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Slavery 18th Century Essay

896 words - 4 pages

Slavery during the 18th century was not uncommon; the slave trade proved to be very profitable to those who could afford to buy slaves. These slaves were used for various types of jobs: cooking, cleaning, laundry, farming, baker etc. In New France the slaves often lived inside with their masters whereas in Virginia, the slaves were confined to “Negro Shacks”. Ultimately, the living and working conditions in New France were not as harsh as the conditions faced by slaves living in Virginia.
The living conditions faced by slaves during the 18th century in Virginia were a lot more difficult than those faced by slaves in New France. Slaves were not seen as people but rather as property. They received harsh treatment and the only medical care they received was when they were on the verge of death. Slave owners allowed them to receive medical treatment in order to keep from losing their investments.
In Virginia, Slaves were confined to sleeping in what were “Negro Shacks”, they were small huts separated from the owners home. These shacks were always supervised in order to make sure the slaves didn’t run away. The theory behind these shacks was to make the slaves feel inferior to free men. They can be related to animals living in a barn as they were only allowed out when told to work. The slaves were malnourished and were not properly clothed. This allowed them to become very vulnerable to illnesses. Due to them being forced to live in the shacks together, if one slave became ill, it would not take long for the others to catch the illness as well.
In New France the living conditions seemed like royalty compared to those of the slaves in Virginia. The slaves in New France lived with their owners. Their living conditions can be compared to those of immigrant workers however they could be called on at a moments notice if their master needed something. Since slaves lived at home with their masters, they received adequate food and clothing. This could have also been done as a way of the master showing their wealth. They would not want to have poorly dressed and malnourished slaves serving their guests.
The working conditions in Virginia were often treacherous for the slaves as the majority of them were confined to the plantations they worked on. Each day they work long hours outside, the type of work they did was mostly forced labor: Ploughing fields, harvesting, picking cotton and tobacco etc. The slaves who were not victims of forced labor were left to work as livestock breeders and skilled artisans. The slaves faced punishment if their masters saw them fall behind or disobey an order. The punishments faced by these slaves were: being whipped, branded and...

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