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Racial Differences in America - Essay Example

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Name Professor Module Date Racial Differences in America Since the seventeenth century, America has grappled with the problem of racial inequality. In his book, “Racial Equality in America”, John Hope Franklin was especially concerned with issues of treatment and opportunity…
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Racial Differences in America

Download file to see previous pages... This paper suggests some courses of action to achieve racial equality in the future of United States of America. My view on the course of action to take is as a result of the historical lessons as espoused by Franklin. History of Racial Inequality in America. Since the first settlers landed on the New World, issues of equality and justice among races have been and continue to be debated strongly, often violently. Right from the beginning when the white settlers encountered the Native Americans, to the latter European settlers and to the African slaves bonded to serve their white masters, inequality existed. Negroes languished lowest on the equality ladder, even those that had never been enslaved. This was due to both the laws of the land and customs of the enslavers. All these despite the fact that Negro labor is what brought development in most parts of America. It was their hard labor that made it possible to farm, mine, explore the interior of the continent and build infrastructure. It was difficult to end slavery since the trade in humans brought profits to the shippers and merchants and most other traders. Meanwhile, the white colonialists also felt that paying taxes to the British Monarchy was enslaving them. By mid 18th century, they were clamoring for emancipation from British rule that forced them to remit taxes. They, white settlers, were also against British policy of condemning and outlawing slavery and the slave trade as a whole. Among them were those who felt it was hypocritical to want freedom from British bondage while they owned slaves. Slaves too began voicing their need for freedom from the settlers who wanted the same from their colonial masters. Thomas Jefferson, a co-author of the declaration of independence and a slave-owner himself, attempted to appeal to the British crown to abolish slavery and slave trade and declare universal equality. Sadly, he also was of the opinion that the black man was physiologically and intellectually inferior to the white man. The white patriots later expunged these sections from the draft declaration (Franklin 14). The abolition of slavery in the Northwest Territory in 1787 marked a significant step in securing the Negroes’ inalienable rights as human beings. Still, there were calls to deport slaves as soon as they were emancipated, for most settlers still found it hard to regard them as equals. They thought that the manumitted Negroes would cause chaos and it would be safer to return them to Africa than live with them. This proved an insurmountable task due to the sheer numbers of slaves. Free blacks lacked suffrage, and even though they were no longer bound by slavery, they lived as pariahs in society. They also had to pay higher taxes than whites, prohibited from testifying against whites in court, serving in the military or even owning real estate. Such injustices sowed the seeds of revolution and demands for equality and human rights. Inequality Today. In the eighteenth century, the black slave was a property just like a table in the living room. Property could not be given away freely for that meant economic loss. The white settlers were against slave emancipation mainly due to economic reasons. Apart from losing property, freeing a slave meant the loss of cheap manual labor. The white settlers would have to pay for laborers to till their farms, build their bridges and carry loads. A free former slave also meant competition for ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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