Slave Revolts In The United States

907 words - 4 pages

“Give me liberty or give me death!” Patrick Henry said this during his March 23, 1775

speech about fighting to gain the New England colonies' independence from the British. This

quote in 1800 inspired the words printed on Gabriel's Rebellion's banner. “Death or Liberty.”

Many slave revolts like the Gabriel's Rebellion, although unable to succeed in abolishing

slavery, did however show that most slaves were unhappy with their position and wanted

freedom. Despite the negative results arising from many slave revolts, they stood as a source of

inspiration and demonstration of a desire to be free from the slave population.

Slavery is a long standing issue that has occurred in our world for many years. The act of

treating human beings as property to be bought, sold and put to work has been present in most if

not all counties. The African slave trade that specifically occurred in America, which began in

the 16th century, was referred to as the Transatlantic slave trade. African slaves who were usually

sold into slavery or kidnapped, were transported through the middle passage. The middle

passage was the shipment of African slaves to be sold to the Americas. The conditions of this

voyage were usually horrifying. The slaves were clustered together to creating very unhealthy

conditions. As a result, out of all who were transported to the americas during the trans-Atlantic

slave trade at least 10-15% died during this middle passage. Slaves were transported to the

America's because they were a cheap way to aid the production of certain crops like tobacco and

cotton. African American slaves would remain slaves until 1865, but until then, most of these

slaves were subject to harsh treatment from their owners. As a result of the harsh treatment,

many slave revolts occurred.

There have been many important slave revolts throughout history. In the United States

specifically, there have been many successful and unsuccessful slave revolts which may have

not resulted in the freedom of slaves, but were inspiring to many. For example in Richmond

Virginia, 1800 a group of men lead by Gabriel Prosser, and enslaved blacksmith. Prosser and

his followers had planed a slave revolt for August 30 1800. He and his followers were going to

go over to Richmond and obtain freedom for the slaves there. Lamentably, someone advised the

authorities about the attack therefore were not able to proceed. This resulted in the hanging of

Gabriel Prosser and twenty seven others. Although this planned attack did not have success in

relation to its plan, the act did have many negative effects on the slave community. It resulted in

new slave laws that restricted the slaves more then how they already were. For example


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