A History of Slavery in the United States

Written by: Grand Maester
Updated: Oct 19, 2023
Read Summary
Cite this

From its inception to the Civil War and beyond, slavery has profoundly influenced the U.S.’s socio-political fabric. This history explores the brutal realities of the institution, the resistance and resilience of the enslaved, the political battles it instigated, and its enduring legacy in the form of systemic racism and inequality. PapersOwl showcases more free essays that are examples of Frederick Douglass topic.

Category: History
Date added
Pages:  3
Words:  988
Order Original Essay

How it works

The number of slaves being held in the United States increased significantly during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Up to this point, slavery was primarily an institution limited to white men and few women. However, as whites became more prosperous, they began importing large numbers of free or indentured servants from Africa who were brought over as slaves for economic gain (El Hame). The public developed an increasing dislike for both these newcomers and their descendants – termed “mulattos” – leading to a pre-Civil War world where slaves were a political liability for employers who felt that too many freed blacks would be competing with them for jobs. This led to a decline in the number of slaves in the United States  as well as a corresponding increase in slave markets on the international market.

One area where this is particularly true, and will be discussed in depth below, is Morocco. Following the collapse of its economy after independence from the Spaniards, several Moroccan kings elected to begin selling their subjects into slavery. However, they soon realized that they could sell these slaves back to European powers for more money than they could make by simply working them themselves (El Hame). Thus began an era where Moroccans sold their own citizens repeatedly into slavery until slavery was abolished in 1884. This multi-generational slave trade was an important factor in the weakening of Morocco while simultaneously making it a key hub of trans-Atlantic slavery.

Need a custom essay on the same topic?
Give us your paper requirements, choose a writer and we’ll deliver the highest-quality essay!
Order now

By the nineteenth century, it was estimated that around a million and a half Africans had been sold into slavery in the Americas. Of this number, nearly three-quarters were slaves from West Africa, specifically from Niger and Senegal. The rest came from Ghana, Nigeria, and other nearby countries (El Hame). Of these, the vast majority were shipped first to the Caribbean islands, where most would die on or near their first voyage unless purchased by wealthy planters. Most of these slaves would soon be purchased by American slave traders, who would take them to one of several main ports in Maryland or Virginia.

Because of the misunderstandings that have developed since the eighteenth century, slavery remains a problematic issue in modern America. Many people are unaware that enslaved Africans arrived in the Americas long before 1619, were well-treated, and were eventually freed in significant numbers. Enslaved people were treated similarly to indentured servants now in the seventeenth century. The bulk of farms had fewer than twenty enslaved people. They were allowed to visit their relatives and friends and lived in families. Many individuals worked on tobacco plantations, including the proprietors. Eventually, the number of enslaved people rose to meet their own needs. When formerly enslaved people began to rebel, plantation owners were understandably concerned.

Slavery became legal and subject to new laws when the 1700s began. In 1705, for example, Virginia passed legislation specifying who would be considered an enslaved person upon arrival and designating all black people and their descendants to be the property of white proprietors. In addition, have the authorities, as mentioned earlier, carry it out. All servants who were not Christians in their original nation and were imported and transported into this country, whether by sea or land, should be regarded as enslaved people and may be purchased and sold as such, regardless of whether or not they converted to Christianity. Slavery restrictions in the Constitution formerly enslaved Africans made up almost half of Virginia’s population in 1750. The Chesapeake no longer needed slave labor once the tobacco business collapsed in 1790. In reaction to a severe labor crisis, wealthy plantation owners periodically partitioned their farms, leased out pieces of their property, or sold their slaves to poorer farmers. Some city dwellers hired enslaved people to businesses that required physical work. Others were forced to work in Mississippi fields after their escape. This Study Guide will help you prepare for the 2010 A.P. United States History Exam (Form B). As Virginia’s cotton economy grew, so did the number of enslaved people born into service.

CTA banner
Donate your essay and get 10$ for each one!
Upload your essay and after it checking you will get money in your bonus account.

Only two events that contributed to slavery’s once positive image were the American Revolution, which resulted in the creation of free and enslaved person states, and the demise of the tobacco business, which caused enslaved people to become less profitable and more costly. Enslaved people were often employed on cotton and rice farms in the southern United States. The cotton gin was created in 1793, allowing enslaved people to produce cotton much faster. The mood of the plantation changed depending on the master’s personality and engagement. On large estates, women were frequently hired as seamstresses, cooks, nurses, and housekeepers for the master’s household. Butlers, coachmen, valets, farmers, truck drivers, technicians, and craftspeople were among the masculine jobs. The 2010 A.P. United States History Examination Guide (Form B) There were two different kinds of field systems in use. A single overseer or driver controls a group of 25 to 30 enslaved people. This technique is often employed in cotton fields. The second method, popular in rice fields, was the “task system,” which included assigning daily work to each enslaved person. Enslaved people often worked 15 to 16-hour days, seven days a week. Every year, each individual gets a large sample of fabric to create clothes and footwear.

Because slavery is deeply ingrained in American history, it will be analyzed and contested indefinitely. Although it is sometimes cited as a lesson to be learned, similar tragedies continue to occur in other parts of the globe. This begs the issue of whether the American attitude toward slavery has influenced contemporary slavery.

Works Cited

  1. Hacker, J David. “From ’20. and odd’ to 10 million: The growth of the slave population in the United States.” Slavery & abolition vol. 41,4 (2020): 840-855. https://doi.org/10.1080%2F0144039x.2020.1755502
  2. Morabia, Alfredo. “Slavery, Work, and Racism in America: A Review of Four Books.” American Journal of Public Health vol. 109,10 (2019): 1312–1314. https://doi.org/10.2105%2FAJPH.2019.305304
  3. Black, Jeremy. “American Slavery in Historical Perspective.” (2019). https://www.fpri.org/article/2019/09/american-slavery-in-historical-perspective/

The deadline is too short to read someone else's essay

Hire a verified expert to write you a 100% Plagiarism-Free paper

Cite this page

A History of Slavery in the United States. (2019, Oct 26). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-history-of-slavery-in-the-united-states/