The Presence Of Slavery In The Adventures

The Presence Of Slavery In ?The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn? Essay, Research Paper

On September 23rd, 1862, Abraham Lincoln provided our wonderful

nation with The Emancipation Proclamation . This speech declared all slaves

free in those states still in rebellion against the United States on

January 1st, 1863. The statement only applied to the states which, after

that date, were under the military control of the Union Army. It did

not apply to those slave states such as Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland,

Missouri, some parts of Virginia, and Louisiana, that were already

occupied by Northern troops.

It was not until 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment of the

Constitution had been passed that slavery was finally abolished everywhere in

the United States. The Thirteenth Amendment states ?Neither slavery nor

involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the

party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United

States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction. Congress shall have

power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.?

During the time when slavery was still legal, it has been calculated

that nearly eighty eight percent of America’s slave-owners owned twenty

slaves or less. The death rate in slaves was extremely high and to

replace their loses, the women slaves were encouraged and at times forced

to begin having children around the age of thirteen. By the age of

twenty, it was expected for each one to be the mother of at least five

children. Most owners promised women slaves their freedom after they had

produced the large amount of fifteen children.

Many slaves were treated poorly and beat, sometimes for no

apparent reason. These two factors motivated a large number of slaves to

runaway. At this time there was a Fugitive Slave Law saying that anyone

suspected of being a runaway slave could be arrested without warrant

and turned over to a claimant with nothing more than his word of

ownership. A suspected black slave could not even ask for a jury trial. Anyone

caught aiding a runaway slave by providing shelter, food, or any other

form of assistance was liable to six months’ imprisonment, a $1,000

fine, or both.

?The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn? deals clearly with the social

issue of slavery. The main character, Huck, is best friends with Jim, a

runaway slave. While Huck enjoys being friends with Jim and loves

going through life with him by his side, he also knows that aiding a

runaway slave is a serious crime. Throughout the book, Huck debates the idea

of whether or not he should turn Jim in.

All in all I would have to say that the issue of slavery has evolved

completely over time. Many people have benefited from its change and

there are not many negative aspects of it (depending on your point of

view). Yes, there still are quite a few people in the world who believe

in slavery, but luckily, our society has matured enough to ban it and

treat all people as they should be treated-equally.


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