Slavery/ Slavery In The United States term paper 11828

Slavery term papers
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Slavery in the United States

In the history of the United States nothing has brought more

shame to the face of America than the cold, premeditated

method of keeping black people in captivity. People from

England who migrated to America used many different methods

to enslave black people and passed them down through the

children. These methods were quite effective, so effective that

these “slaves” were kept in captivity for over two hundred years

in this country. It was the rain of terror that kept black people in

fear of their lives for so long. The invention of the gun back in

the fifth-teenth century was the main reason that these people

were able to go to another continent and enslave so many

people. These people from Africa were mistreated very badly

right from the start both mentally and physically. They were

packed very tightly on ships for months at a time chained to

each other with no place to go to the bathroom, little water to

drink, and hardly anything to eat.

As the population constantly increased in the colonies during the

1600’s, so did the demand for slavery especially in the southern

colonies where the big plantations were. These plantations were

very lucrative since the owners had free manual labor and they

could keep all the profit from the crops for themselves. They

also had to justify what they were doing to themselves so what

they did was tell themselves that these slaves were barbaric and

not smart enough to be civilized. These slave owners also

owned huge houses in the middle of their plantations and

thought of themselves as noblemen. In acuality, it was the slaves

who were living nobly while the Europeans were living

barbaricly. The Europeans who owned slaves also thought that

the slaves were not smart enough because they could not speak

English and they did not have a written language. This was

proven not to be true either because the second generation of

slaves learned the English language with no trouble at all. Once

the slaves started having children, the demand for slaves

dropped while the market for selling slaves and their children

went up. This was another way they kept slaves in slavery. If a

person was born to a slave, he or she was automatically born

into a life of slavery. The owners would also keep their slaves

ignorant. They would not teach them how to read or write. If

they could read, they would have been shocked to find that

these colonists believed that every man is born with the

unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

They also would have known that these colonists left the last

country that they were in for this same reason.

Their ignorance to this fact is not what kept them in slavery for

so though. What kept them obedient was the fact that they

knew they would be made an example of if they tried to escape.

Second of all, they had no where to escape to. It was not like

they had a friend’s house to hide out in. They knew if they

rebelled or acted up, they would be either beaten very badly

with whips, punished by starving in the basement, or just shot. I

am sure they all wanted to rebel, but they saw what happened

to the ones who did rebel so most of them decided not to. As

time went on, slaves were getting smarter and were learning

how to read and write. They started learn that not all black

people in the country were enslaved. By word of mouth or by

reading, they started to learn that slavery did not exist up north.

Then they started to learn that not every white person was out

to get them if they knew that they were planning to escape. This

was a very dangerous plan though. Some white people would

actually help some slaves escape. This was called the

Underground Railroad. Underground because it was kept a big

secret from everyone because nobody could trust anybody

back then because you would never know who would snitch

and who wouldn’t. The railroad part was a string of houses of

white people who would hide runaway slaves for the day so

they could continue to head towards the northern states during

the night for their freedom. This was the only way a slave could

gain his or her freedom. One slave that had escaped was

Fredrick Douglas. This man, instead of getting his freedom and

forgetting about his past, wanted to help his people. What he

did was prepare a speech for a huge audience of white people

and tell them what was going on down south. This was a well-

spoken black man who was very brave. First of all, most

people up north had never even seen a black man, nor have

they heard about how these slaves were being treated down

south. After he was through with his speech, he received a

standing ovation for his courage and that is one of the things that

started the northerners strong opinion that slavery is wrong. This

would eventually lead to the Civil War.

So basically, greed for money through free labor, supply and

demand, and gun power is what created slavery. Keeping the

fear in the eyes of the slaves is what kept them working under

such poor conditions everyday, while their friends and family

could be sold away at any time or place. Learning English and

being able to read and write is what educated these men and

women. Once they were educated enough, they could secretly

plan escape routes to the north and finally get some sympathy

for their people which would eventually lead to the Civil War.

This war was about right and wrong. There is a moral way to

make money and then there is an immoral way to make a living.

Slavery is the number one event in our country’s history that has

disgraced and put shame to our culture. Even though not

everyone owned slaves, one bad apple spoils the bunch.

Hopefully people will learn from history, and immoral actions or

events like slavery will not take place again.

Word Count: 1040


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