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The Origins of American Society

by: Angela Dela Llana

The Origins of American Society HIST 1311

Marketplace > University of Texas at Arlington > HIST 1311 > The Origins of American Society
Angela Dela Llana

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About this Document

American History
Stephen Maizlish
Class Notes
Origins, american, Society, slavery, history
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Angela Dela Llana on Saturday September 10, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 1311 at University of Texas at Arlington taught by Stephen Maizlish in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 12 views.


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Date Created: 09/10/16
HIST 1311 The Origins of American Society I. Life in Slavery A. The Atlantic Journey B. Slavery 1. North 2. South II. The Establishment of Slavery, 1619-1660 III. Why Slavery Took Root in North America A. Economic Need B. Powerlessness of Africans in America C. Racial Prejudice Life in Slavery Many Africans perished on the slave ships journey across the Atlantic. Those taken from the interior of West Africa have never seen the ocean before, so they were being taken across frightening and unfamiliar territory. Many Africans would throw themselves overboard to avoid being taken to America. On board, Africans were shackled by their hands and feet. They were kept below deck and very seldom brought on deck. Conditions below deck were terrible. There was excessive heat and foul air along with blood and death. Africans often attempted suicide, starvation being the most common way. They had to be force fed using special devices in order to be kept alive. Africans were often fed at gunpoint because feeding time was the most likely time for them to escape. Rebellions were very rare. If they did manage to take over the ship, they had no idea how to navigate it back to Africa due to lack of experience. On average, 30 to 50 percent of Africans die on each Atlantic journey. There were much more slaves in the South than in the North. At one point, slave population was 284,000 in the South and 41,000 in the North. One reason for this was that the days were shorter in the North. Thus there was less labor and less profit. The demand for slaves was lower. However, Northern treatment of slaves was no better than the South s. In Boston, slaves could be separated from their families. There was a case in court where slaves argued that they could not obey the commandments of the Bible if their families were broken up. Children could not honor their parents, and wives could not be submissive toward their husbands. Notes by Angela Dela Llana In the South, slaves tried to maintain their African culture as much as possible. Also, they often try to resist. Their most common way of protesting was feigning ignorance when being told to complete a task. The Establishment of Slavery, 1619-1660 African slaves were called Negroes, a term derived from the Spanish word for black. Advertisements at the time showed that many slaves were not being obedient. The word honest was used to describe a slave who was likely to obey. Why Slavery Took Root in North America In 1660, when there began to be a lot of slaves, Virginia made laws mandating the institution of slavery. Before, there were really no laws concerning slavery because there were not enough slaves. Slavery never would ve happened without economic need. Not enough people wanted to voluntarily come to America, so people had to be forced to come to make the land profitable. In America, Africans were relatively less powerful than Native Americans. While European settlers were able to enslave Africans, they were not able to successfully enslave Native Americans. There are several reasons for this: 1. Native Americans died as soon as they came into contact with Europeans because of the diseases they brought with them. Africans were resistant to the disease because they had the same diseases where they were from. 2. Native Americans knew the environment and could escape. Africans were not familiar with the environment, so they couldn 3. Enslaving members of Native American tribes was not a good formula for peace and would anger many of those who weren Africans because they Among Europeans, there was antagonism towards black people. They were seen as sub-human, savage, sinful, and thus worthy of enslavement. Because they were conscious of their own sinfulness and guilt, whites needed a group to scapegoat, so they made blacks represent evil. They searched for justification in the Bible and found the story of Noah and Ham. In the story, Noah got drunk and somehow he became naked in the process. While his other sons didn t look at his naked body out of respect for their father, his son Ham saw his naked body. Noah cursed Notes by Angela Dela Llana Ham and his descendants to be slaves forever. Europeans claimed that Africans were the descendants of Ham. In 1682, Virginia passed a law saying that masters could not free their own slaves and that there could be no free Africans. Racism starts slavery, but slavery reinforces racism. White people could not imagine black people as anything else but slaves. Notes by Angela Dela Llana


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