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Colonization the Area in Florida by the Spanish - Assignment Example

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In the paper “Colonization the Area in Florida by the Spanish” the author analyzes the Spaniards who brought the first African slaves to the New World for their colony in Florida and their Caribbean interests. The first African blacks brought to British North America were not slaves, but indentured servants…
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Question The Spaniards brought the first African slaves to the New World for their colony in Florida (St. Augustine) and their Caribbean interests. The first African blacks brought to British North America were not slaves, but indentured servants. Because of the proximity of the Spanish, and the rise of cash crops like rice and cotton, slavery became economically beneficial to the land owners. Therefore, indentured servitude in British North America and the newly formed United States was slowly converted to lifetime inherited slavery for economic reasons, and the rules were applied for the visible difference of race for the convenience of easy identification, until slavery was abolished by the thirteenth amendment.
The Spanish colonized the area in Florida, and were at war with Protestant England. They brought black African slaves to work in the dangerous areas of swampland where diseases abounded to which the Africans had an immunity. They were especially useful on the sugar plantations in Caribbean. When Sir Walter Raleigh cam into the Carolinas, he went first through Florida and destroyed the settlements and free the slaves
This situation did not stop British North Americans from using slaves. Most of them came here with no skills for survival and needed to have things done for them. At first the slaves were indentured servants, brought for a price which they worked off. When their term was up, usually 7 years, they were given a small plot of land and supplies to get started. The early settlers did not even identify themselves by color at all. The most important divisions were social, religious and economic. Because of the development of rice as a cash crop, slave labor was becoming quite attractive. Runaway white servants usually had a year or two added to their time, but blacks often became lifelong slaves for the same offense. Eventually plantation owners began buying slaves to work their land. With the invention of the cotton gin, slavery was an economic boon to the southern states, and they were loathe to give it up. So the abolition of slavery was removed from the agenda of the Continental Congress after the Was of Independence was won.
Congress lacked the power to abolish slavery. In fact, even though a number of the Northern delegates disliked slavery, no one at the convention suggested that Congress be empowered to abolish it.(Black 42) In addition, numerous other laws were made in different states to control the slave trade and the slaves. While it had been a practice to free any slave who converted to Christianity, new rules stated that the slave must have practiced Christianity in their original homes. Once this barrier to slavery was removed, race became the identifying factor for slaves. Black people were forced to carry identifications to prove their status. The freedom to work for themselves on Sundays was rescinded and their status became hereditary. It was prohibited to teach slaves to read in an attempt at permanent control. After many rebellions and violent reactions, and after people became more sensitized to the wrong that was being committed, slavery was finally abolished in the US, but the heritage of racial discrimination caused by this practice is with us still.
The Ante-bellum Years
Following the War of Independence, the creation of a new government required that all the colonies work together. In order to woo the southern colonies the question of slavery was removed from the agenda. Even so, the framers of the constitution were forced to agree not to create any law prohibiting slavery for at least 20 years. This situation caused slavery to exist in America for another hundred very tumultuous years filled with political conflict and physical struggle and violence.
Plantation owners saw slavery as economically necessary. This was probably not true, but the invention of the cotton gin made this cash crop very profitable, and its cultivation required back breaking work, which the white owners did not want to do. Plantation owners went to great lengths to force the slaves to do this grueling work, treating them like animals and brutalizing them until the international slave trade was stopped in 1808.
It is amazing really that there was not more violence, since the slave population constituted more than 20% of the population. Considering that and the brutality under which many slaves lived, there was a relatively small amount of violence. The first big revolt was in the French colony of St. Domingue. It was followed by Gabriels Rebellion in 1800 and Denmark Veseys Plot in 1822, followed by Nat Turners bloody revolt in 1831.People were afraid of the refugees, and laws were made in many places to control their movement.
Education was one means of controlling the slaves, as they could not better themselves without it. The abolitionist cause was in full swing by the 1770s. The Quakers, at the insistence of members like Anthony Benezet, issued an edict to the membership to change this and until his death in 1784, Anthony Benezet remained a staunch anti-slavery advocate, writing numerous pamphlets and running a night school for the black community for nearly 20 years.
Douglass and Garrison were highly active in the abolitionist cause. Douglas was Garrison’s protégé until they had a falling out on several strong differences of opinion, mostly involving the constitution and the role of the union in outlawing slavery. Garrison was white and Douglas was black, and their differences echoed some of the conflicts among white and black membership. Douglas was a powerful orator and he moved many audiences to support the cause. He consulted with Abraham Lincoln and many other important people in an effort to end slavery in the US. The main differences between him and Garrison were that Garrison saw the constitution as a pro-slavery document and Douglas saw it just the opposite. Garrison wanted to tear down the whole fabric and Douglas wanted to effect change within the system of government and law. Read More
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