Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Slavery, America, Slave, United States, Colony, North American, American Colonies, Colonization

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/10/31

Compare and contrast the development of slavery in the various regions of the British North American colonies through the end of the Revolution. What is distinctive, if anything, about slavery in the various regions, and how and why does slavery change between the seventeenth and early nineteenth centuries?
The development of slavery in the British North American colonies has left many misconceptions in the minds of historians today. In fact, the institution of slavery in these colonies often lead to the misconception that slavery only existed in the South in the United States. This misconception is widespread, even as history shows that the mainland colonies of the British North American territories were home to slaves and slave conditions. In these American colonies, the slave was property that could not be bought, loaned, sold, punished, willed to another slave owner, or used as collateral. Nonetheless, slaves were not allowed to marry legally, serve as jurors, serve as witnesses, and make contracts, own property, or vote. In addition, the children of the slaves became the property of the status of their fathers. In essence, slaves suffer the inhumane conditions of their status and were not recognized as persons under the law. Still, the conditions of slavery in the British North American colonies existed before the Civil War and the conditions varied according to the territories.
Slavery in the thirteen mainland colonies of the British North American territories was not much different from the conditions that existed in the Southern colonies. The development of the slave trade occurred after the American Revolution and within the early decades of the nineteenth century. Even though the colonial masters sold slaves in these American colonies from as early as 1617, the significance of slavery did not become a reality until the last quarter of the seventeenth century. Surprisingly, the number of slaves grew significantly after its introduction, and at the turn of 1776, African Americans made up at least twenty percent of the total population in these thirteen mainland colonies. As a result, many historical records show that the North Americana mainland was only a minor destination in the worldwide slave trading operation as less than four percent of the total number of African slaves went to the North American colonies.
While the significant portion of these slaves went to the Southern colonies, a smaller portion of the slaves were sent to Newport and Boston in New England. The slaves in these regions served as artisans, craftsmen, domestic servants, dock workers, coachmen, laundresses, and sailors. The laws on slavery dictated that slaves were properties that could not be sold or bought; nevertheless the urban slave owners hired out their skilled slaves and reaped financial rewards from these skilled slaves. Hence, slaves accounted for a portion of the overall wealth of the slave owners. In contrast to the Southern slave owner, the investment in slaves in the North was relatively smaller. Still, many slave owners in the North had significant parts of their wealth invested in the ownership of slaves.
History shows that the conditions of slavery were not unique to the African American slaves. In fact, one could conclude that slavery on a whole was a horrifying experience for the Indian slaves. Captain John Smith, an adventurer and soldier in Asia and Europe, recorded the horrifying conditions even though he was involved in the plans to establish a slave settlement in North America. His experiences aboard the ship heading to Virginia in April 1607 reflect the fact that these initial settlers were not prepared for the new life under these harsh conditions. Only a few possessed the skills to make profits for the colonizers as they suffered from malnutrition and numerous diseases. In addition, the Indians proved to be violent as they mounted numerous attacks on the colonizers. Nevertheless, Smith’s experiences as the head of the government in Jamestown led to the need to create peaceful relations with the powerful Indians of the Powhatan tribe on the coast. He sought ways to trade with these Indians and discusses the conditions that existed between the two groups.
Through his conversations with the leader of the Powhatan tribe, Captain Smith recognized the hardships of the Indians. The Indians suffer through generations of death, yet they were aware of the difference between War and Peace. The Indians believed that the colonizers had come to destroy their lands and people and feared that the future generations would continue to live the cycle of death. Additionally, the Indians found that the slave owners believed them to be simple people who are docile, yet their violent attacks against the whites led to Captain Smith to highlight the ungratefulness of the Indians. He notes that despite the kindness of the whites, a number of Indians acted on their desires for revenge. The fact is that one cannot blame the Indians for the reception they give to the whites as the white pose the threat of attempting to enslaved the Indians.
Nonetheless, the experiences of Captain Smith represented the start of the widespread slave market in the British North American colonies. Naranjo notes the 1680 revolt came from the sporadic resistance of the Native Americans who resisted the Spanish empire and their soldiers and missionaries who settled in the Northern states. The missionaries sought to resettle these Native Americans into simple peasant communities as they built forts and peasant communities in order to Christianize the natives and spread the Catholic faith, but what right did the Europeans have to try to change the way of life of the natives? The fact is that many Europeans reveled in the need for political and economic power and had no regards for the welfare and well-being of the minority groups. However, the New Mexican natives proved to be a force to reckon with as they resisted the attempts at conversion and showed similar strengths to the Africans who resisted slavery. The resistance in both groups led to numerous rebellions. The Native Americans rebelled in 1680 and the Africans rebelled later. The fact is that the rebellions stemmed from the same reasons and that is the lack of humane conditions and the resistance to slavery.
A number of Europeans refused to accept that their treatment of the enslaved people was inhumane. The article on the Declaration of Pedro Naranjo of the Queres Nations suggests that colonizers could not understand why the slaves did not honor the Christian foundations of colonization. The truth is that there is no question that the enslaved people had the right to rebel. Of course the colonizers would see the natives cry for help as atrocious and grave crimes even as the enslaved groups burnt churches, crosses, other things that represented the Christian faith. In fact, the colonizers believed in the fact that their actions were justified by the church. The reality though is that the Europeans had little or no respect for the culture and beliefs of the enslave groups. The very fact that they deprived these groups of their cultural beliefs suggests that the conditions were inhumane and one could easily justify the actions of the enslaved people.
The American Revolution brought a number of changes to the practice of slavery in the North and the South. The revolutionary ideals brought on a number of serious arguments against the inhumane conditions of slavery. In fact, many individuals saw the unjust treatment of these slaves as a reason to free their slaves. Nonetheless, each state was left with the decision of how to treat slavery and the freedom of the slaves. In the Northern states, laws came into effect to eliminate or gradually extinguish slavery. In contrast, the Southern states refuted these laws as the investment in slavery superseded the investments in the North. In fact, these Southern states resisted the efforts to eliminate slavery because of the vast economic investments. The difference in the approach as the North completed eliminated slavery and the left the South as the main contenders in the slave trade. Nonetheless, the Civil War culminated the divisions of the ideas of the slave industry.
In concluding, slavery was one of the cruelest periods of the history. Many individuals believed that Christianity and the Catholic Church justified the inhumane actions of the colonizers, but these conditions only served to anger the natives who had lost their identity and cultural beliefs. The poor conditions of the passage into the North American territories affected both the Europeans and the enslaved groups. Still, Europeans continued to make slavery a priority as it improved the economic investments of the Europeans.

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WePapers. (2020, October, 31) Slavery Essay Samples. Retrieved May 19, 2024, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/slavery-essay-samples/
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"Slavery Essay Samples." WePapers, Oct 31, 2020. Accessed May 19, 2024. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/slavery-essay-samples/
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Slavery Essay Samples. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/slavery-essay-samples/. Published Oct 31, 2020. Accessed May 19, 2024.
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