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American Slavery

Uploaded by cutee2 on Nov 03, 2011

Slavery is, to this day, an issue that most people in the United States grapple with. It seems to enter into any discussion about race relations. Some want to forget it, others want it remembered and claim that its wounds still exist. In order to understand this complex issue more, the best thing would be to go back to the beginning of slavery’s roots in this country in an attempt to answer the following question: Why did the enslavement of Africans begin in the American colonies? Slavery in some form had played a part in the world's experience for centuries before America was discovered. But, early on, in the developing British North America, did slavery start on a basis of race or was it just plain old economics? Over time, something changed dramatically in the American colonies. What was it? African slavery had not been part of early colonial life. What made attitudes change and what became the rationalization for people to accept the enslaving of Africans in a world that was started by those looking for a promising new life? The question of slavery and its beginning in British North America will be delved into in this article by examining various sources that deal with the topic. Edmund Morgan's American Slavery American Freedom, Peter Kolchin's American Slavery, Basil Davidson's The African Slave Trade and, Mechal Sobel's The World They Made Together will all be analyzed in order to consider theories on the topic of American slavery. American Slavery's beginnings and its basis will be examined as well as how convincing each author is in persuading the reader to believe their arguments.
For Morgan, the move toward slavery can be traced back to and stems from the resentment that existed between classes in colonial Virginia. Bacon's Rebellion had occurred because of the disillusionment and discontentment that indentured servants and small planters felt living in Virginia. The land of promise had turned into a no win situation for these servants with an upper class of gentlemen controlling things. The rebels took their anger out on the Indians and according to Morgan:
for those with eyes to see, there was an obvious lesson in the rebellion. Resentment of an alien race might be more powerful than resentment of an upper class. For men bent on the maximum exploitation...

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Uploaded by:   cutee2

Date:   11/03/2011

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   15 pages (3,409 words)

Views:   2803

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