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Racial and Ethnic Matter - Assignment Example

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Drawing the Color Lines – Questions 1. How is it that you see America being prone to the involvement of slavery? America’s involvement of slavery was a direct result of the difficulties and desperation experienced by the first white settlers in the country…
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Download file to see previous pages .. and died in batches”. With this condition, Virginians were in dire need of labor so that they can grow corn and tobacco both for subsistence and export. In 1617, as they sent off the first cargo to England, they became interested in its potential income. The ideal set-up is to employ cheap labor in order to yield more profit. However, Virginians could not find cheap labor by forcing Indians to work because they could not capture them. Indians were resourceful, defiant, and could live in the woods. Also, Virginian settlers could not utilize white servants because their number is not sufficient for the work. Moreover, white servants only need to work for a few years to obtain a free status on the colony. As a result, Virginians opted to import slaves as a solution for cheap labor. This was considered the usual option because in 1619, a million blacks had already been brought from Africa to South America and the Caribbean, to the Portuguese and Spanish colonies. One can expect that America will soon enough involve itself in the slave trade. 2. How was racism artificially created as a way to enforce the economic system? Racism was artificially created through the enactment of laws that enforced slavery but provided unequal treatment between black and white slaves. As the plantation industry grew in colonial America, the slave system also expanded. In 1700, there were 6,000 slaves in Virginia and this number grew to 170,000, about half of the population. Despite this number, it was not enough to meet the needs of the plantations for cheap labor. Also, there was a growing resistance among black and white servants who runaway, kill their masters, or burn tobacco houses. There was a fear that discontented whites would join black slaves to overthrow the existing order. As a solution to this, laws were crafted in order to legalize slavery and punish acts of resistance through whipping and execution. However, these laws aimed to create divide between whites and black. For instance, a law was passed in 1639 decreed that "all persons except Negroes" were to get arms and ammunition—probably to fight off Indians. Also, in 1640 when three servants ran away, two whites were punished with a lengthening of their service but the Negro was put into a lifetime service. Moreover, in the Virginia Assembly, it was officially decreed “that all white men were superior to black, went on to offer their social (but white) inferiors a number of benefits previously denied them”. These types of unequal treatment resulted in the feelings of contempt which created a divide between two races. 3. What evidence is there in this article that shows racism is not natural? Racism is not at all natural because it is a product of psychological and economic divide between two races. It was noted that even before the slave trade began, the color black was already as symbol of dirt, distaste, and disaster. Despite the unfavorable conception about blackness, there are evidences which whites and blacks found themselves with common problems, common work, common enemy in their master, they behaved toward one another as equals. According to the scholar Kenneth Stampp, Negro and white servants of the seventeenth century were "remarkably unconcerned about the visible physical differences." Black and white workers were united in working and protesting against the common enemy – abusive treatment against their master. Laws were crafted to prevent black and white s ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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