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Essay on The History of African Americans: Slavery

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The history of African-Americans has been a paradox of incredible triumph in the face of tremendous human tragedy. African-American persons were shown much discrimination and were treated as second class citizens in the colonies during the development of the nation. The first set men, women, and children to work in the colonies were indentured servants, meaning they were only required to work for a set amount of years before they received their freedom. Then, in 1619 the first black Africans came to Virginia. With no slave laws in place, they were initially treated as indentured servants, a source of free labor, and given the same opportunities for freedom dues as whites. However, slave laws were soon passed – in Massachusetts in 1641 and Virginia in 1661 –and any small freedoms that might have existed for blacks were taken away (“African American Slavery in the Colonial Era, 1619-1775”). Legislation later allowed laws permitting the act of slavery in the colonies and the areas under the Royal Crown. For example, in 1661 the Barbados Slave Code was passed by the colonial English legislature to provide a legal base for slavery in the Caribbean island of Barbados. This law allowed slave owners the right to do anything they wished to their slaves, including mutilating them and burning them alive, without any interference from the government (“Sugar and Slaves”). From the first ship of African slaves delivered in 1619 to the Revolutionary War to the Civil War and recent history, the legacy of the men, women, and children slaves lives on in the hearts of many in the United States of America through the impact of the colonies economically, socially, and politically.
Slavery developed from the growing necessity for c...


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... Age of African History. London: Oxford U.P., 1967. Print.
Quarles, Benjamin. The Negro in the American Revolution. Chapel Hill, 1961. Print.
"Sugar and Slaves." Captive Passage - Arrival: Life in the Americas. The Mariner's Museum, 2002. Web. 08 Feb. 2014. .
Thernstrom, Stephan. A History of the American People. Vol. 1. San Diego: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1989. Print. ***
Wolfe, Brendan. "Colonial Virginia." Encyclopedia Virginia:. Encyclopedia Virginia, 22 Feb. 2012. Web. 09 Feb. 2014. .
Wood, Betty. Slavery in Colonial America, 1619-1776. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. Print.
Wood, Peter H. Black Majority, Negroes in Colonial South Carolina: From 1670 through the Stono Rebellion. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1974. Print.



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