The Legacy of Slavery

By: Mikayla Serger

Slavery in America

Slavery began when European merchants started the Triangular Trade. The Triangular Trade was when slaves, crops, and manufacturers were being traded between Africa, the Caribbean, and the American colonies. Slave ships were large ships transporting slaves, especially newly purchased African slaves to the Americans. Slaves were needed in the new world because they needed to produce goods at a profitable rate, cheap labor was required to work the plantations. There was more slaves in the South because there was larger plantations, more crops, and much longer growing seasons. Larger and more numerous farms created the demand for cheap labor. This was originally the reason for all slaves being brought from Africa to the Americans. The cotton gin affected slavery because it made it easier and faster for slaves to produce cotton. Slaves hands used to bleed from pulling the seeds off with their hands. It saved time because pulling the seeds off used to be very difficult and took a long time.



Slaves in America were treated poorly. Slaves normally received a monthly allowance of corn meal, and salt herrings. Some slave owners gave their slaves a small piece of land and a truck patch where they could grow vegetables. Slaves often slept in shacks or barns. Slaves slept on the floor or on a wooden board. They used hay or rags to give comfort and warmth. The slaves had to work from sunrise to sunset. Slaves often worked in the fields doing things like picking cotton, or tobacco. Slaves were punished by being whipped, hanged or being beat.They were often punished for disobedience. Although, sometimes they were beat to re assert the dominance of the master over the slave. Slaves were not aloud to go to school. It was illegal to educate a slave. Slaves were also not aloud to attend church. Most slave owners encouraged their slaves to get married. Slave women were also aloud to have children. Some slave owners promised their slave women they would free them after having fifteen kids. Slaves were treated as property because their owner often abused them. Sexual abuse of women, including rape, was common. If a slave was caught trying to run away their punishment would be very severe. They would be sold somewhere south so it would be near impossible to runaway. Other times they would be beaten and expected to do extremely hard work.



It took until 1865 for slavery to be illegal in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,1776 the society of friends also known as the quakers, forbids its members from holding slaves. In 1776 Delaware prohibits the importation of African slaves. 1777, Vermont is the first of the 13 colonies to abolish slavery and enfranchise all adult males. 1778, Virginia prohibits the importation of slaves. Lincoln did not want slavery to expand into any new territories.

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Plan to Improve Race Relations

There are still racial tensions in America today. Some people believe the police do not think black lives matter and shoot for no reason. Others think their was for sure a reason the police shoot. Schools with majority of African American students have less then schools with a majority whites. Schools with mostly African Americans do not have a lot of money and some do not have a good education. In a school with a mix of African Americans and Whites, the African Americans may feel more comfortable with each other. If the person that highers people for a job is racist then they might not give the job to African Americans. Also if an African American wants to rent a house and the owner of the house is racist then they might not be able to rent that house.



The legacy of slavery has contributed to these racial tensions. These tensions still exist 150 years after the 13th amendment made slavery illegal. That is because slavery was a big issue for us. Some people believe that slavery should be legal still. It is difficult to forget our country's history of supporting slavery because it was a very bad part of our history.



The one idea I have to improve race relations in America is to create a educational program. Any kids who want to join will be aloud ages 10-18. African Americans and Whites. In this program their will be different classes you can take with your age group. You will learn about slavery and racism in America today. This will teach young teens that slavery and racism was not good. We do not want another generation being racist. A parent has to sign you up for this group. I will hang flyers up so teens and parents will know about my group. We will teach about how slaves were treated. Also we will learn about the war. We will learn about slave trade and slave ships. Teens will learn about the diseases slaves often got and dies from. By the time this class is over our goal is that teens will know everything they can about slavery and all their questions will be answered.

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Mikayla Serger

My name is Mikayla Serger. I am a student at Shore middle school. I did this article for an American Studies project. I hope you like it.
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