The Cause And Justification Of The Dehumanization Of Slaves In America

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In 1619, a Dutch ship docked in Jamestown, Virginia. Twenty African slaves were traded to Jamestown in exchange for food and supplies (Africans in America: The Terrible Transformation). The slaves were given a status similar to the status of indentured servants; they would serve the same terms, and work the same jobs. However, slave conditions began to slowly worsen over time. This event planted the seed for years of debates about the cause and justification of the dehumanization of slaves: if slavery was a utilized for profit, or a result of prejudice. Slavery was not a strategic plan to churn out a profit, but rather, it was a product of a man’s own desire for political and social dominance. Slaves were degraded to something less than human; their race was considered a sin by the church. Africans were also given more severe punishments from the court than their white counterparts for the same crime. Looking into this topic further, it becomes evident that the slavery had stemmed from the racial prejudice driven by the urge for white social and political dominance.
To begin, the negroes were being set apart from Englishmen; it did not matter whether they were free, or of the servant class. For example, a tax was set on Negro men and women. In the article Slavery and the Genesis of American Race Prejudice, the author writes: “Three different times before 1660 - in 1643, 1644 and 1658 - the Virginia assembly (and in 1654, the Maryland legislature) included Negro and Indian

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