The Indescribable : Treatment Of Slaves During Early America

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The Indescribable: Treatment of Slaves in Early America “The African slave trade,” writes Gary B. Nash “is one of the most important phenomena in the history of the modern world.” The slave trade started in the late fifteenth century and prolonged for the next 400 years. Over those 400 years, approximately ten million Africans sailed across the Atlantic to America against their will. Shown in Red, White, and Black; The Peoples of Early North America, psychological, geographical and political factors affected the lives of slaves in early America; the masters subjugated the slaves through those means. In other parts of the Americas, as well as in the colonies, the slaves’ living conditions differed. The colonists enforced psychological torture upon the slaves, which affected their lives. It was the colonists’ fear that impacted the slaves. Whites lived in angst that the slaves would revolt so they used psychological affliction to try and restrain the slaves. The colonists felt the need for “greater and greater control”, which led to the “compulsion to dehumanize slaves by taking from them the rights that connoted their humanity”. The colonists defined the Africans worth as less than human. They stole the rights that all human beings should receive. This made the living conditions of slaves horrendous. The masters used dehumanization to make the slaves feel as if they had nothing to live for. This impacted the slaves because the colonists physically and mentally abused them.

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