Free Essay: The Role of Slavery in America From 1600-1877

Published: 2023-07-14
Free Essay: The Role of Slavery in America From 1600-1877
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  American Civil War Slavery American history
Pages: 4
Wordcount: 881 words
8 min read

Throughout the 17th, and 18th-century kidnapping took its toll on the African continent as people were forced into slavery among the American colonies. The slaves were exploited and viewed as an economic asset since they were subjected to forced labor in large plantations of cotton and tobacco (Vorenberg, 2001). Therefore, through the incorporation of multiple concepts, including economic, political, and the American Civil war, the paper aims to analyze the role of slavery in America between 1600 and 1077.

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Effects of Slavery on the Structure of the Society

Undeniably, slavery had profound consequences on the society make-up, particularly on African societies. Many social ties were disrupted as men were taken away from their families forcefully. Slavery had a native impact on African American societies. Notably, in some way, the enslaved Africans lived in a different environment as opposed to before captive (Vorenberg, 2001). Parents could no longer protect their children as they could work for a long hour, including late-night into the firms. Slavery not only destroyed the family structure of the slaves but also interfered with family security and made overall life difficult and close to impossible. For instance, societal norms like marriage could not be practiced since the enslaved people were no longer allowed to marry in any of the American colonies or states (Vorenberg, 2001).

Many colonies and states considered the slaves as properties and commodities and not legal persons that could enjoy freedom and such rights, including marriage and better living standards. Furthermore, all sorts of freedom and rights were deprived of the slaves, including freedom of worship, and this implied that, until 1865 that marked the end of the slave trade, the African American societal structures were disrupted. However, in northern states including Pennsylvania, New York, and Massachusetts where slavery had ended as early as 1830, free slaves started to reconstruct and reshape their family structures, culture, and freedom

Economics and politics Impact of the Day

With the invention of the cotton gin, cotton becomes a cash crop in the southern region, which stimulated increased demand for more slaves to work in the large plantations. This implies that slaves were the economic foundation of the American economy, which by then relied heavily on agriculture (Vorenberg, 2001). The cotton produced was sold abroad, linking the United States to the international market, thus growing the economy. Moreover, the mechanization of the textile industry in England led to increased demand for cotton, thus increasing demand for more cheap labor from the slaves. Notably, the southern block was characterized by agrarian revolution while then northern was industrialized (Vorenberg, 2001). Slavery was not widespread in the Northern as opposed to the south, even though the majority of northerner's businessmen grew rich as a result of investments in slavery. The politics arose between 1774 and 1804 when the northern states decided to abolish slavery. However, the commonly known "peculiar institution" of slavery remained evident on the southern who were snot ready to lose this precious commodity hence translating to politic which further intensified with the election of Abraham Lincoln who was perceived as an anti-slavery and a boost to the Northerners.

How Did Slavery Ultimately Contribute to the Division for The Union

While the southerners had refused to abandon slave trade, the northerners, and other antislavery movements helped slavery escape from the southern plantation in what was commonly termed as "underground Railroad" a situation that angered the southerners hence causing division in the union (Vorenberg, 2001). While the Northern advocated for the abolition of the slave trade due to human rights concern, including stipulating that human beings should be treated with dignity, the southerner had different arguments. The southerner argued that abolition of slavery would have profound consequences on the American economy since slavery was the foundation of the American economy.

Moreover, they argued that, with abolition of slavery, there would be increased chaos and widespread employment, and that slavery was a good practice. Increased tension continued to exist between the two blocks leading to South Carolina succession; fights broke out of over the issue of slavery. Bleeding Kansas was the first to be witnessed between the two antagonist blocks. This fight helped foster the fear in the South that the North was against the South and, if needed, would go to battle over slavery. These issues would continue to grow over the years and gain momentum on both sides of the debate. The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 further increased tension in the country, and the Dred Scott Decision in 1857 made all issues around slavery a true catalyst for the division of the country.

The division was also evident when the confederates refused to recognize the legitimacy of Abraham Lincoln hence leading to the formation of the confederate state comprising Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, Texas, and seven others. They seeded from the union between 1860 and 1861 (Vorenberg, 2001).

Dealing with slavery

The abolition of slavery was dealt with after the American Civil War in which the southern confederates lost to the northern states. Most states passed legislation for the abolishment of slavery. The US congress passed an act prohibiting the importation of slave trade within any port of the country.


Vorenberg, M. (2001). Final Freedom: The Civil War, the abolition of slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment. Cambridge University Press.

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