Rucker, W. C., The River Flows On: Black Resistance, Culture, and Identity Formation in Early America. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2006.
Slavery in Colonial America Slavery was created in pre-revolutionary America at the start of the seventeenth century. By the time of the Revolution, slavery had undergone drastic changes and was nothing at all what it was like when it was started. In fact the beginning of slavery did not even start with the enslavement of African Americans. Not only did the people who were enslaved change, but the treatment of slaves and the culture that each generation lived in, changed as well. When America was first founded the colonists believed that they could do one of two things.
The lives and experiences of indentured and enslaved peoples at the turn of the 18th century in colonial America varies due to their race, age, abilities, and the position of their owners. The history of slavery in the English colonies and historic runaway slave ads from 1745 preserved over history correlate to show this variation.
The study of slavery and its means has always been a controversy in the society-was it a necessary evil or was it an unimportant mean to boost up white morale? The topic has always been of interest to historians, and the frequency of the event in the earlier centuries proves to be a serious debate among people. Slavery is controversial as people of the past practiced it without remorse, while today one cannot even think about owning someone as theirs. Some might argue that slavery was good for the Southern economy during the 17th century, but the institution itself was more than just the outcomes it brought. Slavery was an evil institution because it was a brutal practice, it reinforced a racial caste system in the South and it was sexually demeaning.
"The Debate over Slavery in the United States." The African-American Years: Chronologies of American History and Experience. Ed. Gabriel Burns Stepto. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 108-149. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 3 May 2014.
Breen, T. H., and Stephen Innes. Myne Owne Ground: Race and Freedom on Virginia 's Eastern Shore, 1640-1676. 25th anniversary ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005. 142 pages (kindle edition).
The Development of Slavery in North America The development of slavery in the Americas began as early as 1500, after the arrival of the Spanish, and first centered around the Caribbean. However, a lucrative triangle trading system between England, Africa and North America greatly increased the slave trade during the 1600’s (Foner, 38). At the time, slavery was driven by market forces, and largely defined by geographical necessity.
Between 1800 and 1860 slavery in the American South had become a ‘peculiar institution’ during these times. Although it may have seemed that the worst was over when it came to slavery, it had just begun. The time gap within 1800 and 1860 had slavery at an all time high from what it looks like. As soon as the cotton production had become a long staple trade source it gave more reason for slavery to exist. Varieties of slavery were instituted as well, especially once international slave trading was banned in America after 1808, they had to think of a way to keep it going – which they did. Nonetheless, slavery in the American South had never declined; it may have just come to a halt for a long while, but during this time between 1800 and 1860, it shows it could have been at an all time high.
In “Slaves and the ‘Commerce’ of the Slave Trade,” Walter Johnson describes the main form of antebellum, or pre-Civil War, slavery in the South being in the slave market through domestic, or internal, slave trade. The slave trade involves the chattel principle, which said that slaves are comparable to chattels, personal property that is movable and can be bought or sold. Johnson identified the chattel principle as being central to the emergence and expansion of slavery, as it meant that slaves were considered inferior to everyone else. As a result, Johnson argued that slaves weren’t seen as human beings and were continually being mistreated by their owners. Additionally, thanks to the chattel principle, black inferiority was inscribed
Slavery in the eighteenth century was worst for African Americans. Observers of slaves suggested that slave characteristics like: clumsiness, untidiness, littleness, destructiveness, and inability to learn the white people were “better.” Despite white society's belief that slaves were nothing more than laborers when in fact they were a part of an elaborate and well defined social structure that gave them identity and sustained them in their silent protest.