Response to Slavery and the Making of America

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Response to Slavery and The Making of America The first episode of Slavery and the Making of America discussed the beginnings of African enslavement in America and how it slowly became a “downward spiral.” In the beginning, the Dutch West India company was very dependant on the labor of their slaves, so the slaves did have room to negotiate for things like better wages and were treated much better and had more rights than we would typically imagine slaves back then to have. Many of the first eleven slave men that came to “Dutch New Amsterdam” were Christian, had mixed European and African ansestry, were Christian, literate, and spoke many different languages. It was surprising to me how such educated and literate people could have been enslaved and made to work from dawn to dusk like that. I feel that since there were so few slaves at that time, the company was always very afraid that they would loose all the fruits that came from these slave's hard labor so they had to make sure the slaves were content and had to let them negotiate. The hard work of these slaves made the early infrastructure of America. I was amazed upon hearing how only these eleven men had cleared the land and constructed the first roads and unloaded the ships. I also didn't know earier that the first slaves were brought on the small island that would eventually become New York City. It is ironic that the first slaves were brought on the land of the Northern States, but in the future it would be these same northern states that would fight against the southern states to abolish slavery. It was very interesting how the European indentured servants and the African slaves bonded together after work on the same types of problems in the taverns. Both groups were “ppor and exploited.” It was great that there was so much intercultural bonding and race discrimination didn't come into play at
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