Slavery in America and Africa

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Slaves in most parts of the African continent were treated like any other person in society. They had the same privileges as any other civilian, but they had several things that they were not permitted to do that other were allowed to. For instance, they were allowed to go to the streams, fetch water, cut wood, and participate in social activities. In the American continent, the slaves were not allowed to contribute to socioeconomic activities unless they were forced to do it by their masters. The slaves in America were forced to do manual labor in the plantations, which is something that was not done to those who resided in Africa. Thus, the Americans and Europeans practice the chattel slavery where the person was perceived as an object with no rights. Slaves in Africa only lost the protection of their families, and one could be put under this condition as a punishment or a process to pay loans.

Length of Service among Slaves in 1618-1700s

The length of services was increased in the sixteenth century as a measure to ensure that they met their developmental milestones for infrastructure. This was brought about by the rise of the indentured servitude in the early years of the sixteenth century. This was the moment that most colonies in North America had not acquired the infrastructure that they would need to have by the seventeenth century, and they need labor to build it. The only way to achieve this objective was to acquire cheap labor by shipping people from other continents who could not complain about the terms of employment or the job. The slaves were needed to serve for a period of four to seven years while they were being paid and offered items of clothing as well as any other basic needs once they arrived in the colonies (Wengrow & Graeber, 2018). The past account of African American slaves started in 1619 with the transition of status from the indentured servants to an eternal slave being a gradual process. Thus, the length of services for the slaves increased over the years with the rise in the demand for cheap labor in the community.

Slavery and Miscegenation

The laws against race mixing were implemented in some states in the USA from 1691 till late 1967 in most of the world. All these bills were designed to ensure that there was no marriage between people of different ethnically defined segments in the USA. Sexual interactions between the white people and the slaves were banned. In America, various state laws prohibited marriages between white people and slaves or native American societies (Payne, 2017). The status of the child born to the slaves would be determined by considering whether the state laws supported the relationship. The reason is the anti-miscegenation laws were enacted uniformly throughout the nation. Violation of these bills was condemned as disgrace, and the interested groups could be killed or incarcerated.

Slaves as Property

In the south, most of the slaves were forced to live and work on the plantations. The people were needed to offer free labor harvesting and planting. The slaves had to work as within their master's homesteads who had the power to beat them or strip them at any point (Johnson, 2017). The diet for the slave working on the plantations was insufficient or inadequate to meet the needs of the people offering services for extended durations. The people were treated as property by being forced to live in the crude quarter that made them to highly vulnerable to the poor weather as well as diseases in the society. The clothing was not sufficient to meet all the slave's needs. The weather conditions in the south were very humid and hot which predisposed them to a significant amount of health conditions (Payne, 2017). Unsanitary conditions, hard labor, and poor nutrition made the people prone to a health condition that resulted in high child mortality rates as compared to that of the white people. All the above circumstances indicate that the slaves were no better than an object that was designed to help fulfill a specific purpose in the community.

Jefferson’s view on Slavery

Thomas Jefferson believed that all the people were created equally and it was wrong for some of the people to be enslaved and suffer at the expense of others. Even though they had already used several slaves in the past and thought they were inferior to white men, Jefferson realized that there was a need to free the slaves (Johnson, 2017). He believed that the institution of slavery was moral evil and a hideous blot that would adversely affect American society if not demolished. Jefferson also claimed that slavery went against all the laws of nature that demanded that all humans had the right to personal freedom. The attitudes held by Jefferson were radical in the society where democracy had been used to the point where it was now more of a norm than anything else.

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Slavery in America and Africa. (2021, Feb 24). Retrieved April 20, 2024 , from

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