durability of slavery persisted until the end of the Civil War, a time period greater than the entire existence of the United States. The institution of slavery was not only able to endure through two hundred fifty of turbulent change in America, but it was able to advance. This is due to the mindsets of slavery as a “necessary evil” and a “positive good” coupled with the dependence on them for such a large portion of the economy. These factors can be observed in the narratives written by Olaudah Equiano, Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs. Although Olaudah Equiano was not directly involved in American slavery, several aspects of The Life of Olaudah Equiano can be used to understand why the institution lasted so long. A major part of the novel was dedicated to counter one of the major propagating ideas of slavery: the widespread myth that Africans were either not fully human or were of a less developed branch of humanity so enslaving them was moral. Equiano spends the first section of the book
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