Print this page Beginnings From the middle of the 15th century, Africa entered into a unique relationship with Europe that led to the devastation and depopulation of Africa, but contributed to the wealth and development of Europe. From then until the end of the 19th century, Europeans began to establish a trade for African captives. At first this trafficking only supplemented a trade in human beings that already existed within Europe, in which Europeans had enslaved each other.
Visit Website In the 17th and 18th centuries, black slaves worked mainly on the tobacco, rice and indigo plantations of the southern coast, from the Chesapeake Bay colonies of Maryland and Virginia south to Georgia. One of the first martyrs to the cause of American patriotism was Crispus Attucks, a former slave who was killed by British soldiers during the Boston Massacre of Some 5, black soldiers and sailors fought on the American side during the Revolutionary War.
But after the Revolutionary Warthe new U. Cotton Gin In the late 18th century, with the land used to grow tobacco nearly exhausted, the South faced an economic crisis, and the continued growth of slavery in America seemed in doubt.
Around the same time, the mechanization of the textile industry in England led to a huge demand for American cotton, a southern crop whose production was unfortunately limited by the difficulty of removing the seeds from raw cotton fibers by hand.
But ina young Yankee schoolteacher named Eli Whitney invented the cotton gina simple mechanized device that efficiently removed the seeds.
Congress outlawed the African slave trade inthe domestic trade flourished, and the slave population in the U. By it had reached nearly 4 million, with more than half living in the cotton-producing states of the South.
History of Slavery Slaves in the antebellum South constituted about one-third of the southern population. Most slaves lived on large plantations or small farms; many masters owned fewer than 50 slaves. Slave owners sought to make their slaves completely dependent on them, and a system of restrictive codes governed life among slaves.
They were usually prohibited from learning to read and write, and their behavior and movement was restricted. Many masters took sexual liberties with slave women, and rewarded obedient slave behavior with favors, while rebellious slaves were brutally punished.
A strict hierarchy among slaves from privileged house slaves and skilled artisans down to lowly field hands helped keep them divided and less likely to organize against their masters. Slave marriages had no legal basis, but slaves did marry and raise large families; most slave owners encouraged this practice, but nonetheless did not usually hesitate to divide slave families by sale or removal.
Slave Rebellions Slave rebellions did occur within the system—notably ones led by Gabriel Prosser in Richmond in and by Denmark Vesey in Charleston in —but few were successful.
The slave revolt that most terrified white slaveholders was that led by Nat Turner in Southampton County, Virginia, in August Abolitionist Movement In the North, the increased repression of southern blacks only fanned the flames of the growing abolitionist movement. Free blacks and other antislavery northerners had begun helping fugitive slaves escape from southern plantations to the North via a loose network of safe houses as early as the s.
This practice, known as the Underground Railroadgained real momentum in the s and although estimates vary widely, it may have helped anywhere from 40, toslaves reach freedom. Although the Missouri Compromise was designed to maintain an even balance between slave and free states, it was able to help quell the forces of sectionalism only temporarily.
Kansas-Nebraska Act Inanother tenuous compromise was negotiated to resolve the question of slavery in territories won during the Mexican-American War. Four years later, however, the Kansas-Nebraska Act opened all new territories to slavery by asserting the rule of popular sovereignty over congressional edict, leading pro- and anti-slavery forces to battle it out—with considerable bloodshed—in the new state of Kansas.
Inthe Dred Scott decision by the Supreme Court involving a slave who sued for his freedom on the grounds that his master had taken him into free territory effectively repealed the Missouri Compromise by ruling that all territories were open to slavery.
The insurrection exposed the growing national rift over slavery:Jul 16, · He was the owner of various slaves ships, including the "African".
In Liverpool ships were loaded with cottons and woollens, guns, iron, alcohol and tobacco. During the year history of the transatlantic slave trade, Europeans made more than 54, voyages to and from Africa to send by force at least ten to twelve million Africans to the Americas.
Scholars estimate that close to , Africans were sold into slavery in North America, the large majority ending up in the American South. This slave trade would over time lead to a new social and economic system: one where the color of one's skin could determine whether he or she might live as a free citizen or be enslaved for life.
Oct 05, · On the African side, the slave trade was generally the business of rulers or wealthy and powerful merchants, concerned with their own selfish or narrow interests, rather than those of .
Also included in the volume are an excerpt of abolitionist James Ramsay’s journal and an informative introduction that places the writings in their historical and social contexts.
The Slave Trade Debate is an essential resource for scholars of transatlantic slavery and British history. The accounts of African American slavery in textbooks routinely conflate the story of male and female slaves into one history.
Textbooks rarely enable students to grapple with the lives and challenges of women constrained by the institution of slavery.