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The Integrity and Independence of the New Nation - Research Paper Example

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The paper describes the trans-Atlantic slave trade that was the enslavement and transport of mainly African peoples across the Atlantic Ocean, which lasted for about four centuries. Many of these Africans came from either the central or western parts of the African continent…
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The Integrity and Independence of the New Nation
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full Political Science (Slavery and Manifest Destiny) 21 February Slavery (Question 2) The trans-Atlantic slavetrade was the enslavement and transport of mainly African peoples across the Atlantic Ocean, which lasted for about four centuries (from mid-fifteenth century to the early nineteenth century). Many of these Africans came from either the central or western parts of the African continent; these slaves were either sold by fellow Africans to a group of white slave traders (the Portuguese were the first to engage in this trade) or by direct capture by European traders to be transported to the Americas (New World) to work as slaves in agricultural plantations (coffee, sugar, tobacco, cotton, and cocoa fields), in silver and gold mines, in the shipping and construction industries, and as house slaves. These Africans work without pay as indentured servants (euphemistically termed as apprentices for life).
Certain kinds of work determine the gender of slaves sold and transported. For jobs in textile factories or in the home and large plantations (the Brazilian term for this is fazenda); for example, textile factories required more men than women slaves, while the fazenda needed more female slaves due to the large amount of spinning and weaving work; most fazendas were in northeastern parts of Brazil (van Voss et al. 96). Slaves in rural areas were treated much worse, tranforming them into beasts as conditions were very bad indeed it was considered as a living hell for slaves (Conrad 71). City slaves in Brazil were thrown into mass graves, without any individual identification. Africa became a wasteland as many men and women were forcibly taken from their families; this in turn led to a marked decline in African culture as people lost contact with their heritage and traditions. Additionally, whole tribes and societies were practically wiped out, especially those Africans living near the coastal areas, although white traders penetrated to the interior also to capture additional black slaves.
Most of the Founding Fathers acknowledged the inherent conflict between slavery and ideals of liberty and equality; however, they were also realistic in their views that America cannot survive without slave labor, especially in the large plantations of the South. It was a compromise they reached to preserve the integrity and independence of the new nation. A crucial provision for emancipation passed during the Continental Congress was abandoned and rejected to appease the Founding Fathers from the South who were slave owners.
Manifest Destiny (Question 3)
Manifest Destiny was an attempt by the American politicians to formulate a foreign policy that tried to reconcile Americas expansionism with its avowed ideals of democracy and liberty; this political philosophy justified its militarist foreign policy in the acquisition of new colonies such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, to include later on Mexico also. The concept of a Manifest Destiny was first put forward by an influential newspaper editor and columnist, John L. OSullivan, who encouraged Americans to embark on self-proclaimed God-given destiny to rule other peoples, to transfer them if necessary, and to absorb them too in its pursuit of continued territorial expansion as a new global power (OSullivan, para. 2).
The Mexican-American War (1846-1848) can be considered as a direct result of this Manifest Destiny mentality, to acquire territories in the Southern part of the United States of America, in particular Texas, which Mexico considered as a part of its own national territory. It was precipitated by the unilateral American annexation of Texas and also a dispute over what is the correct border between the two countries (whether it is the Rio Grande River or the Nueces River per Mexicos claim). After the war ended, Mexico lost half of its territory in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo by ceding very large portions of its northern territories (del Castillo 43) with the United States of America assuming moral superiority and dictating all the terms of this settlement, establishing a pattern of inequality between the two countries.

Works Cited
Conrad, Robert Edgar. Children of Gods Fire: A Documentary History of Black Slavery in Brazil. University Park, PA, USA: Penn State University Press, 1994. Print.
Del Castillo, Richard Griswold. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict. Norman, OK, USA: University of Oklahoma Press, 1992. Print.
OSullivan, John L. “The Great Nation of Futurity.” The United States Democratic Review 6.23 (1839): 426-430. Print.
Van Voss, Lex Heerma, Els Hiemstra-Kuperus, and Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk. The Ashgate Companion to the History of Textile Workers, 1650-2000. Burlington, VT, USA: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2010. Print. Read More
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