American Slavery Essay 3
American Slavery Essay 3

American Slavery Essay 3

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  • Pages: 3 (807 words)
  • Published: December 20, 2017
  • Type: Research Paper
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Experts and scholars have conducted thorough research on slavery, specifically in America, for numerous years. Their investigations have delved into various facets such as economics, demography, culture, treatment, and ideology of slavery (p. ix).

Although slavery is a worldwide issue, the main focus tends to be on American slavery. Peter Kolchin's "American Slavery" book effectively shows how slavery evolved amidst various historical controversies and relationships between slave-owners, as well as how it transformed over time. Furthermore, Kolchin compares America with other nations that have slaves globally. In America, society was truly altered by slavery, which progressed uniquely through the years. According to Kolchin (p. 8), during the colonial period, America became an authentic slave society where both the economy and social structure were founded on slave labor.

The economy, way of life, and cultu


re underwent significant changes with the arrival of the first indentured servants. They were responsible for much of the labor during the seventeenth century. However, in the mainland colonies during the 1680s, there was a shift towards slave labor due to an increase in demand and a shortage of indentured servants. As stated by Kolchin, while indentured servants served for only a few years, slaves were held permanently; furthermore, children born to female slaves inherited their mother's status as a slave. Slave labor also provided masters with a reduced level of successful flight.

The transition from indentured servitude to complete slavery had a significant impact on the American economy, which was influenced by events like the Bacon Rebellion and the need for a stable workforce. This shift greatly affected how African Americans were perceived. However, this transformation was not the only significant change that

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occurred during slavery. It also altered how slave owners interacted with their slaves and collaborated with them. As enslaved individuals adapted to their new surroundings in America, they frequently endured mistreatment and lived in appalling conditions.

Kolchin's statement that "savages" were viewed as mere tools for work and little attention was given to their personal lives, emphasizes the inferiority of slaves (p.59). However, as the number of African-born slaves decreased, the mindset towards them evolved. Slave owners also experienced a shift in ideology, as the slaves born in America were now their property (p.59).

The treatment of slaves by their owners changed significantly over time as they began to recognize them as individuals with their own identity rather than mere property. This shift was a significant milestone in the history of slavery and led to slaves gaining more liberties, such as religious Sundays off, visitation rights, and the ability to earn extra income. While some still encountered brutal treatment from cruel southern owners who beat them, the relationship between oppressors and oppressed evolved into a friendship similar to that of family members. Despite these advancements, however, slavery remained an unjustifiable institution.

Even though slaves had connections with their masters, they were still viewed and handled as slaves. The identity of those who were enslaved as well as the forms and relationships of slavery underwent changes over time. The initial group of slaves was composed of individuals with both white and Indian ancestry. According to Kolchin, this was evidenced by their utilization of coerced labor on Europeans and Indians prior to turning to Africans (p. ).

4). Although it was a short-lived phenomenon, white slave owners quickly recognized that black

slaves were more productive workers than Native Americans. The abundance of available black slaves and their strong work ethic contributed to their emergence as a preferred workforce.

The ease of controlling blacks in a foreign land, like America, resulted in their consistent use as a form of labor, rendering any experimentation with alternative races unnecessary. While slavery is typically associated with America, it was also present in other nations, including Russia and the Caribbean Islands, where forced labor systems were implemented.

The irony lies in the fact that slavery in America was comparatively less severe than in southern nations. The southern nations had a larger number of slaves, worse working conditions, and masters who mistreated them severely. According to Kolchin, in Russia, where serfs were similar to slaves, peasants were considered the lowest element of society (p. 52). Despite having different systems, both the British colonies and Russia had governments that provided measures for the economic security of the masters and compensation for the loss of their human property (p. 198).

Kolchin provides extensive information on the severity of slavery, both in America and globally. Despite its presence beyond America, slavery is often associated with the country. Kolchin effectively demonstrates how slavery evolved and impacted society as a whole.

The text covers the variation of slavery across regions and the acknowledgement that the principle was not universal. The book displays the diverse slave-owner relationships that existed amongst nations reflecting their distinctive beliefs. Tragically, regardless of location, slavery remains an abominable time in history.

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