The Cause and Effect of Slavery in the United States Essay
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The humankind is one of large ego and guilt, and in every period during history have they done selfish acts in the name of “survival”. Every generation, and every culture built much in this world, yet might have still used the wrong path to do so. America is one major example for this. The Americans, just like many other cultures, have used immoral techniques for the benefit and prosperity of themselves and their dawning country. They stole the lives of millions in order to keep their lives intact.
Americans captured Africans and traded them in the colonies, and tormented them in order to utilize them as slaves to work under their control and grow their land. Such an immoral act had a huge impact throughout history even up until today. As the European settlers arrived and settled in the Americas, they had a hard time adjusting into the new land and tried their best to survive and build their own colonies.
These settlers were in search of a source of labor which would increasingly aid them in building plantations and cities.
As they progressed into the land they found that it was very difficult to enslave the Natives of the land and also wanted a cheaper source of labor than source than indentured servants. Thus, these colonists chose the cheap, and easy to catch and control Africans. The Europeans started importing them during the late 1600s, as part of the transatlantic trade or the triangular trade. The Europeans would travel from Europe to Africa, capture slaves, and then import then to the New World.
The Europeans only arrived to the shores of Western Africa, and would offer products to the Africans who would then go into villages, snatch some of their own people, and take them to the shores to trade with Europeans. Some of them were also captives of war between African tribes. These Africans had no idea where they were going and what was waiting for them there. The Africans were raped from their lives, and went through condemned separation from their families, homes, and environments. They were not given their basic human rights that every person has by instinct and had to commit their whole lives to please their owners.
As these slaves were imported to the Americas they were beleaguered and forced to work on either farms, large-scale plantations, or also as servants in houses. Slavery also had multiple physiological effects on the slaves due to the physical torture they went through. The slaves were punished by means such as whipping, or beating with a stick causing severe injuries. A slave named Charles Ball once said “I had at times serious thoughts of suicide so great was my anguish. If I could have got a rope I should have hanged myself at Lanchester”. This quote elaborates on the psychological effects caused by physical pain.
The brutal actions done by the slave owners affected the lives of the slaves to become a fugitive and more rebellious to the society. The physical abuse and the scars were left to remind slaves of the disturbing and controlling world they reside within. Americans have given multiple excuses instead of reasons to justify the cause of forced migration and the ill-fated action of slavery. They have explained that slavery is good for Africans as being a major part of the European civilizing mission of the savage and undomesticated Africans, and had a myth that Africans were “cursed” by God and were divinely fated to serve the whites.
Slave import from Africa reached its climax during the 18th century when more than six to seven million slaves were imported to the country. As a sign of refusal to their plight, some slaves would try to escape, and also some took it to the second level by frankly resisting to work or revolting against their owners. Along with these slaves, their cultures and traditions were also imported. These Africans lived strictly based on their heritage, keeping their musical traditions and folktales.
These musical traditions are still prevalent in the present musical industry of America and many of the African instruments have been used in modern American music. Later in the American history the Northern states started to develop a different and more mature mentality compared the Southern states on the issue of slavery. They felt that slavery should be abolished because it was morally wrong and economically unnecessary. Yet, numerous Southerners were highly opposing this idea as they needed slavery because their farming and agricultural economy basically depended on them, unlike the North which had a strong manufacturing potential.
Slavery was like an addiction that the south could not break through. This resulted in the Northwest Ordinance of 1787, by which the land that was west of the Mississippi River and east of the Appalachian Mountains was to outlaw slavery, establishing the idea of free states and slave states. Slavery was also a benefit to the Southerners due to the fact that representation in the congress was determined by the population number, and that the slaves were also counted within the population.
Then, the emotions of disgust and discomfort, by the Northerners (the abolitionists) towards the Southerners, flared up acting as a major cause of the American Civil War, which lasted from 1861 to 1865. The war ended with the Emancipation Proclamation, which abolished slavery throughout the whole country, and the addition of the 13th amendment which confirmed this law. After the slaves were finally freed upon their will many thought that it would be like heaven. Yet, while working as slaves they had no real idea of what freedom would be like.
Some didn’t easily cope with the new way of living, to the point that they even reacted violently as revenge. Yet, others moved to cities and lived happily as free citizens who had rights and earned wages for working. Even though slavery was fully abolished, the African-Americans were still distinguishably segregated in the American society. They were segregated in terms of jobs and essentially every other basic daily routine such as public restrooms, water fountains, and bus seats. To that, multiple Black-Americans activists and public speakers stood up against discrimination and fought to have exact equal rights to the Whites-Americans had.
Their work certainly did not pay off, as now Black-Americans as considered to be some of the most successful people in this world. People have understood that if Blacks are treated like cultivated people they would actually be civilized and highly beneficial to the society in which they live. Examples would be of the ex-UN Security General, Kofi Anan, The ex-US Secretary of State, Condalisa Rice, and even the present US President, Mr. Barack Obama. I believe that every incident that happened through history has a divinely fated intention.
A historian once wrote that the rise of liberty and equality in America was accompanied by slavery. If it was not for slavery and all what American went through to stop it, they would have never really understood the full concept of Human Rights and how to enforce it worldwide. Now the United States of America is one of the leading countries in combating slavery (that is still present in some parts of the world), fighting for equality and the enforcement of human rights, thanks to their previous experience in combating such immoral acts within themselves.
Enslavement of Africans back in the 1600-1800s was for a reason that might not sound as legit these days, yet was considered a convincing argument back then. Slaves went through hundreds of years of immoral torment and neglect of rights, yet all of this eventually faded off. Today America is a highly successful country, which has totally passed the mentality of slavery and discrimination and respects African-Americans in every definition of respect.