Slave Rebellion Comparison The Nat Term Paper
- Length: 13 pages
- Subject: American History
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #33899488
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Still it is not completely unheard of for a name to be derived from a longer epitaph of Nat, property of man, Mr. Turner. This is how many people's last names resulted in ending with "man."
Nat Turner was born a slave in Virginia in 1800 and grew to become a slave preacher. He did not use tobacco or liquor and maintained a clean, disciplined life. He was very religious man and became passionate about the Scripture. He began preaching to slaves in and around the area of Southampton County, Virginia in 1828. As a result he became well-known and liked in the area. It was at this time he began having visions. It was these visions that inspired him to revolt. While he waited for further signs, unrest was already evident in on plantations, in the hills and on boats in ports of call (Greenberg, 85). Gradually he built a religious following justifying revolution against his white masters. He believed that God had chosen him to lead the blacks to freedom. After seeing a halo around the sun on August 13, 1831, Turner believed this to be a sign from God to begin the revolt.
Prior to the morning of August 22, 1831, he instructed five slaves Hark, Sam, Nelson, Will, and Jack to meet in the woods at three o'clock that afternoon. Turner later joined them, and the men planned the slaughter. They agreed not to spare women and children. The first report of the Turner revolt was sent in the form of a letter from the Postmaster of Jerusalem to the Governor of Virginia. This letter as sent by way of Petersburg and was first published in the Richmond Constitutional Whig of August 23, 1831. Still it was on the early morning of August 22, 1831, a band of eight Black slaves, led by Nat Turner, entered the Travis house in Southampton County, Virginia and killed five members of the Travis family. Two hours after nightfall, the men went to the house of Joseph Travis, the slaveholder who held Nat Turner in bondage. Using hatchets, Turner's men murdered Travis, his wife, and three children in their sleep. This marks the beginning of a slave uprising that was to become known as Nat Turner's rebellion. Over a thirty-six hour period, this band of slaves grew to sixty or seventy in number and slew fifty-eight white persons in and around Jerusalem, Virginia before the local community could act to stop them (Goldman, par. 1). As the small army moved silently through the countryside, forty other blacks joined them. These included four boys, five free men, and one woman. In the next thirty-six hours, they axed or beat to death fifty-nine white men, women and children in Southampton County. This rebellion raised southern fears of a general slave uprising and had a profound influence on the attitude of Southerners towards slavery. Many blacks did not join Turner because they feared the futility of his effort. The revolt was crushed within two days and Nat Turner managed to escape.
When news of the insurrection reached Washington, D.C., the Federal government sent 3,000 troops to Virginia. Fearful of more uprisings, the governor of North Carolina sent a state militia to Northampton County, North Carolina. The governor's guards killed forty innocent slaves and free blacks there. Militia units formed throughout the area. When slaveholders heard rumors of more revolts, some even murdered their own slaves. But whites had little reason to fear more rebellions, for African-Americans were also terrified (Lyons, par 8).
Most of Turner's men were killed or arrested within a few days. Meanwhile, Turner took food from Travis' house and dug a hole under a pile of fence rails. He hid there for six weeks. Two slaves with a hunting dog discovered him, but he managed to escape again. Two weeks later, a white farmer with a shotgun spotted Turner in a small hole he had dug with his sword. The fugitive surrendered his weapon and was taken to the county jail in Jerusalem, Virginia.
Nat Turner was hanged two months after the killing, but the effects of his mutiny lasted for decades. No other rebellions occurred, yet whites continued to suspect black ministers of holding secret meetings to plan more revolts. Slave churches were torn down, and white churches enforced segregated seating. For the next twenty years, the laws that governed slaves and free blacks became more brutal and oppressive. Wealthy planters in eastern Virginia owned almost 20% of all slaves in the United States. But few whites in the piedmont and western parts of the state depended on slave labor. After Nat Turner's revolt, they petitioned lawmakers in Richmond to abolish slavery. The planters wanted to protect their investment in human flesh, so they pressured the legislators in Richmond to reject abolition. Some historians believe that if Virginia had ended slavery in the 1830's, the Civil War might have been avoided. But the cruel institution lasted another thirty years and led to America's deadliest war.
The Muslim Uprising of 1835 in Bahia
History of the Region
The first Europeans to arrive in Brazil were Spaniards under the command of Vicente Yanez Pinz n, who on January 26, 1500, landed to the north of what is now Bahia, close to the location of present-day Recife (capital of the state of Pernambuco). Next to arrive was the fleet of Pedro alvares Cabral, who was actually on his way to India via a wide southerly swing out into the Atlantic Ocean (to avoid unfavorable currents) before heading east around Africa's Cape of Good Hope. Cabral's fleet landed in the territory, which would come to be called Brazil (in English anyway; in Portuguese it's "Brasil") on the 21st of April 1500 (a Short History of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, pars. 1 & 2). Like many explorers of his time; Cabral had not planned on landing there. Whatever the case he did claim for Portugal the ground upon which he stood calling it the Ilha da Vera Cruz (Island of the True Cross). When it was discovered he had actually been standing on a continent and not an island, the name was changed to Terra da Vera Cruz (Land of the True Cross).
The Catholic Church and the Treaty of Tordesillas supported Portugal's claim to Brazil. Pope Alexander VI recognized under the condition of the Treaty that the parties would convert the Indians to Christianity. What was the worry about converting the Indians? The Europeans believed indigenous people were without souls and could stand no harm from accepting Christ. The Church also allowed that those Indians who did not convert could be enslaved, hence, the origins of slavery on the South American continent (a Short History of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, par. 12).
Brazil's Natural Resources
The principal source of wealth provided by Brazil had been brazil wood or a source of a reddish dye. "This was about to be supplanted by white gold and sugar that was to be grown and harvested on immense plantations in Brazil's Northeast" (a Short History of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, par. 16). The country's fortune was in the making. Still it would be the enslaved people both indigenous and African, their sweat and blood that would provide riches for the Europeans.
Slavery in the Region
An estimated 1.3 million slaves were imported into Bahia before slavery was abolished in Brazil in 1888, double the number imported into the entire United States of America. Why enslave Africans and not Indians? The successful conversion of Indians diminished the pool of available slaves. There was much unrest and the Indians reacted with hostility to Portuguese rule. One example is the Caete Indians treatment of Brazil's first bishop. They ate him. This allowed the Caete to be taken as slaves and converted Indians were mistakenly included. As a result the unrest and European occupation such diseases like smallpox, influenza and measles spread, and then famine. These elements, combined with resistance and flight, led the "Portuguese to abandon the enslavement of natives and to adopt the importation of Africans" (a Short History of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, par. 25). These people were to have a vast impact on Brazil's history and the country's current events today.
Reis writes, "although it was short-lived, it was the most effective urban slave rebellion to ever occur on the American continent" (p. 1). Only lasting a total of three hours, the organizers were Muslim Africans or Mal s. The crux of the matter began with united forces, and Mal's ran from house to house, beating on doors to wake up and alert their colleagues. As this was happening the main contingent moved up the street to the city hall, where esteemed Mal leader Pac'fico Licutan was being held prisoner in the jail beneath the building. Caught in crossfire, the Mal's were forced to retreat. They moved on, skirmishing along the way, moving…