The Darker Side Of White Slavery Essay

The Darker Side Of White Slavery Essay

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White slavery is a Progressive Era term used to loosely describe the entrapment, transportation, and supply of women and children for the use of sexual slavery. Many of the women who were part of white slavery were forced into it this trade against their will. These women and children became enslaved into prostitution and transported domestically within the United States and internationally. Efforts to control white slavery can be seen as early as 1870 in the United States, but little was done to enforce it. No real significant legislation or enforcement occurred until the early twentieth century. White slavery induced fear among women in the United States. Stories circulated through media outlets about women and girls getting kidnapped and brought to the United States and forced to partake in prostitution. By the early twentieth century progressives in the United States believed in exposing and eradicating white slavery. By 1910 the passage of the Mann Act was initiated in efforts to prevent the transport of women for immoral purposes.

The early twentieth century in the United States of America saw major changes politically, economically, and socially. The 1900’s in to the 1920’s saw an increase in population in a majority of the major urban cities across the nation. Business was booming and so was immigration. People from all over the world made attempts to relocate to the United States in hopes of finding decent paying jobs. Fear spread among citizens of the United States because of the increase in immigrants. One particular group who were feared detrimentally was those of Asian decent.
For women in the United States the early twentieth century can be looked at as exciting, shifting, and advancement. American culture was ...


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... prostitutes rarely serviced Asian men and interracial marriage was outlawed on many states (CA?) (191)
Japanese women became the project of American reformers changes. By 1900 American reformers and governments were looking closer at the white slave movement. Much of the white slave legislation was made for the major east coast cities in mind, but those of the West were included in these life saving reforms. Reformer groups included those of religious, feminism, and public health. Through white slavery various groups were united that traditionally operated independently of one another. These reform movements against white slavery occurred in the height of immigration creating extra efforts to help protect immigrant woman in the major cities against the entrapment of sex work. In return white native born Americans associated white slavery with immigration. (204).


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