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Colonial america - Essay Example

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During that period, a large number of colonists who happened to be slave owners had joined the battle for freedom. It was rather an irony to find that a nation who…
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Colonial America Order No: 200113 No: of pages: 2 Premium – 6530 “To contend for Liberty and to deny that blessing to others involves an inconsistency not to be excused.” (John Jay)
These words are so true of the situation that prevailed in America during the time the slave codes were in force. During that period, a large number of colonists who happened to be slave owners had joined the battle for freedom. It was rather an irony to find that a nation who had the greatest number of slave owners should be so forceful about its own freedom. Most of the colonists realized the contradiction of their own actions but still went ahead and incorporated the same into their new strategy.
The legal status of slaves were quite uncertain in the 17th century but in 1664, the first legislation for slaves was passed by Maryland that said, all “Negroes or other slaves hereafter imported into the province shall serve for life, as should their children. It also stated that any white woman who forgot her status and married a slave would have to serve the master of her husband. All children born into such a union would be slaves as well (Middleton, pg. 324).
Around 1680, there was an increase in the purchase of slaves since there were fewer whites to do the jobs. Another reason for the increase was the abolition of the Royal African Company monopoly of trade. Therefore slaves were used to grow crops and vegetables, to maintain livestock and also used as craft and industrial workers.
The Quakers were the first group to take up the issue on slavery and its codes. The existing slave codes in the colonies deprived the slaves of their basic human rights while providing the opportunity to slaveholders to exercise ruthless and merciless control over their slaves. Another revolutionary leader, James Otis, called this as “the most shocking violation of the law of nature.” He too fought against slavery and in 1807 the Federal government put an end to the trading of slaves from Africa.
Question 2:
Right through history, the people who held power tended to side track or marginalize the people who do not have any power. In the same way, they never failed to make use of the resources as well as the technologies of the people they dominate, but yet they have neglected to give due credit to them or even acknowledge them. This is mutual where Europeans and Indians are concerned.
Before slavery was abolished, agriculture was the predominant occupation during the colonial period. Blacks as well as American Indian slaves were utilized to grow crops such as flax, apples and onions. They were also used in the production of dairy products, fish and whale oil which were very important commercial products and hence trade and commerce flourished to a great extent.
Migrants from different parts of the world came either voluntarily or involuntarily in search of greener pastures to America and were a sort of intrusion to the already highly developed and sophisticated societies there. This mixing of people had a direct impact on the Europeans because of the cultures and the societies that were so different. Both complimented each other by imbibing bits of culture, religion, language and other important traits from each other. Though the Indians lost in the long run, yet they gained a lot from the Europeans which they used for their own development.
References:
Center for History Education Online Lessons
www.asp1.umbc.edu/newmedia/sites/chetah/lessondisplay.cfm?lesson=51&heading=3 Read More
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