Essay on Slavery in America: From Necessary to Evil

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As African slaves began arriving in the Chesapeake region in the early seventeenth century, they were treated, in many respects, akin to white indentured servants shipped in from England. For instance, a black could, under the right conditions sue for his or her freedom, or if the slave converted to Christianity he or she could obtain their freedom. Towards the latter half of the seventeenth century however, planters began to systematically strip slaves of their minimal rights. Until the mid-nineteenth century, slaves across the south were treated like beasts of burden, thus traded, sold, and ranked not among beings, but among things, as an article of property. Throughout the colonial period slavery continued to expand across the south,…show more content…
By the nineteenth century, abolishing slavery was beginning to acquire real force as a basic principle, as some Northern states began gradual emancipation.
Abolitionism blossomed in the United States in the 1830’s, as theologians and reformers attempted to transform the American social fabric. An important source of antislavery sentiment derived from the Puritan and Quaker religions that dominated much of the political and social aspects of the daily life of northerners. The anti-slavery sentiment was not, however, confined to whites in the northern states. A mulatto abolitionist and social reformer, Frederick Douglass, lectured during the 1840’s and 1850’s to draw attention to the plight of slaves and the immediate need for emancipation. During a "Fourth of July Oration" in 1852, Douglass incisively showed a commitment to individual rights for blacks. In the speech, Douglass praised America's accomplishments in becoming a sovereign nation, yet he believed it to be an injustice that not all humans living in this “great nation” received its blessings. For Douglass and most slaves in the antebellum era, the Fourth of July and American Independence represented the lack of freedom injustices they continued to endure. Yet blacks still struggled to form social bonds under the worst of conditions and yearned to be free.
There was a basic tenet among the proslavery arguments that slaves were docile, contented, faithful, and loyal. In fact, no evidence has surfaced even

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