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The The Denial Of The 'american Dream' That Was Set Upon Slaves.

724 words - 3 pages

The "American Dream" is an idea that originated from the Pilgrim Fathers and has remained in American society. It is the belief that America is the land of opportunity where everyone can be "great." The word "dream" is in fact probably the best way to describe the belief. It can suggest something wonderful to look forward to achieving, or, it may imply that something is only a dream, something that is impossible to achieve.In 1492 Christopher Columbus landed in the Americas. Along with him he brought slaves from Africa to serve as the lower class ship hands. Columbus was not the heroic discoverer that we depict him as today. He tried to enslave the Arawak Indians of the Americas, but it ended in genocide. The Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria were well suited for mass transportation. He kidnapped members of the Arawak tribe, took them back to Spain and sold them to fund his next three voyages. Christopher Columbus was therefore introducing slavery into the Americas before it was even founded as a country.The first African slaves arrived in Virginia in 1619 along with the first women and children to populate the colonies. Slaves were seen differently by many families who owned them. Much of this accorded to the region they settled in and the ethics of the family, unfortunately not all people were humanitarians. All Africans were denied the great American dream; they could not vote, run for President, own a business, or walk the streets without a special license.Fifty one years after the first slaves arrived, Virginia recognized slavery as a lifelong, inheritable racial status. 1640 marked the acme of slave shipment into the British colonies. The 1690's presented the gradual collapse of the Royal African Slave Trade's monopoly when independent slave merchants stepped into the scene. Rhode Island and Connecticut prohibited slave trade in 1774, although Rhode Island merchants still participated in inter-colony trade. This instigated illegal slave trade within the colonies. The slavery business had begun, and there was no sign of relief for the Africans that were caught in the middle.Vermont ignited the prohibition of slavery in its constitution in 1777. The Massachusetts constitution...

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