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Essay about Slavery

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Slavery


Slavery is a social institution defined by law and custom as the most absolute involuntary form of human servitude. England entered the slave trade in the latter half of the 16th century. In 1713 the exclusive right to supply the Spanish colonies was granted to the British South Sea Company. The English based their trading in the North America. In North America the first African slaves landed at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. Brought by early English privateers, they were subjected to limited servitude, a legalized status of Native American, white, and black servants preceding slavery in most, if not all, the English colonies in the New World. The number of slaves imported was small at first, and it did not seem necessary to define their legal status. Statutory recognition of slavery, however, occurred in Massachusetts in 1641, in Connecticut in 1650, and in Virginia in 1661. Contrary to what is commonly believed, slaves did have some legal rights, such as support in age or sickness, a right to limited religious instruction, and the right to bring suit and give evidence in special cases. Custom gave numerous rights also, such as private property, marriage, free time, contractual ability, and, to females, domestic or lighter plantation labor, which, however, the master was not bound to respect. Brutal treatment such as mutilation, branding, chaining, and murder were regulated or prohibited by law, but instances of cruelty were common before the 19th century.

In North America the first African slaves landed at Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. Brought by early English privateers, they were subjected to limited servitude, a legalized status of Native American, white, and black servants preceding slavery in most, if not ...


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...ns, carried on most of the United States antislavery agitation. One year earlier, a group led by Birney had founded the first antislavery political party, the Liberty party, in the United States. Birney was the unsuccessful presidential candidate (1840 and 1844) of the party, the adherents of which later helped found the Free-Soil party (1848) and the Republican Party (1854).

By the 1850s advocacy of violence against slave owners had replaced the earlier "moral suasion." This was especially true during the bitter controversy over extending slavery into Kansas. Only with the victory of Union forces in the American Civil War, however, could abolitionists claim a triumph. Blood and iron, not pure idealism, won the day. Most of the American antislavery societies were dissolved following the adoption in 1870 of the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.


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