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There Is No Such Thing as Rest - Essay Example

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There Is No Such Thing as Rest Slavery is one of the biggest evils in the history of the USA which echoes can be noticed even today even though it was abolished in 1965. This paper will discuss some of the historical events which provided foundation to American slavery; role of traditions and racial prejudices in racial discrimination; some of the effective ways to improve contemporary African-American relations in the U.S…
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There Is No Such Thing as Rest Slavery is one of the biggest evils in the history of the USA which echoes can be noticed even today even though it was abolished in 1965. This paper will discuss some of the historical events which provided foundation to American slavery; role of traditions and racial prejudices in racial discrimination; some of the effective ways to improve contemporary African-American relations in the U.S. Slavery is one of the social and economical issues which have existed throughout history of humanity. Long before American slavery there were many ancient nations and tribes where slavery plaid a great role. Already in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece there was a great number of people who were like slaves serving their owners. Most of the economically strong societies have found their power on the free work of slaves. Therefore, economy of the USA is not an exception. Particularly American South is a classical example of how slavery strengthened economy of the country. According to the estimations before the Civil War the number of slaves who lived in the South of the country equaled to 4 million and their market values was approximately $4 billion (“Slavery in the United States”). Such figures clearly show that return rates on work of slaves were rather high. Other companies and businesses were not as worthwhile as business benefits from slavery or enterprises where slaves were used. Therefore, rich people who knew the values of slaves were strongly against abolishment of slavery and were searching for some rules and logic to protect the instilled inequality. Institutionalizing evil inequality gave many benefits to the rich. Therefore, people favoring abolishment of slavery had to wait long and to fight for it. The rich landowners and businessmen understood the profitability of slavery right away from the very beginning of African American immigration to the country. Even though some of the economists predicted economic downfalls as a result of abolishment, those were rather attempts to keep institutionalized slavery. The rich owners of plantations were not eager to let their free working force go. Ideology and politics of the country had direction of using free slaves and making excuses in forms of negative predictions regarding economy of the country (Fogel 481). Therefore, those were not sheer economic considerations, but rather implications of ideological character. Furthermore, even though many historians and scholars agreed that economics which was based on slavery was morally offensive, not many agreed to take radical actions and abolish it. Besides using slaves for work on the rich owners’ plantations, it was found that “fully a third of the profits of planters in the older regions of the South were derived from breeding slaves for sale in the interstate trade” (qtd. in Fogel 390). In the mid 1850s the ideology of slaves usage had been greatly instilled in people’s minds that many noble men did not even think that it could be wrong and that slavery needed to be stopped. Some of those concluded that there was no necessity for the Civil War, because slavery was about to expire from economic causes by itself. Thus, according to Fogel, the discovery that the South had high profits and fast economic growth between 1840 and 1860 was a great surprise (390). However, planters were cold and rational owners of hundreds of people who were bringing them great profits, that’s why they were unwilling to change the state of things and free their working force without any compensations. Consequently, ideology based on the belief that slavery is economically justifiable was instilled in minds of many people throughout the whole country. African Americans often were perceived and treated not like humans, but like animals able to do hard work. So, even after being freed people of color were not able to live normally because they were allowed neither to the army service nor many professions available. In the post Civil War period the backs were denied that opportunity to serve in the national army merely because of existing prejudices. Particularly southern states, former plantations and hosts of slaves, were strong against participation of the freedmen in any social or military life of the country (Taylor, 165). The blacks were not worse soldiers than the whites, but because of the fact that they were ex-slaves, they were treated differently. Moreover, numerous instances of race discrimination based on prejudices and wrong beliefs formed a kind of vicious circle. If one was black, he or she was discriminated in many spheres of life. If a person was discriminated, he or she must have been black. People of color seemed to have no normal future or any positive expectations in the country which with wicked ideology and attitude towards the African-Americans. Thus, there was a need of some revolutionary actions and long terms radical changes, because the wrong beliefs instilled in people minds could be eradicated only in following generations and through drastic changes. To conclude, foundation of slavery has long history and deep roots in the economy and overall development of the country. Even though a long time has passed since the slavery abolishment, one can find instances of unfair treatment or hidden discrimination towards the blacks. All citizens of the country including the African Americans have to be treated on equal basis in all the spheres of life. Indication of one’s ethnicity or race should be omitted in different questionnaires and job applications. It does not really matter what color your skin is. The most important is what kind of professional you are and what personal characteristics you posses. Equality of rights and freedoms should be encouraged starting from kindergarten and primary school throughout secondary school and high school and continued into the professional fields of work and human interaction. Such encouragement should be noticed and rewarded by the state and local authorities. Works Cited “Slavery in the United States”. EH.net. 01 Feb. 2010. Web. 11 Nov. 2011. Fogel, Robert William. Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery. New York: W. W. Norton, 1989. Print. Taylor, Quintard. In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990. New York: W. W. Norton, 1998. Print. Read More
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