Racism and Slavery Hand in Hand Essay examples

Racism and Slavery Hand in Hand Essay examples

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The American colonies were established with the idea of freedom and liberty to all. This goal, however, is darkened by a contradictory event: racism. Racism against African Americans (Negroes) in America was a by-product of permanent and inhumane enslavement of the black population. This type slavery was built upon the need for the American colonies to achieve economic prosperity and social stability. The slavery prior to these social and economic problems was equal to that of white slavery. Black and white slaves and indentured servants received the same treatments, given equal punishments and working conditions. Both races were regarded as equally low in status and slavery itself in general carried a term of negative connotation. Free black men held the same Englishmen rights as fellow whites and were seen in every aspect as equal to whites. Only when the colonies began to strip blacks of all their titles and properties and reduce them to the title chattel, or property, because of the need to solve economic and societal problems did racism emerge to define all blacks as slaves.
Blacks, both free or enslaved, were treated equally in their respective classes as whites from the period between the establishment of Roanoke until the late 1670s. Many black slaves that came over from Africa were freed by their owners after working a period of time. Slavery was not inheritable during this period of around eighty years. Furthermore, freed blacks were able to sue, be sued, do penance in the parish church for illegitimate children, and learn English. They could also earn a living to buy their freedom if they were slaves. Northampton, the only county with full records, showed that there were at least ten free Negro households by 1...


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...e original English goal to establish freedom and liberty to all people. Putting down a people because of their skin color is inherently superficial and naturally inhuman. However, regardless of racism’s conflict with the very foundations of America, it allowed for the English colonies to justify their incentive to prosper and to thrive with stability by degrading the African Americans to the lowest of classes.



Works Cited

Edmund S. Morgan. Slavery and Freedom: The American Paradox. USA: Organization of American Historians, 1972.

History and Culture. “Bacon’s Rebellion.” National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior. http://www.nps.gov/jame/historyculture/bacons-rebellion.htm (accessed February 29, 2012).
Oscar Handlin and Mary Handlin. Origins of the Southern Labor System. Virginia: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 1950.

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