In my opinion, the narrative was very well written and it was a great resource when learning about the lives of slaves. Douglass’s Narrative shows how white slaveholders continue slavery by keeping their slaves ignorant. At the time Douglass was writing, many people believed that slavery was a natural state of being. Slave owners keep slaves ignorant of basic facts about themselves, such as their birth date or who their parents were. This ignorance robs children of their natural sense of individual identity.
To support his thesis, he pointed out that any lower social class was sent to do manual labor. Some however, were simply better and cheaper to have as slave laborers, such as the African Slaves. (Williams 10) Racism was simply a consequence of slavery so that people could justify the idea of employing and owning slaves. For many years, historians and sociologists have debated the relationship between racism and slavery. Some contend that slavery caused and perpetuated racism, while others argue that racism caused and perpetuated slavery.
It’s important to understand that slavery wasn’t because of racism but because the pursuit of profit. Slavery was by all definitions unpaid labor which helped build our new world (D’Souza, pg. 467). It’s not so much that race defined slavery relations, but that slavery defined race relations, “Racism developed and spread in America as an ideology to rationalize the enslavement and exploitation of black by a white master class” (D’Souza, pg. 467).
In the early years of the campaign, the abolitionists had great success in raising awareness and obtaining public support. The abolitionist Thomas Clarkson had an enormous influence on William Wilberforce, a fellow abolitionist, who was also a member of parliament for Hull, later representing Yorkshire. He and others were campaigning for an end to the trade in which British ships were carrying black slaves from Africa, in terrible conditions, to the West Indies as goods to be bought and sold. However, just because Wilberforce had the power, doesn't mean he was the one who truly abolished the slave trade; Thomas Clarkson however influenced William to represent the issue, therefore creating the theory that Clarkson did more for the abolishment. Wilberforce was persuaded
Instead of focusing on the obvious unconstitutional and emotional treachery of slavery which is very much overdone, the economic event was very much overlooked. Though its strong economic gain for the entire nation forever impacted our dominance, the negative effects will always pour through. It was the existence of slavery, with its negative impact on politics, economics, and social relations that fatally crippled the South in its bid for independence. The slave trade eventually played a central role in determining the fate of the South, as a business that created a unified South under proslavery ideology and encouraged western migration to preserve the institution of slavery. As mentioned by William Harper, “The cultivation of the great staple crop cannot be carried on without slaves.” (Harper, Memoir in Slavery, 1837) In a time of western expansion and the cotton boom, some slave traders were able to accumulate great wealth from the slave-trading business and sought opportunities to acquire higher social status and financial stability.
In past history, enslavement of another was usually the result of an unpaid debt, the spoils of a victorious war, or the consequences of a crime. Enslavement of another human life without reason, however, is a critical sign of the downfall of humanity. In American history, slavery warped from being temporary servitude of any immigrant or unemployed citizen in the hopes of helping them in the end into lifetime enslavement of Africans with no pay and very little hope of escaping the harsh conditions employed by enslavement. Not only did enslavement of the Africans occur, but the harsh racism that formed towards them only worsened their conditions, with the white society’s hate being expressed negatively towards the slaves. Since the time of slavery, many scholars and historians have studied the American enslavement of the Africans to further understand the cause.
Question: Why was the Atlantic world’s race-based slavery abolished in the 19th century? For the capitalist economy that the Atlantic world was presenting, slavery was an essential source for profit. However, the act of slavery was soon looked down upon as the enlightenment ideas of natural rights, religious ideas pertaining to slavery as sin, and universal freedom, opposed the idea of slavery altogether. The elimination of slavery marked the era of social change. With time, the concerns over slavery became a controversy of the morality verse the importance of it.
How important was the issue of slavery in causing the American Civil war? Due to slavery America was divided into two halves, the North and the South, both had very different and in some cases radical views. Firstly the more industrialised North generally was through and through against slavery as many felt it was immoral but also realised that if you paid your workforce you would increase your means of production and efficiency which helped them become more industrialised. However the south was reluctant to give up their slaves and felt that they were doing the slaves a favour in keeping them, housing them and feeding them. They were like children and would not survive by themselves.
Where is the Dignity in Slavery? History has a deeper meaning than just facts. The repetition of the same knowledge of history learned is not to make sure that we know the correct dates but to understand why the past and current events happen. There is a psychological meaning to human nature in the past and how it was affected by society, and still is today. Slavery, which was a major uproar from colonial America to the civil war, is the racial epidemic of the enslavement of people for money and cheap labor with extensive abuses.
Rising Up “Still I Rise” by Maya Angelou is directed towards blacks on how to be proud of their ancestry, themselves, and their overall appearance. The poem is a special and motivating poem that African-Americans (and other races for that matter) should read and take to heart. According to African-Americans, Maya Angelou states that no matter what white Americans (slave owners) say or do to African-Americans (slaves) they can still rise up to make a better life for themselves and their race as a whole. One reason blacks should rise above their oppression is so they can better themselves and in turn make a better life for their next generation, just as their ancestors tried to do. “Bring the gifts that my ancestors gave, I am the dream and the hope of the slave” says Angelou is taking the lessons learned from their ancestors and dreaming and hoping to rise above slavery.