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Looking Poitively At The Effects Of Slavery In The Usa: Personal Narrative

1296 words - 5 pages

A Blessing in Disguise
Slavery and capitalism have an interesting relationship. Slavery has existed nearly everywhere in the world, under almost every political and economic system, and was in no way a stranger to capitalism or the United States. America experienced endless economic benefits from slavery, but it was simultaneously a despicable violation of human rights. Natives of Africa were not only captured, but transported to what is now the United States and forced to do work. From the 16th to the 19th centuries, European colonies heavily depended on the labor of the Africans for their economic survival. When the European colonists arrived at the United States, they determined that the vast amount of land they just gained was unserviceable without the adequate labor necessary to exploit it. The colonists experimented with Europeans and Native Americans as sources of slavery, but neither was deemed satisfactory. As shown in the Trans-Saharan Trade of the Middle Ages, the use of enslaved Africans for labor has proved to be very reliable. In the Trans-Saharan Trade, African slaves were supplied to work on sugar plantations in the Mediterranean, along with white, Russian slaves as well as the Balkans. In addition, this trade also delivered thousands of slaves a year to colonies in North Africa, the Middle East, and the Iberian Peninsula. Since the enslaved Africans proved to be reliable laborers in Europe and other colonies, they became the best choice amongst the new North American colonists. The demand became so high that Africans shortly became the overwhelming majority in America. The rest is history. The treatment of slaves in the America varied widely depending on conditions, times and places. Treatment was generally characterized by brutality, humiliation, and mercilessness. Whippings, executions, and rapes were routine. Although the institution of slavery in America was widely considered a reason for the United States Civil War and ultimately became an abomination to the country, it was a blessing in disguise for my family.
According to stories told by my family that have been passed on from generation to generation, my ancestors were brought to North America from a region in West Africa that is now known as Angola. After being captured, they were sold to slave traders and forced onto ships for the lengthy journey to America. In 1807, the United States Congress outlawed the foreign slave trade which meant that any further importing of people from Africa or the Caribbean was prohibited. Nevertheless, slaves (including my ancestors) continued to be captured and brought directly to America. Once my ancestors reached this country, they were sold in a public auction. In attendance of one of these auctions was a slaveholder by the name of Henry W. Bolton of Memphis, Tennessee. It is unknown just how many slaves Bolton initially purchased, but over time he accumulating 80 slaves to work on his plantation in the First Civil District in Shelby...

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