As a primary source, Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative provides partial insights on 18th century New World slavery. Equiano recounts the horrors of being kidnapped and traveling through the middle passage. In Montserrat, Equiano hears about the plantations and how slaves were physically and mentally abused. Slaves were taken advantage of and lived in fear since the law was not on their side. Even free slaves worried that their freedom would be taken from them and they would be forced back into slavery.
The life of an urban slave was not like the life of a plantation slave. Fredrick Douglass gave a good description of events that took place in his life, but you cannot just go off of just his stories because his life of a slave is differed from a plantation slave. So the book is how he saw things and what he felt. The things he experienced in his life was the same and different in many ways that of another slave. The great Fredrick Douglass tries to describe in the best way he can the life of a slave.
One of the first miscalculated aspects of the slave trade is the reason for southern states involvement in the interstate slave trade. Stowe depicted Kentucky’s involvement in the slave trade due to the poor soil of the region and economic ties with the practice. She implied in the beginning half of the Novel that many Kentuckians resorted to being bondmen in the slave trade due to the infertile land of the Bluegrass Region. In Stowe’s Key to Uncle Tom’s Cabin, (a book designed to muffle the critics of Uncle Tom’s Cabin) she stated that “Slavery’s subsequent lack of economic viability… [and] prevailing agricultural impoverishment are to blame for Kentucky’s involvement in the notorious traffic…” (Stowe 254). On the contrary, Kentucky where the bulk of the slave trade was supposedly concentrated has long been blessed with great fertility.
All of this meant that day-to-day life itself “banked on” the black slave body. Much of the identities of white slave owners were developed through their relationships with slaves and how they interacted with other slave owners. Some even convinced themselves that buying slaves was justified because they were “rescuing” them from the terrors of the market. In many ways, white men entered into full Southern society membership through the buying of slaves that could car... ... middle of paper ... ...ir labor, but rather a society that no longer knew another way of life. The balance of power was beginning to shift as the antebellum South’s dependence on free labor economically tied their existence to the heinous practice of owning slaves.
Slavery and indentured servitude was the backbone of the Virginia economy. Slaves were considered an investment in the planter’s business and a necessity for success. The treatment of slaves was much the same as owning a piece of property or equipment. Slaves were not viewed as fellow human beings, quite the opposite they were of lesser status. Slaves and indentured servants grew tired of their treatment and responded with acts of rebellion.
Mr. Shelby is depicted as a businessman who happens to own slaves and Eliza's son is apart of a business deal. Mr. Shelby, like many slaveholders, was thought of as a good man who generally treated his slaves well.... ... middle of paper ... ...Tom's Cabin is an insightful novel, I found Douglass' narrative more interesting and subjective. I was more interested to know about the truth about the history of slavery rather than read a story about slavery. Sometimes it takes graphic and unpleasant reality to make people realize that what they are doing is very wrong and sometimes it takes one of their own to say "Hey what are we doing here?" Either way, I think that both pieces of writing were influential on the slaveholding community at the times that they were published.
In order to fully understand why revising history to suit the victor’s one must look at the accounts of those defeated (if they happen to survive the revision). In looking at the issues surrounding slavery we can compare a few accounts from escaped and free slaves to that of a couple prominent southern whites who attempted to justify and support slavery. The accounts of the slaves are graphic and at times disturbing but help to paint a clearer picture of the historic events at the time. Unfortunately written accounts of the ordeals that the slaves have gone through are rather rare. Many slaves after all were prevented from learning how to read and write.
By looking at character behavior we can see that Equiano feels as if he is a man of different worlds because of the experience he went through. Although he gives some description of Africa, in the beginning of is autobiography, it could have been possible things he read in books rather than based off of past experience. It is possible that he could have been born a slave in South Carolina but the answer to the on going debate is unknown. When sold into slavery the slaves are forced to change their identity based on what their masters expect of them. So this could be a reason why he doesn't know where he is truly from.
What would it be like if we were a part of the slave years? To get an inside look of slavery we look through the eyes of a former slave Frederick Douglass. Through his experience of being grown into slavery in the south made him re-evaluate his life knowing he was worth more than being treated as someone else’s property. Not only was Douglass a part of the plantation system, city life, and brutal whipping but he was put into history as a great role model defining the true meaning of life. All people today should show respect to African Americans due to their struggle in reaching freedom and coming across difficulty.
Where America failed in Mercantilism was in not providing enough slaves to generate a sufficient profit margin and by becoming a divided nation over the issue of slavery. Southern slaves were viewed in economic terms of labor to capital. While the ownership of slaves was a source of pride in plantation owners, this interdependence of slave on master and master to slave created a vicious cycle of rashness that caused slave owners to often become irrational. In the south, slaveholdings varied according to size, location, and crops produced. Slavery in cities differed substantially from th... ... middle of paper ... ...er to the problem of slavery.