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HUMN303 : Slavery In America History And Impact

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HUMN303 : Slavery In America History And Impact

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HUMN303 : Slavery In America History And Impact

1 Download5 Pages / 1,186 Words

Course Code: HUMN303
University: DeVry University

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Country: United States

Question: 

Investigate the history of slavery and discuss the ways in which this history impacts contemporary society

Answer: 

The present paper provides an in-depth analysis of the impact of slavery in the contemporary American society. The paper will utilize credible sources to establish that slavery still has an influence in the U.S. and it has been more visible in the last few years. Although slavery saw an end in 1865 after the Emancipation Proclamation was made in that year, it continued until 20th century. Several tactics were employed by the white Americans to continue using the black people as slaves. In this paper, the impact of slavery in contemporary America shall be discussed by focusing on the discriminatory policies of the Trump administration.
The history of slavery in the United States spans almost a century beginning from the 17th century and continuing until the 19th century.  The African slaves brought by the Dutch in 1619 were instrumental in building the modern American nation by producing profitable crops like cotton and tobacco. During the 17th century, European colonizers in North America looked to African slaves as an inexpensive, more abundant labor source than the poor contracted European servants (History.com, 2018). Most of the black saves were posted on the rice, tobacco and indigo plantations of the southern coast comprising Maryland, Virginia and Georgia as the Chesapeake Bay colonies.
In the South, slavery was the most visible constituting almost one-third of the southern population where they lived mostly on smaller farms or large plantations. The white masters had an average of 50 slaves in their possession that they governed with strict codes and policies. These slaves were made to depend completely on their masters and the women slaves even had to bear sexual torture from their male masters. In regards to marriages, slaves had no legal confirmation but they still married and raised families. The white masters although mostly encouraged the marriages, they did not restrain from dividing the families by selling them for money or removing them for incompetency.
These inhuman behaviors meted out against the black slaves prompted many to rebel. Gabriel Prosser and Denmark Vesey started the initial rebellion in 1820 and 1822 respectively. However, both were unsuccessful. The revolt by Nat Turner in Southampton City in 1831 was the most influential revolt that terrified the whites. Turner, along with 75 other black individuals took lives of around 60 white men within two days (History.com, 2018).. Although the revolt was the most notable amongst other black rebellions, it did contribute to further restriction and stringer laws for the black slaves. The reason was that supporters of slavery used it as proof that the blacks were savages and that they could only be controlled through slavery.
However, these justifications only led to increased agitation from the slaves that gradually fueled the abolitionist movements. Free blacks like Frederick Douglass along with white supporters like William Lloyd Garrison and Harriet Beecher Stowe led the abolitionist movement from the 1830s to the 1860s (History.com, 2018). Ultimately, the slavery ended in 1865 through the 13th Amendment at the end of the Civil War, three years after the then President Abraham Lincoln signed the initial Emancipation Proclamation (History.com, 2018).
The long history of slavery had deep impact on the American society and it continues to influence the thoughts of many Americans. In many U.S. cities particularly within the Southern counties where slavery was the most dominant, most white Americans still resent the black people and other minority groups as well. Incidences like the killing of a 13-year old boy from the black community of Columbus, Ohio in 2016 exemplify the presence of slavery mindset in the American society (Nbcnews.com, 2018). The 2014 incident of Missouri where 18-year old black boy Michael Brown was shot dead by a 28-year old white police officer further demonstrates the prevalence of the slavery mindset (Nytimes.com, 2018).
These incidences are just a few instances of the impact of slavery on the modern American society. It is visible in the field of education, politics and others as well. As Acharya, Blackwell and Sen (2016) observe, whites in the Southern counties who still believe in slavery identify themselves mostly as the Republicans. These Republicans, the authors argue, “Oppose affirmative action and express racial resentment and colder feelings toward black” (Acharya, Blackwell & Sen, 2016). Although the election of Barrack Obama helped shed some racial tensions in the country, it was only suppressed. The slavery mindset within the country is apparent from the criticisms that were levied upon Obama by the Southern whites, as Obama himself confessed (Independent.co.uk, 2018). The accusation by the current Republican President Donald Trump against Obama that he is not an American-born clearly brings forth the influence of slavery. Researchers like Kemmelmeier & Chavez (2014) have found through their studies that biases and prejudices against Mr. Obama was majorly based on his skin tone. Racial prejudice and political partisanship were the two independent sources that resulted in the biases.
As discussed in the above section, Donald Trump, a devout Republican has brought back the slavery mindset within the American society that was suppressed until Obama’s administration. The several policies and laws introduced by Trump since his election indicate his racist mentality. As explained in a news article, the decision by the Trump administration to prohibit tourists or travelers from Islamic countries like Yemen, Iran, Libya, Somalia and Syria take America back to the days of slavery (Aljazeera.com, 2018). These instances provide clear indications that the Republicans like Trump still suffer from the white supremacy mindset. The different justifications that were given by the earlier white rulers in favor of slavery are also given by Trump in favor of the ban. This clearly shows the influence of slavery on the contemporary society.
The concluding remarks may thus include that slavery did have a remarkable impact on the contemporary American society. Starting from the 17th century, slavery continues to be present within the American society but the methods have changed. It is now present in a hidden form. The paper attempted to provide an elaborate discussion on the history of slavery in America and the influence it has on the modern society. The paper mainly focused on Donald Trump and his policies that largely reflect the influence of slavery.
References:
Acharya, A., Blackwell, M., & Sen, M. (2016). The political legacy of American slavery. The Journal of Politics, 78(3), 621-641.
Aljazeera.com. (2018). Top US court backs Trump travel ban on Muslim-majority countries. Retrieved from https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/06/supreme-court-upholds-trump-travel-ban-180626142504629.html
History.com. (2018). Slavery in America – Black History – HISTORY.com. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/topics/black-history/slavery
Independent.co.uk. (2018). Barack Obama says he ‘absolutely’ suffered racism while President. Retrieved from https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/president-obama-absolutely-suffer-racism-us-president-a7465281.html
Kemmelmeier, M., & Chavez, H. L. (2014). Biases in the perception of Barack Obama’s skin tone. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 14(1), 137-161.
Nbcnews.com. (2018). 13-year-old who ‘pulled a gun from his waistband’ is killed by police. Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/tyre-king-13-fatally-shot-police-columbus-ohio-n648671
Nytimes.com. (2018). New Ferguson Video Adds Wrinkle to Michael Brown Case. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/11/us/michael-brown-ferguson-police-shooting-video.html

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