Slave Community. In The Development Of Southern Research Paper

Length: 5 pages Sources: 4 Subject: Architecture Type: Research Paper Paper: #70213810 Related Topics: Cultural Assimilation, Maritime, Building Construction, Caribbean
Excerpt from Research Paper :

Slave Community. In the development of southern architecture slaves constructed both slave quarters as well as larger plantation homes. Choose 3 examples of these types of structures and discuss why they were used, they overall design (using terminology) and also the origins of the design ideas and why these design elements were incorporated into the buildings.

The plantation architecture in the South developed over centuries, reflected not only the evolution of the slave communities, but also their interaction with the owners, their cultural background and their integration in the economic structure of the South. Many of the phases in this development, including creolization, brought forth new elements in architecture, as well as in the anthropological and cultural evolution of these communities. The aim of this paper is to discuss Southern architecture with distinct examples from plantation houses and slave communities, with an additional perspective on creaolization and its impact.

A general characteristic of the plantation setting is that the plantation formed an economic entity that was targeting a particular sector of agriculture that was being primarily cultivated: tobacco, cotton etc. In that sense and starting from this perception, the plantation's architecture was designed so as to "support the production and processing of cotton and to house those who produced it: the owner, the manager or overseer" (Encyclopedia of Alabama, 2008). With that in mind, the plantation was arranged in a particular way in terms of the houses and slave quarters.

The example of the Preuit Oaks Plantation, near Leighton in the Tennessee Valley, Alabama, is interesting, including because it reflects a general theoretical perception that the plantation owners awarding less time and money to the main house's architecture and were rather interested in reinvesting the profits in land and slaves or in supporting the social...


The house itself in the case of this plantation is not very big,

The owner's house was the focal point of the plantation, to the degree to which all slave quarters that had been built sufficiently close to the owner's house were assimilated to being part of the house itself (Vlach, 1993). This particularity of the architecture was reflected in the case of the Preuit Oaks Plantation, where the slave quarters were placed to the rear of the house, in an informal arrangement. This type of assimilation was also translated in the general perception that the household slaves were closer linked to the plantation and to the owner and that, as such, there was a smaller chance of them revolting or running away than the other slaves. Several outbuildings, other than the slave quarters, including the cotton storage house or the outside kitchen, as well as the supervisory office.

Many of the architecture in states further inland than the original colonies reflected several particular characteristics. On one hand, many of them had started as frontier dwellings and, as a consequence, were improved versions of what was originally a log house or something else that was small and unpretentious. At the same time, many of the architectural elements were borrowed from the East Coast, including what was known later on as the "I house" (Encyclopedia of Alabama, 2008).

The I house was two stories high and one room deep (), but this type of architecture was actually adapted to the climate in the deep South, since it provided direly needed ventilation on three sides, as well as a veranda that could also become very useful in the summer. The Seale Plantation House on Moses Hill in Alabama is an excellent example of an "I house."

The actual slave quarters are different from state to state, but several main categories can be drafted. Many of the slave quarters remained significantly rudimentary, often not more than a log cabin, sometimes with Earth floors and with shutters instead of glass windows. The quarters were generally located around the fields, to maximize work exposure. Some slave quarters were occasionally built by slaves to mimic, to some degree, some of the characteristics of the main house, usually in areas that were less obvious and more common in general, such as the roof.

Simplicity is not necessarily a characteristic for all slave quarters. Some of these, quite interesting, brought several characteristics of traditional African architecture (including, though, some of the elements previously…

Sources Used in Documents:


1. Plantation Architecture in Alabama. 2011. Encyclopedia of Alabama. On the Internet at Last retrieved on February 14, 2012

2. Buisseret, David. 2000. Creolization in the Americas. Texas A&M University Press

3. Edwards, Jay; Kariouk, Nicolas. 2004. A Creole lexicon. LSU Press.

4. Vlach, John Michael. 1993. Back of the big house. UNC Press Books

Cite this Document:

"Slave Community In The Development Of Southern" (2012, February 14) Retrieved June 24, 2021, from

"Slave Community In The Development Of Southern" 14 February 2012. Web.24 June. 2021. <>

"Slave Community In The Development Of Southern", 14 February 2012, Accessed.24 June. 2021,

Related Documents
Slave Community: Plantation Live in
Words: 665 Length: 2 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 13237183

This book is important because so much of black history centers on the experience of being a slave, rather than the experience of living together with others slaves and the development of culture and tradition. This book shows how black American culture really originated, and that the lives of slaves were incredibly hard, but enriching in their own right. The author's exhaustive research gives the reader a real glimpse

Slave Narrative and Black Autobiography - Richard
Words: 10277 Length: 37 Pages Topic: Literature Paper #: 60198781

Slave Narrative and Black Autobiography - Richard Wright's "Black Boy" and James Weldon Johnson's Autobiography The slave narrative maintains a unique station in modern literature. Unlike any other body of literature, it provides us with a first-hand account of institutional racially-motivated human bondage in an ostensibly democratic society. As a reflection on the author, these narratives were the first expression of humanity by a group of people in a society where

Negro Spirituals and the Development of Blues Ragtime and Jazz Music...
Words: 3512 Length: 8 Pages Topic: Music Paper #: 6875347

Negro Spirituals and the Development of Blues, Ragtime and Jazz Music The melodies and rhythms of Africa have found their way to America through many ways and the African-American spirituals are one of them. There is one religious folk song, originally sung by the African-American protestants of the southern United States is now known as the spirituals. These pieces of music originated during the period of 1800 to 1850. It was

Development of Northern and Southern Colonies Before the Civil War...
Words: 2623 Length: 7 Pages Topic: Economics Paper #: 88275499

Northern and Southern Colonies before the Civil War In the middle of the 19th century, the industrial revolution that was growing depicted the presence of the two countries all of the most progressive independent states. The symbolic status in England laid the foundation of working class exploitation, urbanization and industrialization and the other one based on village, farmhouse, agriculture, and trustworthy relations between tenants and squires in 1845. Regarding the

Development of Southern California
Words: 3595 Length: 11 Pages Topic: Literature - Latin-American Paper #: 77099148

Southern California Frederick Jackson Turner is perhaps most well-known for his famous essay, "The Significance of the Frontier on American History." In this essay, Turner defines and supports his thesis that the history of the American West is the history of America. This theory directly correlates to the concept of Manifest Destiny put forth by Monroe in which the push westward and the subsequent development, it was believed, was man's

Slave Narratives to Middle Class Stories
Words: 7110 Length: 20 Pages Topic: Black Studies Paper #: 31504182

Internal Struggle for Identity and Equality in African-American Literature The story of the African-American journey through America's history is one of heartbreaking desperation and victimization, but also one of amazing inspiration and victory. Any story of the journey that fails to include these seemingly diametric components of the African-American journey is incomplete. However, African-American culture reflects both the progress of the African-American community, its external struggle to achieve equality, and