Slavery in the New World Term Paper
- Length: 7 pages
- Sources: 5
- Subject: Black Studies
- Type: Term Paper
- Paper: #36982666
Excerpt from Term Paper :
Slavery in the New World
Characters who are always in need of discrediting the United State and to oppose its role as pre-eminent and most powerful force for goodness, human dignity and freedom focus on bloody past of America as a slave holding nation. Apart from mistreatment and displacing native Americans, they enslaved millions of Africans, which is one of the worst mistake which has ever happens in the history of America. When this republic was found, slavery had already taken other forms in most section of the World, and was an accepted aspect of human history as from the start of the societies. It is believed that human being moved to an important leap towards civilization almost 10,000 years ago, in form of submission, domestication as well as training some of the important animals, and at this time they also started ownership and domestication of fellow human being that they could capture as prisoners at war. Historians argue that the year 1441 is the year when slave trade was officially declared open. This year is marked by shipping of ten Africans from the northern Guinea Coast as a gift to Prince Henry the Navigator, after they were captured by Portuguese sailors, (WGBH | PBS, 2012). As a result, a modest trading expedition in command of the young protege of Prince Henry named Antam Goncalvez took place. However, the ten Africans were never captured with the intention of sale, they were just to be shown to Prince Henry just like any other tropical birds, exotic butterflies or rare plants could be presented.
Three years later, "(1444)" after a number of expeditions, there was bumper harvest that was realized from one of the expedition capturing two hundred and thirty five African men, women and children. Even though these Africans were torn apart from their families, they were treated well, underwent baptism and even absorbed into Portuguese households where they were petted and educated. Until fifteenth century, the emphasis remained of saving black souls by the conversion to Christianity. That act of enslaving got justification by tag from the Bible, more commonly the curse that Noah laid upon Canaan after the flood: that his descendants should be eternally subject to all the other races of the world, (Christine Bolt & Seymour Drescher, 1980). Many misinterpreted this and took advantage, for instance Charles V. granted the Governor of Bresa the monopoly of shipping four thousand African slaves in a year to the West, which was practiced until 1518.
Even though the marked significant years of start in practicing slave trade is 1441 to 1444, the year 1492 tend to be the most significant year in history, after Christopher Columbus discovered the New world. The three and a half century that followed, in addition to the ever-increasing momentums, coming up of new territories across Atlantic were in demand of millions of African slaves. Prior to African slaves in the New World, there was already arrival of indentured servants "the white cargo" in America within the decade facilitated through settlement of Jamestown by the Virginia Company in 1607.
The whole issue that surrounded slavery was the need for cheap labor. A realization erupted that there was lots of land to care for, however, these earliest settlers ha no one who could take care of it. At the same time passing through the colonies proved to be expensive except for the wealthy, the Virginia Company came up with indentured servitude system in attracting workers. As a result indentured servants became of significance to the colonial economy.
The slaves lasted for about four to seven years as it was used as an exchange for room, passage, freedom dues, lodging and board. Even though the life of slave was harsh and restrictive, it was not slavery. Laws in existence protected their rights. Nevertheless, they were not having an easy life. A contract of a slave could sometimes be extended in case the servant had broken the law, be it an attempt of running away, or become pregnant on the part of the female servants. The servants who managed to survive the work were entitle to freedom package that most of the historian argued that they were better off as compared to new immigrants who came freely to the country.
The contract was to include at least, 25 acres of land, a year's worth corn a cow, arms, new clothes and a cow. In fact a section of the servants rose to be part of the colonial elite, however, many of the slave who were able to survive the treacherous journey by sea as well as the harsh conditions of life in the New World, on the other hand satisfaction became the modest life as a freeman in a new land of opportunities.
The first black Africans arrived to Virginia in 1619. As there were no slave laws that existed, at first they were treated as slaves, and enjoyed the same opportunities from freedom dues just like the whites. In 1641, and 1661, slave laws were passed in Massachusetts and Virginia respectively, resulting to taking away of any freedom that the blacks enjoyed. Depending on the rising demand for labor, so was the cost of slaves. Most of the owners of the lands as well were subjected to threat posed by newly freed servants demand for land. On the other hand, colonial elite saw this as a solution to the problems of slave on opting to go for African slaves as a more profitable and ever-renewable labor source, hence shifting slavery to racial slavery was a good beginning.
Southern English colonies had that transition from English slaves to African slaves. The main economy of the early American Colonies was agriculture. Especially within the south, plantations were to yield large amount of rice, sugar and tobacco that were of high demand in England. Prior, those who worked in these plantations were English slaves but as1600s century was ending, a big force of using African slaves came into force. What facilitated the change was the combination of rebellious English workers, African slaves faming abilities, and affordable African slaves (Herbert S. Klein, 1963).
There was duration of working and after the period they were to be set free and be given land. What as well could be considered as a factor that facilitated the slave trade with African was lose of African slave monopoly by the Royal African Company 1698. This paved way for some other parties to enter into the lucrative business of slave trade. The new competition resulted to a significant fall of slave prices. In addition, the rise in slave traders increased the number of African slaves brought to America. For instance the followed decades after 1700 the American colonies received importation of over ten thousand African slaves.
Even though the English colonies did not have experience in cultivating rice, they depended on knowledge of the West Africans on growing rice when they were in Africa for over a hundred years. Some of the colonies such as Carolina paid a lot of money for an experienced African in rice growing. Apart from having skills in growing rice, African slaves had a rare ability to work in the rice fields. Cultivation was done in large a swampy field that was prone to mosquitoes carrying malaria, but since the African slaves were native to the same climatic condition they developed immunities to the disease.
The history of United States becomes more ashamed to the face of America with the cold, premeditated way they used in buying and keeping African slaves in captivity. They saw the used method to be so effective that they kept slaves in captivity for more than two hundred years in this country. This was rain of terror that kept black people in fear o their lives for quiet a long time. Because of gun invention back in the fifteenth century, it facilitated a lot traveling to another continent and enslaving many people.
The Africans faced a very inhumanely mistreatment just right from the start, both physically and mentally. On their transportation, they could be packed tight on ships for months, chained to one another having little to eat, drink and no bathing. Ferrying of slaves into U.S. was done through harrowing overseas route mariner known as "the middle passage," Three commodities were involve in the triangular trade: slaves from Africa, manufactured goods from Europe as well as crops as raw material goods from the America. As many as 400 to 700 slaves were to be on a single board where they could be shacked together below decks. Without considering the worst condition a human being could be subjected to. Within unsanitary conditions, hunger, disease as well as depression that could claim an estimated 50@ lives in a single ship
There were no rights that could protect the slaves, and this slavery separated families. The Northern states increasingly came to consider slavery to be moral evil, (Michael Medved, 2012). In 1808, the U.S. slavery was outlawed and at…