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The Rights And Responsibilities Of Black Americans

1466 words - 6 pages

Slave: a human being who is considered owned by, or the property of, another person. All throughout history, slavery has not been an uncommon concept. At the heart of slavery is the belief that one group of people is superior to another, especially when they are being traded or are the survivors of a fallen empire. While slaves have always had the lowest rank of social stature, there has almost never been a society where their rights were next to none. Prior and during the Civil War in the United States of America, black slaves did the vast majority of harsh labor, which shows that while they had almost no rights, they certainly had many responsibilities.

It is worth mentioning that slavery was not invented in the United States. Slavery has been upon us since the dawn of time. As civilizations grew and expanded, they began to take those they defeated in war as slaves. Of course, along with slavery came abolitionists, who were appalled by the idea and would buy slaves just to free them. Most early civilizations had slaves, with many different jobs for each, spanning from simple housework to getting their heart ripped out of their chest in attempt to please a god or worse. Even Pope Paul III threatened to enslave those who converted from Catholicism to Protestantism. The overall point is that although America was unruly and cruel in their treatment to their slaves, the concept of slavery was not a new thing.

Slavery in America began as early as the 16th century. Before the colonists adopted the black slave policy, they relied on servants sent in from England to do their labor. However, the prices for servants were rising, and slaves from Africa were ultimately cheaper. This helped early America to save money on slaves and thus have a bigger overall profit. The purchased slaves were forced to perform backbreaking farming labor, and mainly tended tobacco, cotton, and sugar. The soil was more fertile in the South, so while some slaves existed in the North, the majority of them worked on fields in the South. Quickly, black slaves provided the majority of the labor for the farming industry and were responsible for keeping the nation fed and trade flowing. By the year 1649, Virginia had over 300 African slaves.

More responsibilities fell upon these slaves as they became common workers for all industries, such as farming, metalwork, stone masonry, weaving, carpentry, and more. The work done by slave laborers greatly helped to build the American economy. America was very dependent on slave-produced components, which they traded with England and much of Europe, and as a result hard currency flowed through the colonies. Slavery proved to be an inexpensive source of labor for America. There were different jobs for slaves as well. House slaves were responsible for cooking, cleaning, while plantation slaves had to tend to crops. Industrial slaves had to create and manufacture different pieces of merchandise, and many other burdens were placed upon all...

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