Life As A Slave

Kimberly M., Jaquavion L.

What is Slavery?

Slavery is the condition of being owned by others who controlled what they do as in how they lived, worked, sleep. Being a slave gives your/the "master" the power to do anything to you and anything they want you to do. Slavery has existed throughout history for a long time to the time ancient Greeks, Romans, Incas and Aztecs had slaves. Most slaves populated in the Caribbean's, Dutch Guiana. Slaves were held in much larger units because of plantations which held 150 slaves or more.

Working As A Slave

Large plantations required slaves to work in plantation homes. Slaves in the fields from sunset to sunrise they did eighteen hours a day. Women worked the same hours as men and pregnant women were expected to work until there child was born. Their wartime production helped feed both civilians and soldiers, particularly after the Confederate Congress passed legislation allowing for the impressment of wheat, corn and other foodstuffs.

Children And Infants

The slave rate was so high but birth rate was so low. The means more slaves died than what they were born. Slaves couldn't reproduce because of the environment they lived in and if they did have a child the child would die because they either got beaten or the work was so hard on them they couldn't manage. Also, children/infants died faster than adult slaves because they were unnourished. Like adults, children were unwilling participance's in the slave trade.

Civil War

The Civil War began as a struggle to preserve the Union, not a struggle to free the slaves. Many slaves escaped the North in the beginning of the war. President Abraham Lincoln presented the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. After Harriet Tubman escaped from slavery, she returned to slave-holding states many times to help other slaves escape. She led them safely to the northern free states and to Canada. It was very dangerous to be a runaway slave. Virginia had the largest population of enslaved African Americans of any state in the Confederacy, and those slaves responded to the American Civil War (1861–1865) . Thousands escaped to the Union army's lines, earning their freedom and forcing the United States to develop a uniform policy regarding emancipation. Others remained on their home plantations and farms but took advantage of the war to gain some measure of autonomy for their families
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