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Underground Railroad Essay

4375 words - 18 pages

"Give me liberty or give me death!" These moving words by Patrick Henry succeeded in inspiring American Patriots towards revolution. It was this idea of liberty at all costs that essentially founded the great United States of America. Ironically, it was precisely this principle which they fought for so passionately that they would deny to African Americans for approximately 300 years by making them slaves. However, their hypocritical efforts to suppress the African American race did not succeed in exterminating the very feeling that they themselves had nearly perfected. Regardless of their efforts, African Americans maintained their desire for freedom at all costs since years later Patrick ...view middle of the document...

Realizing that they still needed people to perform the jobs that the natives had been performing without pay, they began kidnapping Africans and bringing them over to America to work as slaves.Eventually, slavery became a common thing. Slaves were even used in Jamestown, the British colonies' first successful settlement, to pick tobacco. Within what is now the united Stats, slavery began to grow along with the country. It had become such a common part of life that before the Revolutionary War, slavery was legal in all of the thirteen colonies. After the war and establishment of states, some chose to abolish slavery in their state. This was mostly done by the northern states due to the fact that the north was mostly made of small farms and had little need for slaves. Thus, slavery became concentrated in the south. However, the practice did not reach its peak until the Industrial Revolution when the north's demand for cotton and other products to produce cloth increased, thus, increasing the south's need to grow those products.When cotton became the center of southern economy, slavery became essential. The large southern plantations needed people to grow and pick the cotton and slaves were merely property who did not need to be paid wages. Consequently, the slave population in America increased, as did the greed of their owners. As the Industrial Revolution reached it's peak, the south became more and more obsessed with gaining wealth. They wanted to be able to provide the north, as well as foreign countries with all the supplies they needed to run their factories in a timely and profitable manner. Thus, the already long work day of a slave was made even longer. Slaves were forced to work in the fields at times from before dawn to a little after sundown, when there was no more light to see what they were doing. Their long day in the extreme southern weather was only made worse by screaming and whipping done by their overseer. They were constantly instructed to work faster, and if they took a moment to rest, they would be punished with lashes. They were highly malnourished because their greedy master did not provide with enough food to properly feed them. They were also badly clothed at rarely, if ever had shoes to wear. When their day was finally over, all they had time for was to eat their meals and rest in what was supposed to be their beds, but most of the time was nothing but the floor. They were left exposed to cold in their poorly built shacks during the winter, and were hardly ever if at all provided with water to hydrate them during the summer. They were encouraged and at times forced to have children so they could see them grow up in slavery. So that each slave mother could watch her child go hungry, without clothing, and working fin the day the master found that he had enough strength to. They had to watch their children ripped away from them and sold to another plantation. Entire families were torn apart without remorse. Those laves who...

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