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The Institution of Slavery and Its Effects of People and Family Life

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The Institution of Slavery and its Effects on People and Family Life
The “Public Sale of Negroes, by Richard Clagett, depicts a typical auction in 1883. Although, it is important to note that “typical” in the 1800’s is very far from the typical of today. What is interesting or peculiar about this auction and many others in this time is that they were auctioning and selling people. The “Institution of Slavery” or chattel slavery, or even simply slavery, was the mistreatment of people as personal property and objects, where they were bought and sold and forced to perform work and labor. This “institution” was entirely legal, recognized at the writing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and ended by legal abolishment December 1865, through the 18th amendment. This institution lasted for more than 100 years effecting up to 4-5 generations of people and families.
The effect that the slavery had upon the people enslaved proved very detrimental. Clagetts “listing” showed that people had no disregard for what they negatively connoted as “negroes and wenches” using words such as “valuable” and “capable”. They also showed little regard for family structures, willing to separate mothers from children “if it best suits the purchaser” and selectively breed for the strongest and biggest slaves. These actions resulted in reduced esteem for the enslaved peoples, newer generations may have forgotten that they were once valued as humans, and had no stable family structure to grow up on.
The effects of slavery on African American families is studied extensively. African Americans lived in nuclear families, in extended and long distance family members, an instance you see often in African American Families today. Women and more speci...

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... This was called the inferiority complex. Feelings of low self adequacy. The slaves were under constant stress and many did not live long due to these very reasons.

Works Cited

Richard Clagett, Public Sale of Negroes. (March 1883)
The Reconstruction Amendments: Official Documents as Social History. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. N.p., n.d. Web.
Richard Clagett, Public Sale of Negroes. (March 1883)
The Varieties of Slave Labor, Freedom's Story, TeacherServe®, National Humanities Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014.
Richard Clagett, Public Sale of Negroes. (March 1883)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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The Slave Experience: Living Conditions PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 25 Apr. 2014.
"Slave Auction, 1859", EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2005).
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