Improving Race Relations

Spencer Sharpnack

Slavery In America

Slavery began when European merchants started the Triangular Trade. The Triangular Trade was a trading system being used by America, Africa, and Europe. America would sell resources such as cotton, sugar, etc to Europe. Europe would buy those resources to make manufactured goods. Europe would sell guns, weapons and other manufactured goods to Africa. And Africa would sell slaves to America. The slaves were transported on slave ships to America. Slave ships were in very bad conditions. All of the slaves were below the deck. They were exposed to diseases and they were forced to stay beneath the deck the whole time. The slaves were needed in the New World because the economy needed to make money or they wanted to get rich. There were more slaves in the South because the North was a place where Africans are real citizens. In the South, there were slave states, which means that slavery was allowed or was popular in those states. With the invention of the cotton gin, instead of having less slaves, which was the inventors purpose, slave owners wanted more. The slaves would pick a lot more cotton, and the slave owners could get even more income. Even more slaves than before have been purchased, and slave owners would increase their money they receive.

How were slaves treated?

Slaves were treated poorly. First, a slave would wake up very early in the morning, if they didn't, they would be whipped, have a very small breakfast, it would usually be bacon, and they didn't get much food, if they had a breakfast, and put to work immediately. They had a goal to collect the amount of cotton, if they didn't meet the requirement, they would be whipped. The slaves barely got any rest. They had to work most of the day, without stopping. They didn't only pick cotton. Some slaves also washed dishes, or do simple chores around the slave owner's house. After work, the slaves would get a very small dinner, and go to their shack. They didn't have much furniture. They lived in a small hut, which was just some logs and wood put together to make a shack. It didn't even have a floor. It was basically a small hut on top of mud. They slept on planks of wood, that was put on top of the mud. If it rained, they would still get wet because the roof was built very poorly. The entire structure was built poorly. The way that they were punished, was by being whipped. The slaves weren't allowed to attend church, marry another person, or even go to school. They were treated as property. They were not allowed a trial in court, they were sold. When they are being purchased, they are checked out by other people, they examined them like they were horses, they were treated like they weren't even human. They were told to open their mouth, look around, etc. If they didn't do what they were told, they would be whipped or punished. They would even sell a slave away from their family. If slaves were caught running away, they would be executed, or beaten so much, that they would almost die.

How Did Slavery End In America?

It took until 1865 for slavery to be illegal in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. The first battle of the Civil War was the Battle of Fort Sumter Charleston, SC. This battle was on 4/12-14 1861. The Union thought this would be a quick war, but the Confederates didn't think so. People actually came to the fight and have a picnic. They were watching it like it was a sporting event. But the South fought well, and left the citizens running for their lives. Eleven soldiers from the Union and four soldier from the Confederates died. Next, the First Bull Run battle was the first sizable engagement of the war. Northern civilians went down to watch the battle, again, and they ended up running away, because the Confederates had won, again. This battle took place in Manassas, VA, 7/21/61. In this battle, 2,896 Union soldiers and 1,982 Confederate soldiers died. Another battle was the Second Bull Run. It took place on Manassas, VA, 8/29-30/62. This battle happened about a year after the First Bull Run. 16,0854 Union soldiers died. 9,197 Confederate soldiers died. This battle was almost fought on the same field as the First Bull Run. There were lots of casualties at this war. The Confederates won this battle. This final battle didn't have a name. It was fought in Appomattox, VA, 4,9,65. This was the last battle of the war. The Union lost 1,312 soldiers in this battle. The Confederates lost 8,200 soldiers, and 28,231 surrendered and paroled. The Union won. Lee finally surrendered to Grant. Lincoln's view on slavery was that he thought it was fine that slaves were being used, he only wanted the United States to come back together. However, later on, Lincoln wanted slavery to be abolished while the war took place. The Emancipation of Proclamation turned the Civil War into a war to end slavery because during the war, Lincoln saw how the slaves were being treated and wanted to end slavery.

Racial tensions in America today

There are still racial tensions in America today. For example, some people in the south are outraged by black kids getting shot by the police or being treated different than whites. Blacks are having problems with the police, schools, housing, jobs, etc. A black kid was shot by the police because he was caught robbing a store. There was a police officer there, and the kid started moving to the police cruiser. The kid was saying things to the officer like "you won't shoot me." "You're too much of a ***** to do it." And he began to punch the officer while he was in his car. The police officer didn't have a choice, so he shot the kid. So some people are outraged because the officer shot a black kid. They said that the officer was racist for shooting a black kid, so there is a huge debate about it.

Why do these tensions still exist 150 years after the 13th amendment made slavery illegal?

The legacy of slavery has contributed to these racial tensions. Some people say racist things about slavery.