Slavery in America

Written By: Julianna Wallace


Slavery began when European merchants started the Triangular Trade. The Triangular Trade is America, Britain, and Africa sending goods and other things to each other. America was sending sugar to Britain. Britain was sending rum and other goods to Africa and Africa was sending slaves to the Americas.Slave ships were large ships that transported slaves around.They needed a lot of slaves in the New World to work on plantations.On the plantations they needed large numbers of slaves to work.The cotton gin created by Eli Whitney was a great creation but it affected slavery a lot.The cotton gin increased the way cotton was processed for sale.The slaves just had to pick the cotton and clean it to get it ready to be manufactured.It required less slaves to pick the seeds out of the cotton but it made it easier for plantation owners to grow more cotton.

Slaves in America were treated poorly.Slaves didn't get much sleep.They worked up to 18 hours a day sometimes longer at busy periods such as harvest. They had many jobs including cleaning, feeding livestock, picking stones, carrying water, collecting livestock feed. Every week the slaves would usually eat cornmeal, lard, some meat, molasses, peas, greens, and flour was usually given out on Saturday.If the owner permitted vegetable patches or gardens would supply fresh produce to add to the rations. The slaves beds were collections of straw and old rags, thrown down in the corners and boxed in with boards and a single blanket to cover up with. If a slave was ever disobedient or perceived infractions they would get punished.Slaves were punished by whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding and imprisonment. Slaves were not allowed to go to school.All slaves were forbidden to attend church. Most of the slaves masters encouraged them to get married. But the slaves could not marry legally. The slave owners would encourage the marriages so they could have babies. The kids that had two slaves as parents would be born right into slavery. Even when the slaves master would force the girl slaves to spend the night with them, if they got pregnant the kids would be treated as slaves. The master wouldn't treat the kids as his own. Slaves were considered property because they were black. They were treated like property by how they were punished,how the slaves lived,slaves were brought and sold or sold apart from there families to different plantations.If slaves were caught running away they would be severely punished. They could be flogged, branded, jailed, sold back into slavery, or even killed.

It took until 1865 for slavery to be illegal in the United States with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. constitution.In 1776,the Continetal Congress ended the slave trade. The Declaration of Independence states that "all men are created equal".This is the beginning of when slaves started to be looked at as humans.In 1787, when the Constitution was being created there was a debate about slavery that resulted in the Three-Fifths Compromise. The Three-Fifths Compromise counts three-fifths of state's slave population so they can assign congressmen. The south wanted to count there slaves as people to get more representitives in congress.In 1821,congress agrees with the Missouri Compromise. The Missouri Compromise forbids slavery in all other territories north of Missouri's southern border.In 1863, Abraham Lincoln passed the Emancipation Proclamation. This proclamation declared "that all persons held as slaves"within rebellious states "are, and henceforward shall be free".The reason the south succeeded in from the union was because they were afraid President Lincoln was going to end slavery.Because they succeeded in the union they were a different country and Lincoln didn't have the authority to free the slaves.So it made winning the war important for the end of slavery.

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Plan to Improve Race Relations

There are still racial tensions in America today.They used to be really bad but they got better over time. The only problem seems to be with the white cops and black criminals or black cops and white criminals. People look at black people differently. They think black people get in trouble more.Black people are judged by white people.Its harder for black people to get jobs in our economy. Most black people live in bad neighborhoods.

The legacy of slavery has contributed to these racial tensions.I think its difficult for our country to forget the history of supporting slaves because a lot of people owned slaves. Our ancestors probably owned slaves to. People had many slaves to work for them.

The one idea i have to improve race relations in America is to have a class that teaches kids how to treat one another and teach them that everyone is equal.I would also have a college class that has kids go out and work together to make the community a better place.

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