By Jueseppi B.
Throughout the month Of February, TheObamaCrat™ will post a daily series called The Black History Moment Series. Each day for 28 days of this historic month you will be given the food of Black History to satisfy your hunger for knowledge.
Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #9: The History Of Slavery In America.
Slavery in the United States began soon after English colonists first settled Virginia in 1607 and lasted as a legal institution until the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865. It continues illegally to this day.
The History of Slavery In America
Before the widespread establishment of chattel slavery, much labor was organized under a system of bonded labor known as indentured servitude. This typically lasted for several years for white and black alike, and it was a means of using labor to pay the costs of transporting people to the colonies.
By the 18th century, court rulings established the racial basis of the American incarnation of slavery to apply chiefly to Black Africans and people of African descent, and occasionally to Native Americans.
A 1705 Virginia law stated slavery would apply to those peoples from nations that were not Christian. In part because of the success of tobacco as a cash crop in the Southern colonies, its labor-intensive character caused planters to import more slaves for labor by the end of the 17th century than did the northern colonies.
The South had a significantly higher number and proportion of slaves in the population. Religious differences contributed to this geographic disparity as well.
From 1654 until 1865, slavery for life was legal within the boundaries of much of the present United States. Most slaves were black and were held by whites, although some Native Americans and free blacks also held slaves; there were a small number of white slaves as well. The majority of slave holding was in the southern United States where most slaves were engaged in an efficient machine-like gang system of agriculture.
According to the 1860 U.S. census, nearly four million slaves were held in a total population of just over 12 million in the 15 states in which slavery was legal. Of all 8,289,782 free persons in the 15 slave states, 393,967 people (4.8%) held slaves, with the average number of slaves held by any single owner being 10.
The majority of slaves were held by planters, defined by historians as those who held 20 or more slaves.Ninety-five percent of black people lived in the South, comprising one-third of the population there, as opposed to 2% of the population of the North. The wealth of the United States in the first half of the 19th century was greatly enhanced by the labor of African Americans.
But with the Union victory in the American Civil War, the slave-labor system was abolished in the South. This contributed to the decline of the postbellum Southern economy, but it was most affected by the continuing decline in the price of cotton through the end of the century.
That made it difficult for the region to recover from the war, as did its comparative lack of infrastructure, which kept products from markets. The South faced significant new competition from foreign cotton producers such as India and Egypt. Northern industry, which had expanded rapidly before and during the war, surged even further ahead of the South’s agricultural economy.
Industrialists from northeastern states came to dominate many aspects of the nation’s life, including social and some aspects of political affairs. The planter class of the South lost power temporarily. The rapid economic development following the Civil War accelerated the development of the modern U.S. industrial economy.
Twelve million Africans were shipped to the Americas from the 16th to the 19th centuries Of these, an estimated 645,000 were brought to what is now the United States. The largest number were shipped to Brazil. The slave population in the United States had grown to four million by the 1860 Census.
Africa’s Slave Trade to Colonialism to Liberation
The history behind Africa’s slave trade, how it started, and where in Africa it began first. African chiefs used to sell their own people in exchange for valued goods, or treasured assets. Then, when the Europeans arrived they began trading with them. The Europeans offered what they had in exchange for slaves and the slave trade became a widely known, and relevant phenomenon in most parts of the world.
America and Europe needed people who could do hard labor, who could do their work for them which were rigorous tasks. Slave traders came along the African coast, which was the Sub-region (South of the Sahara) to acquire slaves. They would get them in large numbers and pack them inside the ships they came with. Then, in the 1800s the slave trade was abolished by Abraham Lincoln and then European colonialism/imperialism became the new system in which mainly the Europeans created to strengthen their nations.
The necessity of raw materials, namely natural resources, led to European colonization. Also, to establish colonies which were brought up in the ways of the colonial powers, particularly Britain, France, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, among others in order to extend their influence both culturally, politically, socially, and religiously. The geographic borders one sees on the map today of Africa, were designed by the European colonial powers who wanted to divide the continent into sections whereby it would be clear who’s colony was where, and that each colony would stay within boundaries.
This was carried out in 1884 in Berlin, Germany. Africa’s resources were being exported immensely to the nations which ruled over certain colonies there, thus being distributed out to the rest of the world. After World War 2 and the establishment of the United Nations, nationalists movements began which internal self government came into focus and practice, thus leading to independence, sovereignty, and the emancipation /liberation of the African continent.
Pan Africanists/nationalists/freedom fighters like Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Patrice Lumumba, Sekou Toure, among others came into being and agitated for independence.
African History BEFORE Slavery
Black History Month 2014 Presents: Celebrating Black History Month; The Black History Moment Series.
Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #4 The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment.
Celebrating Black History Month: The Black History Moment Series #5 Rosewood, Florida. The Rosewood Massacre.
Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #6: The Destruction of The Black Family.
Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #7: Black Indians In The United States.
Celebrating Black History Month, The Black History Moment Series #8: Charles H. Wright Museum Of African American History.