Slavery will work for a certain amount of

Slavery
has indeed played a giant role in the early parts of US history dating all the
way back to colonial origins. As time progressed, so did the acts of slavery
and the many changes until the civil war. The first enslaved people were Native
Americans, also known as serfs. During this time, slavery was called indentured
servitude, this was a “labor contract signed by men and women stating that they
will work for a certain amount of years growing tobacco in the Chesapeake
colonies” (p.94). This was the beginning stages of slavery to see what people
would allow and how they would work. Most of them were poor, young and
illiterate and as a result, they couldn’t understand or properly comprehend what
they were signing, so they ended up being slaves. At the end of their years,
servants were promised freedom dues, which consisted of sometimes land by the
colony and food. Because of the many promises, the attraction was strong, and
more people signed up, not knowing what they were getting themselves into. Just
like anything with pros, the cons were if the servants disobeyed or committed a
crime and the masters found out their time would be lengthened by several more
years. As time went on slavery progressed and changes had been made, it
migrated to other places.

            The establishment of the Carolinas is another place
slavery was endured, the English plantation owners from Barbados relocated to
the southern part of the Carolinas, because Barbados sugar colony was already
fueled by slavery and was already well established, the expansion of slavery
was easy. The Carolinas were eventually divided into north and south, where
each colony focused on production. The north focused on producing ship supplies
such as turpentine and tar. The north’s population grew due to Virginian
expansion of tobacco and as a result tobacco was the primary export in Virginia
and North Carolina; tobacco was traded for slaves in Africa. The southern part
of the Carolinas focused on producing rice and indigo, because the Englishmen
that settled in South Carolina was already a master, South Carolina had majority
of African Americans. Slavery had been adopted as apart of life and because of
that the Carolinas started passing slave laws based on codes in Barbados. The
laws “reduced Africans to the status of property to be bought and sold as other
commodities” (p. 98). This is the start of changes of slavery, indentured
servants were able to sign a commitment, making it seem like they had a choice,
now here we are in the Carolinas and slaves don’t have a choice, they don’t sign
a contract they are now considered property and traded as commodities. The flow
of people and laws helped establish this because if it wasn’t for the
Englishmen settling in South Carolina, then the Carolinas wouldn’t have been
able to base slave laws off Barbados codes.

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Over
time indentured servants became scarce because they weren’t as physically
capable of baring heavy labor and extreme working conditions like blacks were.
Also, African Americans were more diverse in language because they were traded
from many different places, and because of that language barrier, it was hard
for them to unify, which is what the masters didn’t want. It was easy to
torture blacks because they were far away from home and had nowhere to run.

            The westward expansion became the
journey to promote the superior race, Caucasian, blonde hair and blue eyes. To bring
about new technological advances and drive the natives away. This lead to many
issues along the way including the Louisiana purchase, Texas as an independent
and the Mexican-American War. Before the westward expansion, slavery had begun
to become popular and almost everywhere people owned slaves. Because of
westward expansion and the slave population becoming increasingly high, a
decision couldn’t be made on if slavery should be allowed in the western
states. Congress came up with many ideas to address this problem and the first
one was the three-fifths clause, this stated that “the entirely of a states
free population and sixty percent of its enslaved population would be counted
in establishing the number of states members in the House of Representatives
and the size of its federal tax bills” (p.308). This was all apart if the
Missouri crisis, as a result, of the Missouri compromise, Missouri was deemed a
slave state while Maine became a free state. This created a balance for
congress. This decision also tied in with the Louisiana purchase during this
time Jefferson felt the United States needed to expand to provide enough land
and because it was so much free space the US decided to go west. Texas was another
one of many of the states at debate over slavery and if it should be allowed in
the westward expansion. Americans in Texas created havoc against Mexico to accomplish
their goal of expansion and taking over. Gaining control of Texas appeared to
be logic, creating an empire that included slavery and an inheritance of more
land. But, the Missouri crisis was still unsettled and as a result, the United
States refused Texas request to enter as a slave state.  Instead, Texas took matters into their own hands
and formed their own independent republic that legalized slavery. The problem
was, American settlers was pressed for more land and this greed tensioned the
relationship between Texas and Mexico. This tension lead to the Mexican
American war, because of the war, the United States was given present day
Washington and Oregon and the Mexican Cession “added nearly added nearly half
of Mexico’s territory to the United States, including New Mexico and California,
and established the U.S.-Mexico border at the Rio Grande” (p. 317).

Slavery
shaped the culture and society of the South, which rested on a white supremacy
and the dreams of the United States as a white man’s republic. Slaves encountered
many traumas, they eventually united and created their own culture by using “Christian
message of redemption to find hope for a world of freedom without violence” (p.
331). In the antebellum era which was before the civil war, tobacco and rice
continued to grow, but cotton emerged. The demand for cotton expanded and it
became the souths major commercial crop depriving the economic expansion of
rice, tobacco and sugar cane. “By 1860, the region was producing two-thirds of
the world’s cotton” (p. 332). This was high for the south the economy was
thriving, they had expanded westward, colonists were achieving the goals they
set out for. When the cotton gin was created, laborers had to have it. The machine
separated the cotton from the seed which made the work more efficient and
easier, the demand for cotton increased, the advantages where it was easily
stored and transported. Cotton became a cash crop because the sole purpose was
for farmers to sell and make a profit. Slaves attended to the cotton seeds,
when they planted them, they watered and nurtured them over the next couple of
months, slaves were expected to pick two hundred pounds of cotton a day.

The
south depended on cotton and on slavery because they were the ones that harvest
the cotton and used the gin to separate the cotton from the seed. Slavery helped
form the foundation of the country’s economy, which helped it become successful.
With the abolishment of the foreign slave trade, African slaves became illegal
in the US and a high demand for domestic slaves arose. Because the US knew
slavery drove its economy, they couldn’t just let slavery go, therefore they
derived the domestic slave trade, which allowed them to trade slaves within the
US borders. The selling and trading of slaves was also a profit for white men,
they were able to use psychological techniques and violence to keep the slaves
in obedience. Although cotton was booming, the US was still dependent on other
states and nations for all other crops they couldn’t grow. This called for more
trade because other places such as the Atlantic market relied on cotton, while
the US relied on them for food, goods and services and sometimes loans.

Slavery
adopted new changes after the Carolinas were colonized. Before, serfs were able
to sign a contract that stated they would work for this amount of years and at
the end they were promised to be set free and entities to land. As time changed
so did slavery and the expectations of the slaves. They were not considered
people the three fifths clause proves this, and the domestic slave trade proves
that they were represented as a commodity. Some African American slaves were
set free and achieved economic wealth, as a result, they became slave holders
themselves. This shows how slavery changed over time because white supremist were
able to get into their heads and turn them against their own people. Slavery
played an integral role in the early part of US history because it paved way
for economic success the growing of tobacco and rice was the first part of slavery
success and when the demand for cotton went in up rise, slaves worked overtime
for masters to ensure the cotton grew and was picked just right. The drive was
more land and the US going westward gave colonists more land and more opportunities
to own slaves. Serfs never received the “freedom dues” and Blacks never received
their “40 acres and a mule”. Before the civil war slavery was the economic
background for the US, without slavery the US probably wouldn’t have had as much
economic success as it did.

 

 

 

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