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Frederick Douglass - Essay Example

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The history of slavery can be traced back in ancient times. Several historians attested that slave labor was originated from warfare wherein the captives were found to be more profitable to enslave rather than to kill them. …
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Frederick Douglass
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Download file to see previous pages However, in American, slavery was introduced and influenced by the European settlers. At first, Native Americans were exploited as slaves until the settlers learned to import African slaves. The purpose was to supply the increasing demand in slave labor and trading because it proved to have several economic advantages. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the institution of slavery had affected all the Americans – whether they were white or black, Northern or Southern, slave or free. During this period, the status and treatment to the slaves were very drastic and degrading. They were considered merely as chattels or pieces of property. They had only few legal rights, but, the most tragic scenario was the situation of other slaves who had no rights at all. Most of them lives and belonged to their “Masters” wherein they can be sold or leased in the public slave markets. The owners also controlled their lives in which they were the ones who decide on how they (slaves) spent their free time and whether they get married or not. The worst, once the parents were slaves, their children were also expected to become slaves and taken by their “Master” when they big enough to be utilized in agriculture, industry, commerce, domestic service, and/or armed forces. Due to this legal, social, economic and racial discrimination and prejudices suffered by the slaves, several anti-slavery movement and revolts began to develop to end their misery and to safeguard their basic human rights. And one of the most notable and influential figures in the abolition of slavery during the nineteenth century was Frederick Douglass, who was born to a family of African-American slaves and also became as slave himself as young as seven years old. Douglass escaped from slavery and began to advocate racial equality and black freedom from being slavery doomed. Discussion Slavery both existed in the North and South America. But, since the abolition of slavery in the North during the colonial period, the South had become the haven of slave labor due to the introduction and emergence of large-scale cotton plantation farms. Cotton became the world’s largest and represented as America’s biggest and most important export. It replaced sugar as the major crop. In fact, three-fourths of the world’s cotton supply came from the southern region. It was considered by the South as their “white gold” (Foner, 2006, 378) because it significantly boosted the economic status of the entire America wherein the sales earned from the cotton industry had allowed the country to pay for imported manufactured goods (Foner, 379). Since, the economy was centered on the production of cotton, the South, which happened to have abundant fertile farms applicable for cotton farming, had become the center of New World slavery. The South was also considered as the largest and most powerful slave society (Foner, 378) which adversely affected both the African American slaves and the poor American whites in the region. Effects of slavery in the South to the African-American Slavery in the South had adversely affected the African-American slaves. First, the African-Americans were subjected to racial discrimination wherein the White Americans believed that they were supreme and their black counterparts were the innately inferior. Further, they declared that true equality for them (whites) was manifested by being free from “low, menial, unskilled jobs” in which they emphasized that these jobs were only fitted for the blacks. Slavery was for the blacks and means their existence was to perform all kinds of work in the plantation all throughout the day with only brief break for meals. They were only fed for the reason to become more productive rather than any reasons (Foner, 2006, 395). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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