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Slavery

Slavery
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness”
(Thomas Jefferson).


Slavery in America stems well back to when the new world was first discovered and was led by the country to start the African Slave Trade- Portugal. The African Slave Trade was first exploited for plantations in that is now called the Caribbean, and eventually reached the southern coasts of America. The African natives were of all ages and sexes. Women usually worked in the homes, cooking and cleaning, whereas men were sent out into the plantations to farm. Young girls would usually help in the house also and young boys would help in the farm by bailing hay and loading wagons with crops.

Since trying to capture the native Indians, the Arawaks and Caribs, failed (Small-Pox had killed them), the Europeans said out to capture African slaves. They were shipped from Africa by the Europeans in what was called The Triangular Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. This was an organized route where Europeans would travel to Africa bringing
manufactured goods, capture Africans and take them to the Caribbean, and then take the crops and goods and bring them back to Europe. The African people, in order to communicate invented a language that was a mixture of all the African languages combined, called Creole. This language now varies from island to island. They also kept their culture which accounts for calypso music and the instruments used in these songs.

Slavery was common all over the world until 1794 when France signed the Act of the National Convention abolishing slavery. It would take America about a hundred years to do the same.

George Washington was America’s hero. He was America’s first president. He was a slave owner. He deplored slavery but did not release his slaves. His will stated that they would be released after the death of his wife. Washington wasn’t the only president to have slaves. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “All men are created equal” but died leaving his blacks in slavery.

In 1775 black Americans were sent to fight in the revolutionary army. The British proposed that if a black man was to join their army, they would be set free afterwards. America originally planned not to let the blacks fight in the army, but when hearing this, let them enlist. Only Georgia and South Carolina refused to let them enlist, but paid for their racism when each lost 25,000 blacks to the British. The slaves returned on an honorable discharge after securing America’s freedom, but not their own.

Slavery continued and so did the numbers of slaves trying to escape to the free states or into Canada. A runaway slave would be found by bloodhounds, trained to find black slaves. Then the slave, upon returning, would be executed or severely whipped.

The “Underground Railroad” was a project that helped black slaves escape into Canada, especially Amherstburg. The system involved 3,000 white helpers and freed an estimated 75,000 people after the civil war.


Slavery in the middle of the 1800’s was abolished except for the
rebellion states in the south. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation
was issued which made slavery illegal in the states that had rebelled and allowed black slaves to serve in the army and get other jobs, or continue to work on the plantations, as employees making money.

The nightmare of slavery was over but a new one was to begin. One that was worse for it was prevalent but was secret and silent. One that exists today. One that does not shrink but rather grows. Racism was and is upon us.


The Injustice of Slavery
Slaves were people who were taken from their home land in Africa and brought to America, to serve as servants on farms, doing household chores, etc. Slaves were used from the beginning of time, by people like the Egyptians. Now a days it is illegal to own slaves, but it still happens. And to this day African Americans are discriminated. In my opinion, that is just not fair, they did not ask to come over to our country, we brought them here. We are the ones to blame. Yet, they have to pay. If you were a black man and had a trial with a white jury,
you will probably be guilty. If you are a black man, many white people will try to steer clear of you, or look at you in a funny way.

How did slaves actually become free, you might be asking yourself. It all began with a man named Abraham Lincoln, he wanted to set slaves free. But the southern states had large plantations and needed slaves to help, so this was not a good idea, in their opinion. This controversy led to the Civil War, which was eventually won by the north, and slaves were set free in America. But people discriminated slaves very much, and that was not good.

Discrimination of African Americans is not that big now a days, but it is still out there. Discrimination sort of died out when a man named Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed some of his thoughts about discrimination. His famous speech was entitled “I Have a Dream”. Back before his speech, African Americans were not treated as people. They had to stand at the back of the bus, they had to live in a certain area of town, they could not use the white restrooms or white drinking fountains, they could not even eat in the same restaurants as white people. Thanks to many people like Martin Luther King Jr. this is non-
existent today.
To conclude my report, I would like to say how bad I think slavery actually was. To just take these people from their homelands and take them to a
place where they would be mistreated, beaten, and even killed, is just totally un-ethical.


The institution of Slavery
The issue of slavery has been touched upon often in the course of history. The
institution of slavery was addressed by French intellectuals during the Enlightenment. Later, during the French Revolution, the National Assembly issued the Declaration of
the Rights of Man, which declared the equality of all men. Issues were raised concerning the application of this statement to the French colonies in the West Indies, which used slaves to work the land. As they had different interests in mind, the philosophes, slave owners, and political leaders took opposing views on the interpretation of universal
equality. Many of the philosophes, the leaders of the Enlightenment, were against Slavery. They held that all people had a natural dignity that should be recognized.

Voltaire, an 18th century philosophe, pointed out that hundreds of thousands of slaves were sacrificing their lives just so the Europeans could quell their new taste for sugar,
tea and cocoa. A similar view was taken by Rousseau, who stated that he could not bear to watch his fellow human beings be changed to beasts for the service of others.

Religion entered into the equation when Diderot, author of the Encyclopedia, brought up the fact that the Christian religion was fundamentally opposed to Black slavery but employed it anyway in order to work the plantations that financed their countries. All in all, those influenced by the ideals of the Enlightenment, equality, liberty, the right to dignity, tended to oppose the idea of slavery. Differing from the philosophes, the political leaders and property owners intended to see slavery as an element that supported the economy. These people believed that if slavery and the slave trade were to be abolished, the French would lose their colonies, commerce would collapse and as a result the merchant marine, agriculture and the arts would decline.

Their worries were somewhat merited; by 1792 French ships were delivering up to 38,000 slaves and this trade brought in 200 million livres a year. These people had
economic incentives to support slavery, however others were simply ignorant. One man, Raynal, said that white people were incapable of working in the hot sun and blacks were much better suited to toil and labor in the intense heat. Having a similar view to Raynal, one property owner stated that tearing the blacks from the only homes they knew was
actually humane. Though they had to work without pay, this man said slave traders were doing the blacks a favor by placing them in the French colonies where they could live
without fear for tomorrow. All of these people felt that the Declaration of the Rights of Man did not pertain to black people or their descendants. All people were not ignorant,
however. There was even a group of people who held surprisingly modern views on slavery; views some people haven’t even accepted today. In his Reflections on Black
People, Olympe de Gouges wondered why blacks were enslaved. He said that the color of people’s skin suggests only a slight difference. The beauty of nature lies in the fact that all is varied. Another man, Jacques Necker, told people that one day they would realize the error of their ways and notice that all people have the same capacity to think and suffer.
The slavery issue was a topic of debate among the people of France. The views of the people, based on enlightenment, the welfare of the country or plain ignorance were tossed around for several more years until the issue was finally resolved. In the end the philosophes, with their liberated ideas, won out and slavery was abolished.


The Perils of Slavery
A recurring theme in, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is Harriet Jacobss reflections on what slavery meant to her as well as all women in bondage. Continuously, Jacobs expresses her deep hatred of slavery, and all of its implications. She dreads such an institution so much that she sometimes regards death as a better alternative than a life in bondage. For Harriet, slavery was different than many African Americans. She did not spend her life harvesting cotton on a large plantation. She was not flogged and beaten with regular accurance like many slaves. She was not actively kept from illiteracy. Actually, Harriet always was treated relatively well. She performed most of her work inside and was rarely ever punished, at the request of her licentious master. Furthermore, she was taught to read and sew, and to perform other tasks associated with a ladies work. Outwardly, it appeared that Harriet had it pretty good, in light of what many slaves had succumbed to. However, Ironically Harriet believes these fortunes were actually her curse. The fact that she was well kept and light skinned as well as being attractive lead to her victimization as a sexual object. Consequently, Harriet became a prospective concubine for Dr. Norcom. She points out that life under slavery was as bad as any slave could hope for. Harriet talks about her life as slave by saying, You never knew what it is to be a slave; to be entirely unprotected by law or custom; to have the laws reduce you to the condition of chattel, entirely subject to the will of another. (Jacobs p. 55).
In the earliest part of Harriets life the whole idea of slavery was foreign to her. As all little girls she was born with a mind that only told her place in the world was that of a little girl. She had no capacity to understand the hardships that she inherited. She explains how her, heart was as free from care as that of any free-born white child.(Jacobs p. 7) She explains this blissful ignorance by not understanding that she was condemned at birth to a life of the worst kind oppression. Even at six when she first became familiar with the realization that people regarded her as a slave, Harriet could not conceptualize the weight of what this meant. She says that her circumstances as slave girl were unusually fortunate, because after her mother passed away she was left with Margaret Horniblow, whom Harriet was clearly fond of. Mistress Horniblow was the one who taught her to read and spell, and treated Harriet like she was her own daughter. Mistress never worked Harriet to hard or prevented her from having fun as little white girls did. Mrs. Horniblow kept her promise that Harriet should never suffer from anything. So, under the care of her mistress, Harriets life was a happy one. Still the affects of slavery had not taken hold of her. This went on until her mistress died and Harriet for the first time was exposed to her value as property. It is clear that Harriet Jacobs has spent the better part of her life trying to reconcile the feelings she has towards her first mistress.On one hand, Harriet loves her mistress deeply for the way she treated Harriet. On the other hand, how could someone that apparently cared for her so much leave her with such an unpredictable fate? It seems that Harriets ignorance of her status as property is challenged greatly at this point. In Harriets retrospect as an older woman she seems to not have feelings of love and affection to her mistress but does have appreciation for the knowledge that she gained from her.
The next stage of Harriets life contains the realization of what slavery is. It was at this time that her true education began. The days of happy frolic were gone, the anguish of slavery was all that lie ahead. Everywhere, Harriet looked there was atrocities happening. Before, when she lived with Margaret Horniblow, she was taken care of. Now all she had was her grandmother. By the time she had spent a couple of years with the Norcoms (Flints) several people that were close to her had died. At the time of these deaths she was obviously very mournful. She even rebelled against God, who had taken her bother parents as well as her loving mistress. However as time went on and the more she experienced the evils of bondage her view of death began to change.This first change came about when her grandmother suggested of her parents fate by saying, Who knows the ways of God? Perhaps they have been kindly taken from the evil days to come.(Jacobs p. 10) She was further subjected to this kind of outlook on death, when she witnessed a dying slave girl giving birth to a white baby, beg for the Lord to come and take her. The belief that death brought peace and freedom seemed to be a common sentiment among slaves who lived such an unrewarding and oppresses life. Many of them had very little to live for. Whereas, the conflict in Harriets mind must have been very divisive, because she valued so much about life. If it wasnt for her Grandmothers presence and the joy and self-determination she brought to Harriets life then maybe accepting death as a blessing may have come easier with Harriet.

Sometimes death did seem more appealing than life to Harriet while she was under mastery of Dr. Norcom. Jacobs never actually describes the specifics of her continuous raping by Dr. James Norcom, but it is easy to draw the most gruesome conclusions of what this predator must have done to the innocence of Harriet. I think a cause of focus is the question of, why Harriet was so vague in writing the violations brought against by Dr. Norcom? A big factor may have been the puritanical ways of America at that time. It seems that people did not write about those types of things, no matter what. However, I think Harriets upbringing was an important reason of why she was so elusive in her description of the raping. Clearly her Grandmother was a huge influence on Harriet. With that influence Harriet was taught not to talk about such things. She was even afraid to tell her Grandmother about what was going on. I was very young and felt shamefaced about telling her such impure things, especially as I knew her (Grandmother) to be very strict on such subjects. Harriet said.I think this stayed with Harriet over the years.
When Harriet found love in the midst of her torture, she was again torn between the value of life and the freedom of death. She still had the deep love for her Grandmother and certainly adored her brother, but they were not enough to shed the dark clouds that lay over her head. No love was actually enough to free her from her misery. However, she fell in love with a young man that gave her hope that she explains only love can bring. She romanced about her affair by saying, I loved, and indulged the hope that the dark clouds around me would turn out a bright lining. I forgot that in the land of my birth the shadows are too dense for light to penetrate.(Jacobs p 37) This relationship also brought Harriet hope for freedom once again. The young man who was Harriets love interest was free born and wished to marry her. However, after Harriets attempts to pursued her master to sell her to the young neighbor failed she was left worse off than before. Dr. Norcom was so cruel he forbade Harriet anymore contact with the young man. Harriets next love came when she gave birth to her first child. Her son Benny was conceived as a way to get around Dr. Norcoms reign of terror. However, this is a subject that was very painful for her. She conveys to the reader that she has great regret for the length she went to stop her Master. Along with her own guilt she carries the memories of her Grandmothers reaction to the news of her pregnancy. Clearly this was a very traumatic time in Harriets life. In light of these difficult events Harriet once again found love and hope in her new born son. When I was most sorely oppressed I found solace in his smiles. I loved to watch his infant slumber: but always there was a dark cloud over my enjoyment. I could never forget that he was a slave. (Jacobs p. 62)
The Perils of Slavery
A recurring theme in, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, is Harriet Jacobss reflections on what slavery meant to her as well as all women in bondage. Continuously, Jacobs expresses her deep hatred of slavery, and all of its implications. She dreads such an institution so much that she sometimes regards death as a better alternative than a life in bondage. For Harriet, slavery was different than many African Americans. She did not spend her life harvesting cotton on a large plantation. She was not flogged and beaten with regular accurance like many slaves. She was not actively kept from illiteracy. Actually, Harriet always was treated relatively well. She performed most of her work inside and was rarely ever punished, at the request of her licentious master. Furthermore, she was taught to read and sew, and to perform other tasks associated with a ladies work. Outwardly, it appeared that Harriet had it pretty good, in light of what many slaves had succumbed to. However, Ironically Harriet believes these fortunes were actually her curse. The fact that she was well kept and light skinned as well as being attractive lead to her victimization as a sexual object. Consequently, Harriet became a prospective concubine for Dr. Norcom. She points out that life under slavery was as bad as any slave could hope for. Harriet talks about her life as slave by saying, You never knew what it is to be a slave; to be entirely unprotected by law or custom; to have the laws reduce you to the condition of chattel, entirely subject to the will of another. (Jacobs p. 55).
In the earliest part of Harriets life the whole idea of slavery was foreign to her. As all little girls she was born with a mind that only told her place in the world was that of a little girl. She had no capacity to understand the hardships that she inherited. She explains how her, heart was as free from care as that of any free-born white child.(Jacobs p. 7) She explains this blissful ignorance by not understanding that she was condemned at birth to a life of the worst kind oppression. Even at six when she first became familiar with the realization that people regarded her as a slave, Harriet could not conceptualize the weight of what this meant. She says that her circumstances as slave girl were unusually fortunate, because after her mother passed away she was left with Margaret Horniblow, whom Harriet was clearly fond of. Mistress Horniblow was the one who taught her to read and spell, and treated Harriet like she was her own daughter. Mistress never worked Harriet to hard or prevented her from having fun as little white girls did. Mrs. Horniblow kept her promise that Harriet should never suffer from anything. So, under the care of her mistress, Harriets life was a happy one. Still the affects of slavery had not taken hold of her. This went on until her mistress died and Harriet for the first time was exposed to her value as property. It is clear that Harriet Jacobs has spent the better part of her life trying to reconcile the feelings she has towards her first mistress.On one hand, Harriet loves her mistress deeply for the way she treated Harriet. On the other hand, how could someone that apparently cared for her so much leave her with such an unpredictable fate? It seems that Harriets ignorance of her status as property is challenged greatly at this point. In Harriets retrospect as an older woman she seems to not have feelings of love and affection to her mistress but does have appreciation for the knowledge that she gained from her.
The next stage of Harriets life contains the realization of what slavery is. It was at this time that her true education began. The days of happy frolic were gone, the anguish of slavery was all that lie ahead. Everywhere, Harriet looked there was atrocities happening. Before, when she lived with Margaret Horniblow, she was taken care of. Now all she had was her grandmother. By the time she had spent a couple of years with the Norcoms (Flints) several people that were close to her had died. At the time of these deaths she was obviously very mournful. She even rebelled against God, who had taken her bother parents as well as her loving mistress. However as time went on and the more she experienced the evils of bondage her view of death began to change.This first change came about when her grandmother suggested of her parents fate by saying, Who knows the ways of God? Perhaps they have been kindly taken from the evil days to come.(Jacobs p. 10) She was further subjected to this kind of outlook on death, when she witnessed a dying slave girl giving birth to a white baby, beg for the Lord to come and take her. The belief that death brought peace and freedom seemed to be a common sentiment among slaves who lived such an unrewarding and oppresses life. Many of them had very little to live for. Whereas, the conflict in Harriets mind must have been very divisive, because she valued so much about life. If it wasnt for her Grandmothers presence and the joy and self-determination she brought to Harriets life then maybe accepting death as a blessing may have come easier with Harriet.

Sometimes death did seem more appealing than life to Harriet while she was under mastery of Dr. Norcom. Jacobs never actually describes the specifics of her continuous raping by Dr. James Norcom, but it is easy to draw the most gruesome conclusions of what this predator must have done to the innocence of Harriet. I think a cause of focus is the question of, why Harriet was so vague in writing the violations brought against by Dr. Norcom? A big factor may have been the puritanical ways of America at that time. It seems that people did not write about those types of things, no matter what. However, I think Harriets upbringing was an important reason of why she was so elusive in her description of the raping. Clearly her Grandmother was a huge influence on Harriet. With that influence Harriet was taught not to talk about such things. She was even afraid to tell her Grandmother about what was going on. I was very young and felt shamefaced about telling her such impure things, especially as I knew her (Grandmother) to be very strict on such subjects. Harriet said.I think this stayed with Harriet over the years.
When Harriet found love in the midst of her torture, she was again torn between the value of life and the freedom of death. She still had the deep love for her Grandmother and certainly adored her brother, but they were not enough to shed the dark clouds that lay over her head. No love was actually enough to free her from her misery. However, she fell in love with a young man that gave her hope that she explains only love can bring. She romanced about her affair by saying, I loved, and indulged the hope that the dark clouds around me would turn out a bright lining. I forgot that in the land of my birth the shadows are too dense for light to penetrate.(Jacobs p 37) This relationship also brought Harriet hope for freedom once again. The young man who was Harriets love interest was free born and wished to marry her. However, after Harriets attempts to pursued her master to sell her to the young neighbor failed she was left worse off than before. Dr. Norcom was so cruel he forbade Harriet anymore contact with the young man. Harriets next love came when she gave birth to her first child. Her son Benny was conceived as a way to get around Dr. Norcoms reign of terror. However, this is a subject that was very painful for her. She conveys to the reader that she has great regret for the length she went to stop her Master. Along with her own guilt she carries the memories of her Grandmothers reaction to the news of her pregnancy. Clearly this was a very traumatic time in Harriets life. In light of these difficult events Harriet once again found love and hope in her new born son. When I was most sorely oppressed I found solace in his smiles. I loved to watch his infant slumber: but always there was a dark cloud over my enjoyment. I could never forget that he was a slave. (Jacobs p. 62)
The foundation for black participation in the Civil War began more than a hundred years before the outbreak of the war. Blacks in America had been in bondage since early colonial times. In 1776, when Jefferson proclaimed mankinds inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the institution of slavery had become firmly established in America. Blacks worked in the tobacco fields of Virginia, in the rice fields of South Carolina, and toiled in small farms and shops in the North. Foner and Mahoney report in A House Divided, America in the Age of Lincoln that, In 1776, slaves composed forty percent of the population of the colonies from Maryland south to Georgia, but well below ten percent in the colonies to the North.The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 provided a demand for cotton thus increasing the demand for slaves.By the 1800s slavery was an institution throughout the South, an institution in which slaves had few rights, and could be sold or leased by their owners. They lacked any voice in the government and lived a life of hardship. Considering these circumstances, the slave population never abandoned the desire for freedom or the determination to resist control by the slave owners.The slave’s reaction to this desire and determination resulted in outright rebellion and individual acts of defiance. However, historians place the strongest reaction in the enlisting of blacks in the war itself.

Batty and Parish in The Divided Union: The Story of the Great American War, 1861-65, concur with Foner and Mahoney about the importance of outright rebellion in their analysis of the Nat Turner Rebellion, which took place in 1831. This revolt demonstrated that not all slaves were willing to accept this institution of slavery passively.Foner and Mahoney note that the significance of this uprising is found in its aftermath because of the numerous reports of insubordinate behavior by slaves .

Even with the groundwork having been laid for resistance, the prevalent racial climate in America in 1860 found it unthinkable that blacks would bear arms against white Americans. However, by 1865 these black soldiers had proven their value. Wilson writes in great detail describing the struggles and achievements of the black soldiers in his book The Black Phalanx.McPherson discusses that widespread opposition to the use of blacks as soldiers prevailed among northern whites. Whereas McPherson relates the events cumulating in the passage of two laws that aided black enlistment, Wilson focuses on the actual enlistment. He notes that the first regiment of free blacks came into service at New Orleans in September 1862 through the efforts of Butler. Wilson credits Butlers three regiments of blacks as the first officially mustered into Union ranks.North Carolina and Kansas also organized additional black units where minor skirmishes proved to be successful. Wilson also notes that Kansas has … the honor of being the first State in the Union to begin the organization of Negroes as soldiers for the Federal army.Sewell and McPherson agree that up to this point President Lincoln had opposed the idea of blacks fighting for the Union but after the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that slaves in states still in rebellion on January 1, 1863, shall be then, thence forward, and forever free, he reversed his thinking.At the end of the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln announced that the freed blacks would be received into the armed service of the United States….Lincoln planned to tap into a new source of fighting individuals, …the great available and as yet unavailed of, force for the restoration of the Union..Lincoln thought this would both weaken the enemy and strengthen the Union. The recruitment of the blacks took laborers from the South and placed “these men in the Union army in places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men.Lincoln also felt that seeing the blacks fighting against the Confederacy would have a psychological effect upon the South. Hattaway and Jones concur with McPherson in describing the Emancipation Proclamation and the importance it had for both the Union and the Confederacy.

With the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, freeing the slaves, the North began recruiting black soldiers but, as reported by Batty and Parish, this was a slow recruitment at first.Sewall supports this fact by revealing a letter Lincoln wrote to Vice-President Hamlin just six days after the issuing of the proclamation in which he states that …troops come forward more slowly than ever…In the Spring of 1863 only two black regiments existed, however, this had grown to sixty by the end of 1863. By 1864 this had expanded to 80 more regiments. Jordan provides a comprehensive account of one of the first black regiments to fight for the Union Army, the 54th Massachusetts Colored Regiment that numbered at least 1,000 soldiers. This all-volunteer regiment, lead by a white colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, helped open the 22- month land and sea assault on Charleston, South Carolina. Leading an unsuccessful hand-to-hand attack on Fort Wagner in Charleston, this regiment engaged in one of the most famous black actions of the Civil War and suffered approximately 44 percent casualties, including Colonel Shaw.Their performance in this battle helped to make the blacks more acceptable in the Union army. One of its soldiers won the Congressional Medal of Honor. Eventually twenty-three other black soldiers earned this honor. Sewell, in A House Divided, concurs on the gallantry of the black soldiers, but he reports that 17 black soldiers and 4 black sailors received the nations highest honor.The reports of the tenacity of the blacks at Fort Wagner plus engagements at Port Hudson, Louisiana, Fort Pillow and Millikens Bend helped to fuel the fire of black enlistment.

Historians differ in the actual number of blacks in the Union Army. Foner and Mahoney reported that by the end of the war approximately 190,000 blacks had served in the Union Army and Navy, while Stokesbury notes that there were 300,000 black soldiers and 166 regiments.Sewell, in contrast, places this number at 500,00.Wilson explains the discrepancy in the numbers of black soldiers as he describes a practice of putting a live Negro in a dead ones place.If a black solder died in the war the commanding officers would simply put another man in his place and have him answer to the dead mans name. Sewell notes the causalities among black troops amounted to 68,178.Batty and Parish call the raising of the black regiments one of the most remarkable, even revolutionary, developments of the whole war.
Sewell agrees with Batty and Parish, McPherson and Wilson that even though these soldiers were fighting for the North and trying to escape the bonds of slavery and gain freedom, discrimination still existed in the Army. The soldiers fought in segregated companies with white commanders. The Blacks were not equal to the whites as they received lower pay, performed fatigue duty and menial labor, such as cleaning quarters, laundering clothing, cleaning boots and cooking. Black soldiers, regardless of their rank, earned $10 a month minus $3 for clothing, while white privates earned $13 a month plus clothing.Ex-slaves could not advance into the ranks of commissioned officers until the end of the war. Batty and Parish note that less than 100 ever became officers and none ranked higher than captain. Sewell states that with rare exception, the only blacks to obtain commissions were Chaplains and surgeons.McPherson, who agrees with other historians that the blacks were considered second class soldiers, cites statistics to support this theory He shows the contrast in the number of white and black soldiers killed in action and in the rate of death from disease among the white and black soldiers.The black soldiers faced the prospect of execution or sale into slavery if captured. Wilson reports that one of the worst atrocities allegedly committed against the black soldiers occurred at Fort Pillow, Tennessee on April 12, 1864, when the Confederate Army indiscriminately killed some three hundred black soldiers. The fort, stormed by General Nathan Bedford Forrests troops, had surrendered. Union officials claimed that the killing of the black soldiers was a massacre, however, the Confederate denied this claim, maintaining that the soldiers died in the fighting before the surrender.Wilson gives a detailed account of the battle to support the massacre theory and Harpers Weekly called the battle, Inhuman, fiendish butchery.Stokesbury, in concurring with Wilson, notes the weight of evidence … suggests a massacre.This massacre failed to weaken the courage of the black soldiers, but rather fueled them with a desire of determination.

Just as the Union Army realized the importance of black soldiers, so did the South. The readiness to which these slaves responded to the call of fighting for the confederacy is explained by the fact that the failure of Nat Turner, among others, was held up to them as their fate, should they attempt to free themselves from their masters. In the early years of the war some Confederate states accepted blacks into their units, much to Jefferson Daviss opposition.Black workers found their way into armament factories and into the Confederate Army doing anything short of handling a gun.Throughout the war effort in the South, blacks willingly dug field fortifications, mounted cannons and built entrenchments to fortify cities and towns. Wilson cites an article in the Charleston Mercury on January 3, 1861, which reported, One hundred and fifty able-bodied free colored men yesterday offered their services gratuitously…. to hasten forward the important work of throwing up redoubts…along our coast.Likewise, the states of Tennessee and Virginia enlisted the aid of the blacks.Often after completing the needed fortifications the slaves returned to the fields to help supply the needs of the confederate soldiers who were fighting to keep the blacks as slaves.As the Confederacy faced a mounting shortage of white soldiers, General Pat Cleburne developed a plan to use the blacks in the fight for the Confederacy. This plan promised freedom for the slaves but Jefferson Davis rejected the idea.In the dying days of the war in early 1865 the Confederacy faced an army that was daily thinned more to desertion than bullets. General-in chief of the Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee persuaded the Confederate Congress to arm slaves to fight for the South.These slaves trained, drilled and paraded in some cities. However, the war ended before this program could begin.

Their importance in the fighting is found in the claim they staked to equal rights following the war. Former slave Frederick Douglas wrote, Once let the black man get upon his person the brass U. S. … and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship. . The role of the black soldiers also influenced moderate Republicans to believe that the federal government should guarantee the equality before the law of all citizens. Small, but significant, steps developed following the war towards easing the color line. For example, street cars became desegregated in several major cities. Illinois, which in 1862 had banned blacks from coming into the state, now lifted the ban, and allowed blacks to serve on juries and to testify in courts.

Whereas other historians confine their accounts of black involvement in the Civil War, Catton notes that as a result of their fighting along side white soldiers a new attitude developed towards the blacks. Many northern soldiers had grown up knowing only the black as portrayed on the stage – grinning, big-mouthed, carefree loving possum and watermelons and eating fried chicken. What they found was a real human – struggling to be in control of his destiny. He describes a Wisconsin soldiers feelings by saying, The black folks are awful good, poor miserable things that they are. The boys talk to them fearful and treat them most any way and yet they cant talk two minutes but tears come to their eyes and they throw their arms up and praise de Lord for de coming of de Lincoln soldiers.
Deeply entrenched in the institution of slavery, the black population responded by playing an important role in the Civil War. This role began years before the actual fighting, with the foundation being laid by outright rebellion and individual resistance as the slaves dreamed of freedom. Building on this foundation historians agree that the role of the blacks in the fighting of the Civil War was important to both the North and South efforts. Consequently, the historians agree agreement that one important result of their fighting was the advancement of the idea of their freedom and steps toward equality. This idea of freedom and equality gave great confidence and pride to these long oppressed people.


Slavery in America stems well back to when the new world was first discovered and was led by the country to start the African Slave Trade-Portugal. The African Slave Trade was first exploited for plantations in the Caribbean, and eventually reached the southern coasts of America. The African natives were of all ages and sexes. Women usually worked in the homes cooking and cleaning, while men were sent out into the plantations to farm. Young girls would usually help in the house also and young boys would help in the farm by bailing hay and loading wagons with crops. They were shipped from Africa by the Europeans, “The Triangular Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade”. This was an organized route where Europeans would travel to Africa bringing manufactured goods, capture Africans and take them to the Caribbean, and then take the crops and goods and bring them back to Europe. The African people, in order to communicate invented a language that was a mixture of all the African languages combined, called Creole. They also kept their culture which accounts for calypso music and the instruments used in these songs.
Slavery was common all over the world until 1794 when France signed the Act of the National Convention abolishing slavery. It would take America about a hundred years to do the same. George Washington, America’s first president, was also a slave owner. He deplored slavery but did not release his slaves. Washington wasn’t the only president to have slaves. Thomas Jefferson wrote;”All men are created equal” but died leaving his blacks in slavery.
In 1775 black Americans were sent to fight in the revolutionary army. The British proposed that if a black man was to join their army, they would be set free afterwards. America originally planned not to let the blacks fight in the army, but when hearing this, let them enlist. Only Georgia and South Carolina refused to let them enlist, but paid for their racism when each lost 25,000 blacks to the British. The slaves returned on an honourable discharge after securing America’s freedom, but not their own. Slavery continued and so did the numbers of slaves trying to escape to the free states or into Canada. A runaway slave would be found by bloodhounds, trained to find black slaves. Then the slave, upon returning, would be executed or severely whipped.
The “Underground Railroad” was a project that helped black slaves escape into Canada, especially Amherstburg. The system involved 3,000 white helpers and freed an estimated 75,000 people after the civil war. Slavery in the middle of the 1800’s was abolished except for the rebellion states in the south. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued which made slavery illegal in the states that had rebelled and allowed black slaves to serve in the army and get other jobs, or continue to work on the plantations, as employees making money. The nightmare of slavery was over but a new one was to begin. One that was worse for it was prevalent but was secret and silent. One that exists today. One that does not shrink but rather grows. Racism was and is still upon us.

The Ku Klux Klan has been around since the end of the civil war. It is a roller coaster of a history. From extreme power, to rapid decline, and slow reemergence. The clan, who is notorious for its violence, has a relatively innocent beginning. It was formed from some veterans from the confederate army and was first called the Kuklos Clan which, in Greek, meant Circle Clan. One person thought it would be a good idea to call it the “Ku Klux Klan” as a parody of the fraternity names which always had three Greek alphabet letters in it. They created the Clan to be mischievous and to do it without anyone knowing who they were which accounts for their costumes
and masks. They, like most whites, were upset that the black people were free because black people were a constant reminder of the bitter defeat of the South. So to have fun they terrorized black people. Eventually the group grew, fluctuating, but grew to become the first white supremacy group in America and with that growth, their hatred grew as well into what was seen in the early and middle 1900’s and what is seen today. Along with the KKK, other anti-black, pro-white groups formed and stemmed out all over the U.S.A. The Neo Nazis who are more commonly
know by the term “Skin Heads”, are a growing force in hate groups. There hatred of Hispanics, Jews, Blacks, and others are now the fastest growing force in America. The Skin Head movement is usually done by the younger kids. “The skinheads are a family…A lot of us don’t have what you’d call a home” commented Joshua, who is a 16 year old recruiter in California. The race war was in full force by the 1960’s. With the growth of white supremacy and their groups, black too had a weapon. Martin Luther King Jr. lead his people to march in Washington to end segregation and to form black unity for an equal and better America. Malcolm X, who was a Muslim, may have come from a different religion than his Christian counterpart, but had a very similar message and a similar fate.
Both were assassinated.
Today the hate groups of America have spread into Canada and are particularly common in Manitoba. The major sections are of the same name as their American cousins with a very similar message. Racism, despite much opposition, will never end. As long as there is fighting among a Jew and a Palestinian or hatred between a white and a black, Racism will be there. Only a utopian society can achieve such a dream. It is in human nature to have a few people that do not understand or possibly hate those who are different but, in fact, we are not different, we are judgmental and we are discriminatory, we segregate. We are unique individuals but among races we
are equal and the same.


Slavery in 19th Century
A justified institution as the 19th century emerged; the infamous institution of slavery grew rapidly and produced some surprising controversy and rash justification. Proslavery, Southern whites used social, political, and economical justification in their arguments defining the institution as a source of positive good, a legal definition, and as an economic stabilizer. The proslavery supporters often used moral and biblical rationalization through a religious foundation in Christianity and supported philosophic ideals in Manifest Destiny to vindicated slavery as a profitable investment. They also examined the idea of popular sovereignty and the expansion of slavery in territorial plans like the Kansas-Nebraska scheme to support their arguments. The proslavery advocates even went far enough to include the constitution as a fair legal justification for their practices. Clear-cut attempts to bend the rules on the legality of slavery in documents like the Lecompton Constitution made some rationalizations look weak and rash in concept. With the Souths slavery dependent and fragile economy, Southerners were ready to fight for their survival with whatever means were necessary. Proslavery whites launched a defensive against slavery, which explained the peculiar institution as a positive good, supported, in fact, by the sacred words of the Bible and the philosophy of the wise Aristotle. The moral and biblical justification surrounding their belief that the relations between slave and man, however admitting to deplore abused in it, was compatible with Christianity, and that the presence of Africans on American soil was an occasion of gratitude on the slaves behalf before God. Basically, the slaves should have been grateful for their bondage. Plantation owners even stressed religion by teaching the slaves the principles of Christianity and by brainwashing the slaves into thinking they were blessed by God to be given a master who cares for them and a Christian family to live with. In accordance with religion, proslavery Southerners used the idea of Manifest Destiny. The belief that God predestined the United States for a hemispheric career to defend their fragile position by explaining that slavery promoted territorial expansion, thus adhering to the expansionist principles of Manifest Destiny and promoting slavery as a positive good. Southerners used this argument timely right in the middle of an era of domestic expansion led by President Pierce and supported by people like Stephen Douglass. Douglass proposed the controversial Kansas-Nebraska act a plan to resolve a sectional imbalance in newly surveyed territory, which directly relied on the idea of popular sovereignty to be compromised. Due to the fact that popular sovereignty is an ideal based on the tenets of democracy that support the Peoples will. Southerners used popular sovereignty to justify their slavery practices, ultimately slavery is supported through popular sovereignty since it is the peoples will to enslave black, or at least the Southerners will. Another social aspect of rationalization is the slavery institution is derived from the Southern argument, which contrasted the happy lives of their slaves to the overworked and exhausted Northern black wageworkers. In the South, benefits; whereas in the North black were caged in dank and dark factories and were released after their usefulness had served its purpose. Why work in the North when there are safe, comfortable plantations to work on in the South? Though the social aspects of slavery helped to directly support the moral argument of proslavery Southerners, the legal aspects of slavery more or less served as visible victories and defending events in Southern philosophy. The Dred Scott Case is a prime example of the legal side to the Southern defensive arguments and the Southern definition of popular sovereignty. The Supreme Court decreed that because a slave was private property, he or she could be taken into any territory and legally held there in slavery. The courts reasoning lied in our own Constitution. The Fifth Amendment clearly forbade Congress to deprive people of their property without due process of law. Moreover, proslavery Southerners used legal arguments rooted in the Constitution to defend their position on slavery by merly stating that the Supreme Law of the Land did not even mention the slavery, at least not up until that time. So by this fact, slavery was legally justified and, therefore, should and could be practiced. Southerners further used their argument in 1857 when proslavery forces devised a tricky document known as the Lecompton Constitution, which manily dealt with the statehood of Kansas. The constitution could not be voted down or approved by the people; rather, the people voted for the Constitution with slavery or without slavery. If the anti-slavery forces prevailed in the vote, there was a protective clause which secured slaves already in Kansas; so either way the South won, thus further defining the Souths view of popular sovereignty and further providing a legal justification for slavery. The souths agriculturally driven economy was the main reason slavery remained in existence for so many years, and because no principles or moral were compromised, it was the prime justification for slavery. The cotton industry controlled many aspects of American society during the 19th century. The triangle of reliance formed between the dependent economies of the North, South, and Britain relied on the Southern cotton industry for materials used in textile mills, the South relied on the North for grain, and Britain was the market for both American economies. One argument surrounds the fact that the North was actually supporting the slavery institution because for so many years they pumped money into the industry by investing in the cotton. The fragility of the triangle was tested as controversy surrounding the labor methods used by the South was questioned and criticized. The controversy reached a high and the Civil War commenced, proving to be the ultimate imbalance and destructor of the economy. Meanwhile, the South also saw a war that was not winnable without foreign intervention; thus, the third party comes into play. It is obvious the South had to enforce slavery at this point based on their dependence on cotton as a source of revenue and foreign intervention as a pathway to victory. Surely, if they had no slaves, there would be no cotton, and without cotton, there was surely to be no help from Britain. Thus, the economy proved to be a viable source of justification toward slavery as a profitable institution in the minds of the Southerners. By analyzing the social, political, and economic reasons in which Southern proslavery advocates vindicated and justified their position on the issue of slavery, we are given the unique opportunity to look deep at the Southern philosophy on war, peace, and bondage, the raw side of human nature where survival is the only option. Perseverance is what the pro-Southerners are respected for, but they are remembered for their fault in judgment and rash justifications in their defense of slavery as a profitable institution. Perhaps it would have been an injustice to society if slavery had not existed since so many moral lessons have been learned from it.