Slavery in America

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Slavery in America

  1. 1. America’s Shame
  2. 2. <ul><li>Dates back to ancient times of Greece, Rome, Egypt, China, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Fundamental part of human society throughout recorded history </li></ul><ul><li>Spanish and Portuguese began bringing slaves from Western Africa in 1503 to replace Native Americans working in gold mines in the Caribbean and Central America </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>A Dutch ship brought 20 enslaved Africans to the Virginia colony of Jamestown in 1619 </li></ul><ul><li>At first the slaves were treated much like white indentured servants </li></ul><ul><li>Slaves were not particularly valuable at first. It was cheaper to bring in indentured workers than to pay for slaves </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>As indentured workers became unprofitable, enslaved workers from Africa began to grow </li></ul><ul><li>Indentured workers found work in England, so not as many </li></ul><ul><li>Indentured workers lived longer and claimed promised land (indentured term-6 years) </li></ul><ul><li>If slaves ran away, they were easily found because they could not blend in </li></ul><ul><li>Slaves could not make demands on master for human treatment, justice, or land </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Brought to American mainly to work the tobacco, rice, cotton, sugar, and coffee plantations </li></ul><ul><li>More skilled in agricultural areas </li></ul><ul><li>Most whites looked upon Africans as intellectually and morally inferior </li></ul><ul><li>Laws passed making slaves property of their owners. The status was for lifetime and was hereditary </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>About 12 million Africans transported to Western Hemisphere in 400 years (1450-1850) most between 1680-1808 </li></ul><ul><li>Slave population increased as cotton production increased </li></ul><ul><li>Originally only half a million slaves brought to North America – numbers increased quickly </li></ul><ul><li>Slaves reproduced at the same rate as whites </li></ul><ul><li>697,897 slaves in 1790, nearly 4 million by 1860 </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Slaves lived in strong family environments, especially on large plantations </li></ul><ul><li>Chose their own mates - held wedding ceremonies </li></ul><ul><li>Reproduced naturally </li></ul><ul><li>After about 1808, owners realized good medical care and tolerable living conditions helped slaves live longer </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Strong families </li></ul><ul><li>Religion – Most were Islam at first, but changed over to Evangelical Christianity because owners would let them attend church. Emotional services – Africans sang, clapped, danced, and shouted </li></ul><ul><li>Told stories – parents passed on African history to children while working side by side in the fields </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Taught themselves a new language only they understood – whites thought the language was crude and ignorant </li></ul><ul><li>Practiced new art forms </li></ul><ul><li>Played music – owners banned drums – played gourds, fiddles, banjos, and bells - began reproducing rhythms by clapping, body slapping and toe tapping – was accompanied by jigs, shuffles, and struts </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>“… Slavery was a brutal system based upon physical force, threats, tortures,… and intimidation” (Davis1). </li></ul><ul><li>If a slave resisted an order from a slave owner or any white person, they could expect retaliation – accepted punishments were: </li></ul><ul><li>Verbal reprimands, “Cuts” with a stick or a whip, boxed ears, confinement in a shed, branding with a hot iron (20 seconds), wearing iron chains or mask for weeks or months, and severe beatings </li></ul><ul><li>Mutilation of the body such as clipped ears, broken legs, fingers cut off, and slitting the tongue </li></ul><ul><li>The threat of being sold away from family members and never seeing family again </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Set work pace so no one was beat or sold for not keeping up </li></ul><ul><li>Work sabotage: Set fire to barn, walk horse off a cliff, abuse animals, destroy tools, not doing good work, acting ignorant </li></ul><ul><li>Run away </li></ul><ul><li>Rebel against slave owner </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Ran to escape beatings and to find sold off family members </li></ul><ul><li>80-90% were males </li></ul><ul><li>Very few children </li></ul><ul><li>Ran in the summer months </li></ul><ul><li>50,00 tried to runaway each year, very few succeeded </li></ul><ul><li>Chased by slave catchers and dogs </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Abolitionists – individuals who held strong anti-slavery views – many were Quakers </li></ul><ul><li>Escaping slaves would head to free northern states, Canada, Mexico, or the British west Indies </li></ul><ul><li>The Underground Railroad –secret network made up of people and shelters strategically located to assist fugitive slaves in their escape to freedom </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Used railroad terms as a cover </li></ul><ul><li>(station, conductor, line) </li></ul><ul><li>Safe houses located in the Upper south and the North </li></ul><ul><li>Managed, operated, and funded mainly by African Americans, although some whites did help </li></ul><ul><li>Provided safe shelters, clothing, food, money, and directions to freedom </li></ul><ul><li>Harriet Ross Tubman – most famous underground agent-escaped slavery and returned to south 19 times-helped 300 slaves make an escape </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Fugitive Slave Act of 1793-let slave catchers cross state lines in pursuit of runaway slaves, even free states </li></ul><ul><li>Three-Fifths Clause-slave owner could count every slave as 3/5 of a free person to determine state’s representation in the House of Representatives and the Electoral College </li></ul><ul><li>The right to continue importing slaves from Africa ( stopped in 1808) </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>President Abraham Lincoln-anti-slavery </li></ul><ul><li>The Civil War (1861-1865) mainly fought over the issue of slavery </li></ul><ul><li>On the eve of The Civil War, 4 million slaves lived in the southern region-most born into slavery </li></ul><ul><li>178,000 African American fought on the side of the North 80% were former slaves </li></ul><ul><li>The outbreak of war caused thousands of slaves to break for freedom </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>The North won The Civil War </li></ul><ul><li>The 13 th Amendment passed ending slavery in 1865 </li></ul><ul><li>12 generations of slaves suffered, but survived the institute of slavery </li></ul><ul><li>Although free, former slaves still struggled. They experienced segregation, racial violence, and lynching. </li></ul><ul><li>Former slaves still had a long fight ahead of them to be considered equal </li></ul>

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