The Way We Lived: Essays and Documents in American Social History, by Frederick Binder and David Reimers

779 WordsJul 13, 20184 Pages
I have chosen to write about chapter three due to my fascination about the slavery period in our country; the reasons it happened, why it happened, and some of the missing history behind the period. As for the missing history, I have always been captivated be the underlying history that made slavery possible in America. Chapter three delves into the subject that has intrigued me ever since high school, especially how the slave trade came to be, how it was started, and those who actually began and ran it. It was very interesting that the indentured servant concept was actually brought over from Europe. Indentured servitude is in itself a form of slavery, even though the individual would eventually work themselves to a ‘free’ status. I…show more content…
To hear it told in most high school texts and courses, it seems to me that slavery was for the most part an American invention and problem. But as the text shows, the overwhelming amount of the slave trade, as much as 95%, went to the French, Dutch, and British Caribbean colonies, as well as the Spanish American and the Portuguese Brazilian colonies. I was also enlightened to the fact that slavery was abundant throughout the British American colonies, both southern and northern. Though most slavery was a southern colony problem, many seem to be oblivious to the fact that several of the larger slave revolts actually started in New York City. The copy of the New York City law that was included in the book, “Slavery in New York City, 1731” was very telling of the fact that slaves, although somewhat feared since the revolts, were accepted as a way of life in the New England colonies. When taught in high school, and even in most forms of communication on the subject since, it was never stressed that slavery was such a wide-spread problem throughout the entirety of the New World colonies. The slavery problem had taken on the notion that it was primarily a southern problem, but according to the reading it was not. It would seem to me that throughout history that some of the details of the slave-trade and slave ownership was somewhat transferred upon the southern states due to the Civil

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