US slavery history: How the exploitation of African Americans came to make America as the country continues to struggle with black identity.
Working for several hours without food, forced to sleep in the cold and flogged to death are all forms of slavery. Although the term “slavery” is rarely used today, that doesn’t denote its non-existence.
Globally, the United States was known for its acts of slavery on Africans many centuries ago. Although this resulted in the birth of African Americans, it’s history ought not to be forgotten. Till date, this history has resulted in many controversies, and it became the subject for teaching in many colleges and universities. Although it reminds us of sad events in the lines of history, it is one of the historical phases of America that we ought to look back to regularly.
Many students are required to write about the history of slavery in America. Its purpose is not just to take them down the paths of history for the mere fun of it but to help them draw valuable lessons from it and apply it to a real-life scenario.
Recently, there has been so much debate about slavery among scholars and students. Hence, many students who write an essay on the topic might be left with myths to swim in. You can get the accurate information you need online.
The History of Slavery in the US
According to historians, slavery in the US started in 1619. Africans were brought by force to the New World as slaves to work and help improve the economy. They labored not only free of charge but without any fundamental human rights alongside beatings and deaths. Coalitions with famous Americans such as White Lion and Europeans (Mostly British and Portuguese) led to the slave trade that began in the 16th century and lasted through to the 19th century. Find more on slavery here.
The slave trade in America was recorded as the deadliest and most inhuman acts of man against his fellow man in the events of history. According to estimates, about 6 million Africans were exported to the US as slaves in the 18th century. During that time, black people were treated and seen as a symbol of discrimination and inhumanity. This mass migration devoid Africa of talented and creative men and women whose descendants would have made the rich continent a better place today.
As many whites enjoyed the free labour from these slaves, the demand for more labour power increased. During the slavery reign, slaves were owned as properties, used and discarded after they were rendered useless to themselves and society. Among the number of slaves exported to America, a significant proportion went to North America.
As time progressed, the trade became a habit and ate deep into the mentality of many colonists. At a time, they thought they couldn’t live without it. Americans began to see slaves as a vital farm tool to be utilized, especially in mechanized farming. These human traders destroyed a lot of souls; a lot of them became rich and famous from the proceeds of the trade. Among all the states in America, Virginia had the highest record of slaves sold to farmers, followed by Maryland, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
The Civil War and the end of Slavery
This began when Abraham Lincoln, who was the Republican’s candidate, was elected as President. He didn’t waste time before declaring his anti-slavery views and proposed to bring it to an end. Soon inhuman treatment melted against Africans. Southerners knew that once they were admitted into the Union, they would have a free state which will also bring an abrupt end to slavery. But there was much resistance because these slaves were seen as the bedrock of the south.
On April 12, 1961, the civil war began officially. Although the slaves yearned for freedom, they lacked proper political standing to fight their cause. Still, they were patient, knowing that the purpose was partly for their freedom. The slaves knew societal development would set in after the war. During this time, the south and many union leaders freed many slaves under military pressure.
As many blacks were freed from slavery, thousands regained their freedom themselves through escape, and many were killed alongside. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued an official pronouncement that commanding all slaves in rebellion in all American states to be seen as a free being.
That announcement led to the release of about 3 million blacks in many rebel states. As a result, a lot of farmers and union leaders were deprived of their primary source of cheap labour. By the time the civil war ended in 1865, millions of slaves had regained their freedom, and thousands of black soldiers became part of the Union Army.
The 13h amendment marked the official abolition of slavery on December 18, 1865. The slaves that survived the war and experienced this victory received the right of citizenship, and the constitution also conferred “equal protection” on them according to the 14th amendment. The 15th amendment conferred the right to vote on them as well.
Despite the provision of the constitution, many blacks got served with discrimination from whites after the war. And as a result, it was difficult for them to gain a footing as citizens of the United States of America. Some of them were refused employment and denied their rights because of their skin color. In the next few decades, several groups rose in resistance to the constitution and upheld discriminative acts against African Americans. The rebirth of white Supremacy was a frustrating time for blacks as well.
This led to the civil right movement of the 1960s, which was considered as the most influential movement against racial discrimination in the US. Gradually, the descendants of these former slaves were able to enjoy fundamental human rights just like whites. Till date, many scholars still have the opinion that the reconstruction is still ongoing and will continue in the nearest future until the black skin is looked upon with dignity.