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Slavery In The South

Slavery In The South Slavery in the South 1500-1863 Slavery of the Black man in America was the cruelest ever known to man. Europeans transported slaves from Africa as early as 1505. The African Slaves were first exploited on an island named Hispaniola, in the Caribbean by the Europeans to do labor work, before they were sent to the Americas. The women usually worked the interior cooking and cleaning while the men were sent out into the plantation fields to farm. These Africans were stripped of their homes, cultures, and languages. Slaves were treated like animals. The black man was not considered part of the human race then.

Blacks were taught that their slavery was the way things were meant to be. The white man used religion and other institutions in order to justify slavery in the south. According to historians, slavery existed in the south because of the economical situation. However, this does not explain why Africans were enslaved in America. The desperation for people to work the fertile land of the south called for the need of slaves. In Virginia, North Carolina, and Kentucky the plantations grew tobacco. In South Carolina, rice was grown.

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Cotton plantation increased in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. These plantations needed people to work them. These plantations could not hire indentured servants; it would have been too expensive. Indians could not be enslaved because it was easier for them to revolt against their slave masters, the Americas being their home and all. Africans were the perfect victims because they were thousands of miles away from home. Therefore, it was hard for them to escape slavery. In addition, most of these Africans came from different tribes so communication was very hard amongst them.

During the 1790, more than one thousand tons of cotton was produced every year in the South. Eventually, more than a million tons was produced every year. Slavery was the only answer. Between late 1700s and early 1800s, slaves increased from 500,000 to 4 million. Out of all the slaves, the Black women were who suffered the most.

Women were known to be inferior to men and Blacks were to be inferior to whites. Black women suffered a great deal during slavery. White women were discriminated, but they were treated according to their gender in society. In society back then the women’s role was to stay home and cook, while the man’s role was to go out and work. The black women did not have the privileged of just staying home. She had to work the fields or in the slave masters house, as well.

The Black women had no gender she was treated just like a Black man and sometimes even worst. The severity of the punishments was equal amongst Black men and women. When the Black women became pregnant, she was still not excused from her daily chores. Slave masters used Black women for their sexual pleasure as well. After transportation of slaves from Africa to America became illegal, the need for female slaves became more important for slave masters.

Slaves master began to produce slave on their plantation because the accessibility of slaves from Africa was diminishing. Thus, black women became breeders. Therefore, white slave masters raped the Black women not only for sexual pleasure, but to create new slaves that were going to replace the old ones. Sometimes the slave masters forced other Black men to have sex with Black women, while her husband was also forced to watch. Blacks carried a big burden because of slavery, but Black women had to carry an even bigger burden.

After being raped, the Black women were assured that she was going to keep her child. Most of the times her child was sold off to another slave master, especially if she was a breeder. These divisions affected families of the slaves. The majority of the families were incomplete because most family members were often sold through slavery auction. So, Black male relatives took the role of a father figure. Everyone was brother and sister because the same institution was oppressing them. Aside from all other things the black woman had to do, she had to also be a teacher to her children.

Slaves were not given an education, other than the negative education that justified slavery. This made it harder for slaves to progress and free themselves from bondage. However, the slaves did find a way to resist slavery. It was harder for slaves to revolt in America rather than in the Caribbean. The population of slaves were four times larger than that of the slave masters, so it was easier to have a successful revolt in the Caribbean. In the United States there were to many whites. Slaves revolted by getting armed and then destroying plantations as they traveled from town to town.

Another way slaves resisted was by running away mainly to the north, either to free states or to Canada. And we all know Harriet Tubman was born into slavery and she made her way to freedom as a young woman. She became the famous conductor of the Underground Railroad directed toward Canada and those free states. The tracks for the railroad weren’t exactly laid. A slave had many possible directions to run in, but the main idea here was safety over quickness.

The slaves often zigzagged in their paths to throw off the sent for the dogs. Men were dressed as women, women were dressed as men, and slave’s clothes were exchanged for those of a rich free person of color’s to confuse the true identity of the slave when seen by curious eyes. There were also some slaves that traveled the road, by foot, in a carriage, or in a wagon often containing a fake bottom making a tiny space where slaves could safely journey to freedom. Some traveled on surface lines the actual railroads of this time. Lightly colored slaves were dressed as whites, and others were put in with the luggage and freight and others traveled as baggage. Another form of resistance was not to work as hard.

Sometimes slaves even burned the fields they had to work on. The slaves also resisted by forming secret societies, where they could practice their African religions and where they could organize other ways to resist their slave masters. The runaway slave numbers increased and action increased. Slave owners in the south certainly weren’t happy about the loss of property. Too much money was being lost. This caused the south to pass the Fugitive Slave Act in 1793.

This titled slaves as property of their owners and gave permission to the owners to retrieve runaway slaves anywhere in the states, even the states that were free states. It was known that a runaway slave would be found by bloodhounds, trained to find black slaves, then, the slave upon returning, would be executed or severely whipped. 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 jobs, or continue to work on plantations as employees making money. History Essays.


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