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HISTORY - Research Paper Example

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Slavery and slave trading is an age old institution that is practiced in most of the continents in the world. All the parts of the African sub continent starting from North to South and From East to West became closely connected with slavery since as one of the major areas in the world where slavery was common, and as a chief source of slaves for “ancient civilization, the medieval world and all the continents of the modern period”1…
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Download file to see previous pages the paper addresses the sufferings of the African American slaves during the Middle Passage and their struggle towards freedom which showed results in the Reconstruction period. Middle Passage refers to the transfer of African slaves from the coast of West Africa, through the Atlantic sea to America for the purpose of slavery2. After the Portuguese ships first arrived on the Guinea Coast to trade gold, ivory and pepper, they also wanted slaves. In 1441, a Portuguese named Antam Goncalvez, enslaved a Berber and West African as servant and took them home to gift them to the Portuguese prince. In the following decades, Portuguese captured hundreds of Africans to Portugal and Spain for service as domestic slaves. The Portuguese, European and white Americans instead of capturing and enslaving the African people wanted to purchase them as slaves from the African traders3. Slavery was prohibited nationally and internationally and different societies have designed their own laws and customs to abolish slavery. In 1652 Rhode Island General Court passed a law to abolish slave trading, which stated “no black mankind could be forced to serve a master for longer than ten years, after which they would be free, as the manner is with English servants”4, but this was never enforced. In 1784 the Rhode island legislature enacted “Gradual Abolition Act” stated “every person born in the state after March 1 of that year would be free”5, but it could not do anything for those who born before March 1. Finally in the year 1787 the state law prohibited “residents of the state from trading in slaves, federal statutes of 1794 and 1800 barring Americans from carrying slaves to ports outside the United States, and the 1807 Congressional act abolishing the transatlantic slave trade”6. While United Sates made a small effort in banning the trade, Great Britain made a major effort towards dispatching a naval squadron to the coast of Africa and at the same time negotiating with other nations to allow inspection of vessels suspected to carry slaves7. The Civil War on April 12. 1861, was the war between the North and South Americans, which was of special interest to the slaves because this war was regarded to be the deciding factor about the issue on slaves8. By the end of the war it was roughly estimated that about 179,000 black men serves as soldier and 19,000 served as navy in the US Army. Those who couldn’t serve as soldier served as cooks, guards, nurses, scouts, surgeons, steamboat pilots, guards etc , contributing towards the war. Black women who joined the war but couldn’t serve as soldiers, served as nurses, scout and spies. Estimation shows that about 40,000 black soldiers died in the course of the war and about 30,000 died of infection and disease, contributing hugely towards the war9. Reconstruction is the effort made to reconstruct and reorganization the South “politically, economically and socially” after the Civil war and also reform the relation between the race throughout the nation10. In this context Freedman’s Bureau established in 1865 by the War department played a major role in relieving and reconstructing socially to bring citizenship to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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