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Slavery Good Or Bad Essay Research Paper

Slavery: Good Or Bad Essay, Research Paper Slavery: Good or Bad? Slavery was good for slaves because their masters cared for them. If they were sick or hurt their

Slavery: Good Or Bad Essay, Research Paper

Slavery: Good or Bad?

Slavery was good for slaves because their masters cared for them. If they were sick or hurt their

masters helped them. Their masters made sure their slaves always had a sufficient amount of food, some

place to live. Their masters gave them clothes to protect themselves from the weather. Like from a hot

day in the sun or a rainy cold day. Their masters also protected them from people outside their homes.

From people that harassed and beat their slaves. Last, slaves always had a job, but if they were free, it

might have been harder to get a job because of their skin color. Southerners even thought that slavery

was for their own good for them.

Slavery originated from the Sahara on ancient trading routes and by the 17th century an increasing

number of goods and slaves were transported out of the continent from the European ports on the Atlantic

coast. European exploration in the Americas led to a great demand for slaves to work in the new

colonies. Europeans did not want to do such work themselves, so they began to ship captured Africans

across the Atlantic Ocean.

Like Africa, the Americas were transformed by the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. When

Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean, they forced the local people to work for them in mines and

plantations. Many thousands of Native Americans died as a result of brutal treatment, or from unknown

European diseases, such as smallpox, to which they had no immunity.

The first English colony on the mainland was established in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. By

1732, there were 13 English colonies along the east coast. To survive, the English colonists had to work

the land. Some Native Americans worked as field laborers, but more common was the use of indentured

servants, poor Europeans who received free passages to America in return for years of unpaid work. The

first Africans were brought to North America in 1619, and from about 1680 the use of black laborers

increased dramatically.

1

Although slaves were forced to work, some slaves had better lifestyles than northern factory

workers and were treated better. Northern factory owners did not care if their workers were sick or hurt.

Workers worked in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and many workers died from living close to factories.

Workers lived in cities that were crowded and overpopulated, but Workers mostly lived in single roomed

apartments. The workers had little pay and insurance was not an option in the factory. Slaves owners

took care of their slaves because it made sense to take care of such important, valuable, and useful

property. Another reason slavery could have been good for slaves was that their owners would protect

them from people in the world. Southerners even thought that slavery was for their own good.

Cotton is the reason why slaves became more valuable and were treated much better than

Northern factory workers. Southerners attitudes about slavery changed after the discovery of a new crop

that greatly increased the need for slave labor. In the 1790s cotton was in great

demand in many parts of the world because of the new spinning machinery that had been invented in

England. It was just at this time that Samuel Slater was building the first spinning machines in America.

These machines could produce thread so rapidly that they were soon using up cotton faster than the world

was producing it. Most cotton came from Egypt. Egyptian cotton was of very high quality. It had long,

soft fibers that grew around and protected the seeds of the plant. When the plant ripened, the cotton boll

burst open. Then fluffy white fibers could easily be separated from the shiny black seeds.

A little of this cotton was grown in America on the Sea Islands along the coasts of Georgia and

South Carolina. The winters there were very mild. But Sea Island cotton would not grow on the mainland.

The plants were so tender that they were killed by the slightest spring frost. There was another variety of

cotton, called upland cotton that could withstand colder temperatures. It was hardy enough to be grown

almost anywhere in the southern states. Unfortunately, the fibers of this plant were short and tightly

woven about the seeds by hand from a single pound of this cotton.

2

Saves normally had to ask the permission of their masters before marrying. Some slaves married

partners from neighboring estates, known as marrying abroad . This was discouraged by planters, as it

meant that male slaves spent what little free time they had visiting their wives and relatives. However,

slaves could not leave their plantations without a pass, so remained under their masters control.

As long as it was cheap and easy to import slaves form Africa, planters in the Caribbean

Discouraged slaves from marrying and having children. Young children were of no use to them on the

plantations, and in any case huge numbers of slave children died within weeks of birth from disease and

lack of food. However, in the late 18th century planters became worried that the supply of slaves from

Africa was about to end, so they began to encourage men to marry on their plantation and to father the

next generation of slaves.

Slave marriages had no legal status and slave families were not officially recognized. Nevertheless,

slaves struggled against all the odds to preserve the family network. Most planters did not think twice

about separating members of a slave family. Male slaves were often sold or hired to another estate,

leaving wives to bring up their children alone. Children inherited their mothers status as slaves. Some

slave children were put to work as early as four years of age, doing jobs such as picking up rubbish or

pulling weeds. Older children were expected to look after the younger children during the day, while

mothers were at work in the fields. Between about 10 and 14, children became full-time domestic slaves

or field laborers.

Slaves may not have gotten the best foods, but they always had enough to eat, so they would not

starve. Slaves ate plain foods usually cornmeal, pork fat, and molasses, and sometimes coffee. They did

not have a balanced diet, but not many people during that time period understood the importance of

vitamins and minerals for good health. Many masters allowed their slaves to keep gardens, where they

often grew sweet potatoes and greens. Still, many slaves suffered the effects of dietary deficiency diseases

like pellagra, which is the result of a lack of niacin and protein. They could fish in the streams and hunt

and trap small forest animals, such as opossums, rabbits, and raccoons.

3

Slaves were always covered. They usually wore old clothes from their masters. The slaves wore

clothing that was also simple but sufficient-overalls, cotton and woolen shirts, a pair of heavy work shoes,

a hat for protection from the rain and summer heat. Slaves would have gotten one pair of shoes for the

year; if these are worn out in two months, they do not get another pair that year, but must go barefooted

the rest of the year, through cold and heat. The shoes are very poor ones, made bye one of the slaves,

and do not last more than tow or three months. One pair of stockings is allowed them for the year; when

these are gone, they have no more. They have one suit of clothes for the year. This is very poor indeed,

and made by the slaves themselves on the plantation. It will last no more than three months, and then the

poor slave get no more from the slaveholder, if he goes naked. This suit consists of one shirt, one pair of

pants, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes, and no vest at all. The slave has a hat given once in two

years. When this is worn out, he gets no more from the slaveholder, but must go bareheaded till he can

get one somewhere else. Perhaps the slave will get him a skin of some kind, and make him a hat.

Sometimes during holidays, their masters would buy new clothes as presents and gifts during the holiday.

Slaves were often crowded into tiny cabins even if the slaves were not related or knew each

other. This was better compared to northern factory workers that sometimes had no homes and had to live

on the street. Lack of sanitation led to the spread of disease. Slave cabins were usually crude, one-room

structures with dirt floors and log walls packed with mud to keep out the weather. The cabins had

fireplaces for cooking and to provide heat during the winter. Some had board floors, but many were built

directly on the earth. Windows rarely had panes of glass and servants in the more modest households

lived in dormitory-like quarters in back of the main house. The domestic servants in the plantation houses

led a better life. They ate the leftovers from the master s table and wore the discarded clothes. Indeed, a

well-dressed butler and footman were a credit to his master. Although household slaves were better off,

they too could be cruelly punished for trivial reasons.

4

These living conditions were primitive by modern standards. They tended to improve as time

passed. Poor farm people, in the North as well as the south, were not much better off in these respects.

They were not, however, unhealthy unlike some northern city workers. The cities were crowded and some

living conditions were worst than slaves. They lived in single roomed apartments and were barely paid

anything. Workers worked about for the same price and as hard as slaves.

In the cities slaves who were skilled tradesmen enjoyed some measure of freedom, especially those

who were rented out and lived apart from the master. By the 1850s about two hundred thousand slaves,

most of them rented out by the year, worked in heavy industries in the cities. For them, kind treatment

and rewards replaced the whip, because a resentful slave could ruin a business by sabotaging expensive

machinery. Production above the daily quota brought cash bonuses paid directly to the slaves. They could

spend it on fine clothes and good food. In addition, they learned valuable technological skills.

Slaves were treated well. There was no rivalry, no competition to get employment among slaves,

as among free laborers. Nor is there a war between master and slave. The master s interest prevents his

reducing the slave s allowance or wages in infancy or sickness, for he might lose the slave by doing so.

His feeling for his slave never permits him to stint him in old age. The slaves are all well fed, well clad,

have plenty of fuel, and are happy. They have no dread of the future- no fear of want. A state of

dependence is the only condition in which reciprocal affection can exist among human beings- the only

situation in which the war of competition ceases, and peace, amity and good will arise. A state of

independence always begets more or less of jealous rivalry and hospitality. A man loves his children

because they are weak, helpless and dependent. He loves his wife for similar reasons. When his children

grow up and assert their independence, he is apt to transfer his affection to his grandchildren. He ceases

to love his wife when she becomes masculine or rebellious; but slaves are always dependent, never the

rivals of their master. Hence, though men are often found at variance with wife or children, we never saw

one who did not like his slaves, and rarely a slave who was not devoted to his master.

5

Slavery: Good or Bad?

Slavery was good for slaves because their masters cared for them. If they were sick or hurt their

masters helped them. Their masters made sure their slaves always had a sufficient amount of food, some

place to live. Their masters gave them clothes to protect themselves from the weather. Like from a hot

day in the sun or a rainy cold day. Their masters also protected them from people outside their homes.

From people that harassed and beat their slaves. Last, slaves always had a job, but if they were free, it

might have been harder to get a job because of their skin color. Southerners even thought that slavery

was for their own good for them.

Slavery originated from the Sahara on ancient trading routes and by the 17th century an increasing

number of goods and slaves were transported out of the continent from the European ports on the Atlantic

coast. European exploration in the Americas led to a great demand for slaves to work in the new

colonies. Europeans did not want to do such work themselves, so they began to ship captured Africans

across the Atlantic Ocean.

Like Africa, the Americas were transformed by the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. When

Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean, they forced the local people to work for them in mines and

plantations. Many thousands of Native Americans died as a result of brutal treatment, or from unknown

European diseases, such as smallpox, to which they had no immunity.

The first English colony on the mainland was established in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. By

1732, there were 13 English colonies along the east coast. To survive, the English colonists had to work

the land. Some Native Americans worked as field laborers, but more common was the use of indentured

servants, poor Europeans who received free passages to America in return for years of unpaid work. The

first Africans were brought to North America in 1619, and from about 1680 the use of black laborers

increased dramatically.

1

Although slaves were forced to work, some slaves had better lifestyles than northern factory

workers and were treated better. Northern factory owners did not care if their workers were sick or hurt.

Workers worked in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and many workers died from living close to factories.

Workers lived in cities that were crowded and overpopulated, but Workers mostly lived in single roomed

apartments. The workers had little pay and insurance was not an option in the factory. Slaves owners

took care of their slaves because it made sense to take care of such important, valuable, and useful

property. Another reason slavery could have been good for slaves was that their owners would protect

them from people in the world. Southerners even thought that slavery was for their own good.

Cotton is the reason why slaves became more valuable and were treated much better than

Northern factory workers. Southerners attitudes about slavery changed after the discovery of a new crop

that greatly increased the need for slave labor. In the 1790s cotton was in great

demand in many parts of the world because of the new spinning machinery that had been invented in

England. It was just at this time that Samuel Slater was building the first spinning machines in America.

These machines could produce thread so rapidly that they were soon using up cotton faster than the world

was producing it. Most cotton came from Egypt. Egyptian cotton was of very high quality. It had long,

soft fibers that grew around and protected the seeds of the plant. When the plant ripened, the cotton boll

burst open. Then fluffy white fibers could easily be separated from the shiny black seeds.

A little of this cotton was grown in America on the Sea Islands along the coasts of Georgia and

South Carolina. The winters there were very mild. But Sea Island cotton would not grow on the mainland.

The plants were so tender that they were killed by the slightest spring frost. There was another variety of

cotton, called upland cotton that could withstand colder temperatures. It was hardy enough to be grown

almost anywhere in the southern states. Unfortunately, the fibers of this plant were short and tightly

woven about the seeds by hand from a single pound of this cotton.

2

Saves normally had to ask the permission of their masters before marrying. Some slaves married

partners from neighboring estates, known as marrying abroad . This was discouraged by planters, as it

meant that male slaves spent what little free time they had visiting their wives and relatives. However,

slaves could not leave their plantations without a pass, so remained under their masters control.

As long as it was cheap and easy to import slaves form Africa, planters in the Caribbean

Discouraged slaves from marrying and having children. Young children were of no use to them on the

plantations, and in any case huge numbers of slave children died within weeks of birth from disease and

lack of food. However, in the late 18th century planters became worried that the supply of slaves from

Africa was about to end, so they began to encourage men to marry on their plantation and to father the

next generation of slaves.

Slave marriages had no legal status and slave families were not officially recognized. Nevertheless,

slaves struggled against all the odds to preserve the family network. Most planters did not think twice

about separating members of a slave family. Male slaves were often sold or hired to another estate,

leaving wives to bring up their children alone. Children inherited their mothers status as slaves. Some

slave children were put to work as early as four years of age, doing jobs such as picking up rubbish or

pulling weeds. Older children were expected to look after the younger children during the day, while

mothers were at work in the fields. Between about 10 and 14, children became full-time domestic slaves

or field laborers.

Slaves may not have gotten the best foods, but they always had enough to eat, so they would not

starve. Slaves ate plain foods usually cornmeal, pork fat, and molasses, and sometimes coffee. They did

not have a balanced diet, but not many people during that time period understood the importance of

vitamins and minerals for good health. Many masters allowed their slaves to keep gardens, where they

often grew sweet potatoes and greens. Still, many slaves suffered the effects of dietary deficiency diseases

like pellagra, which is the result of a lack of niacin and protein. They could fish in the streams and hunt

and trap small forest animals, such as opossums, rabbits, and raccoons.

3

Slaves were always covered. They usually wore old clothes from their masters. The slaves wore

clothing that was also simple but sufficient-overalls, cotton and woolen shirts, a pair of heavy work shoes,

a hat for protection from the rain and summer heat. Slaves would have gotten one pair of shoes for the

year; if these are worn out in two months, they do not get another pair that year, but must go barefooted

the rest of the year, through cold and heat. The shoes are very poor ones, made bye one of the slaves,

and do not last more than tow or three months. One pair of stockings is allowed them for the year; when

these are gone, they have no more. They have one suit of clothes for the year. This is very poor indeed,

and made by the slaves themselves on the plantation. It will last no more than three months, and then the

poor slave get no more from the slaveholder, if he goes naked. This suit consists of one shirt, one pair of

pants, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes, and no vest at all. The slave has a hat given once in two

years. When this is worn out, he gets no more from the slaveholder, but must go bareheaded till he can

get one somewhere else. Perhaps the slave will get him a skin of some kind, and make him a hat.

Sometimes during holidays, their masters would buy new clothes as presents and gifts during the holiday.

Slaves were often crowded into tiny cabins even if the slaves were not related or knew each

other. This was better compared to northern factory workers that sometimes had no homes and had to live

on the street. Lack of sanitation led to the spread of disease. Slave cabins were usually crude, one-room

structures with dirt floors and log walls packed with mud to keep out the weather. The cabins had

fireplaces for cooking and to provide heat during the winter. Some had board floors, but many were built

directly on the earth. Windows rarely had panes of glass and servants in the more modest households

lived in dormitory-like quarters in back of the main house. The domestic servants in the plantation houses

led a better life. They ate the leftovers from the master s table and wore the discarded clothes. Indeed, a

well-dressed butler and footman were a credit to his master. Although household slaves were better off,

they too could be cruelly punished for trivial reasons.

4

These living conditions were primitive by modern standards. They tended to improve as time

passed. Poor farm people, in the North as well as the south, were not much better off in these respects.

They were not, however, unhealthy unlike some northern city workers. The cities were crowded and some

living conditions were worst than slaves. They lived in single roomed apartments and were barely paid

anything. Workers worked about for the same price and as hard as slaves.

In the cities slaves who were skilled tradesmen enjoyed some measure of freedom, especially those

who were rented out and lived apart from the master. By the 1850s about two hundred thousand slaves,

most of them rented out by the year, worked in heavy industries in the cities. For them, kind treatment

and rewards replaced the whip, because a resentful slave could ruin a business by sabotaging expensive

machinery. Production above the daily quota brought cash bonuses paid directly to the slaves. They could

spend it on fine clothes and good food. In addition, they learned valuable technological skills.

Slaves were treated well. There was no rivalry, no competition to get employment among slaves,

as among free laborers. Nor is there a war between master and slave. The master s interest prevents his

reducing the slave s allowance or wages in infancy or sickness, for he might lose the slave by doing so.

His feeling for his slave never permits him to stint him in old age. The slaves are all well fed, well clad,

have plenty of fuel, and are happy. They have no dread of the future- no fear of want. A state of

dependence is the only condition in which reciprocal affection can exist among human beings- the only

situation in which the war of competition ceases, and peace, amity and good will arise. A state of

independence always begets more or less of jealous rivalry and hospitality. A man loves his children

because they are weak, helpless and dependent. He loves his wife for similar reasons. When his children

grow up and assert their independence, he is apt to transfer his affection to his grandchildren. He ceases

to love his wife when she becomes masculine or rebellious; but slaves are always dependent, never the

rivals of their master. Hence, though men are often found at variance with wife or children, we never saw

one who did not like his slaves, and rarely a slave who was not devoted to his master.

5

Slavery: Good or Bad?

Slavery was good for slaves because their masters cared for them. If they were sick or hurt their

masters helped them. Their masters made sure their slaves always had a sufficient amount of food, some

place to live. Their masters gave them clothes to protect themselves from the weather. Like from a hot

day in the sun or a rainy cold day. Their masters also protected them from people outside their homes.

From people that harassed and beat their slaves. Last, slaves always had a job, but if they were free, it

might have been harder to get a job because of their skin color. Southerners even thought that slavery

was for their own good for them.

Slavery originated from the Sahara on ancient trading routes and by the 17th century an increasing

number of goods and slaves were transported out of the continent from the European ports on the Atlantic

coast. European exploration in the Americas led to a great demand for slaves to work in the new

colonies. Europeans did not want to do such work themselves, so they began to ship captured Africans

across the Atlantic Ocean.

Like Africa, the Americas were transformed by the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. When

Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean, they forced the local people to work for them in mines and

plantations. Many thousands of Native Americans died as a result of brutal treatment, or from unknown

European diseases, such as smallpox, to which they had no immunity.

The first English colony on the mainland was established in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. By

1732, there were 13 English colonies along the east coast. To survive, the English colonists had to work

the land. Some Native Americans worked as field laborers, but more common was the use of indentured

servants, poor Europeans who received free passages to America in return for years of unpaid work. The

first Africans were brought to North America in 1619, and from about 1680 the use of black laborers

increased dramatically.

1

Although slaves were forced to work, some slaves had better lifestyles than northern factory

workers and were treated better. Northern factory owners did not care if their workers were sick or hurt.

Workers worked in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and many workers died from living close to factories.

Workers lived in cities that were crowded and overpopulated, but Workers mostly lived in single roomed

apartments. The workers had little pay and insurance was not an option in the factory. Slaves owners

took care of their slaves because it made sense to take care of such important, valuable, and useful

property. Another reason slavery could have been good for slaves was that their owners would protect

them from people in the world. Southerners even thought that slavery was for their own good.

Cotton is the reason why slaves became more valuable and were treated much better than

Northern factory workers. Southerners attitudes about slavery changed after the discovery of a new crop

that greatly increased the need for slave labor. In the 1790s cotton was in great

demand in many parts of the world because of the new spinning machinery that had been invented in

England. It was just at this time that Samuel Slater was building the first spinning machines in America.

These machines could produce thread so rapidly that they were soon using up cotton faster than the world

was producing it. Most cotton came from Egypt. Egyptian cotton was of very high quality. It had long,

soft fibers that grew around and protected the seeds of the plant. When the plant ripened, the cotton boll

burst open. Then fluffy white fibers could easily be separated from the shiny black seeds.

A little of this cotton was grown in America on the Sea Islands along the coasts of Georgia and

South Carolina. The winters there were very mild. But Sea Island cotton would not grow on the mainland.

The plants were so tender that they were killed by the slightest spring frost. There was another variety of

cotton, called upland cotton that could withstand colder temperatures. It was hardy enough to be grown

almost anywhere in the southern states. Unfortunately, the fibers of this plant were short and tightly

woven about the seeds by hand from a single pound of this cotton.

2

Saves normally had to ask the permission of their masters before marrying. Some slaves married

partners from neighboring estates, known as marrying abroad . This was discouraged by planters, as it

meant that male slaves spent what little free time they had visiting their wives and relatives. However,

slaves could not leave their plantations without a pass, so remained under their masters control.

As long as it was cheap and easy to import slaves form Africa, planters in the Caribbean

Discouraged slaves from marrying and having children. Young children were of no use to them on the

plantations, and in any case huge numbers of slave children died within weeks of birth from disease and

lack of food. However, in the late 18th century planters became worried that the supply of slaves from

Africa was about to end, so they began to encourage men to marry on their plantation and to father the

next generation of slaves.

Slave marriages had no legal status and slave families were not officially recognized. Nevertheless,

slaves struggled against all the odds to preserve the family network. Most planters did not think twice

about separating members of a slave family. Male slaves were often sold or hired to another estate,

leaving wives to bring up their children alone. Children inherited their mothers status as slaves. Some

slave children were put to work as early as four years of age, doing jobs such as picking up rubbish or

pulling weeds. Older children were expected to look after the younger children during the day, while

mothers were at work in the fields. Between about 10 and 14, children became full-time domestic slaves

or field laborers.

Slaves may not have gotten the best foods, but they always had enough to eat, so they would not

starve. Slaves ate plain foods usually cornmeal, pork fat, and molasses, and sometimes coffee. They did

not have a balanced diet, but not many people during that time period understood the importance of

vitamins and minerals for good health. Many masters allowed their slaves to keep gardens, where they

often grew sweet potatoes and greens. Still, many slaves suffered the effects of dietary deficiency diseases

like pellagra, which is the result of a lack of niacin and protein. They could fish in the streams and hunt

and trap small forest animals, such as opossums, rabbits, and raccoons.

3

Slaves were always covered. They usually wore old clothes from their masters. The slaves wore

clothing that was also simple but sufficient-overalls, cotton and woolen shirts, a pair of heavy work shoes,

a hat for protection from the rain and summer heat. Slaves would have gotten one pair of shoes for the

year; if these are worn out in two months, they do not get another pair that year, but must go barefooted

the rest of the year, through cold and heat. The shoes are very poor ones, made bye one of the slaves,

and do not last more than tow or three months. One pair of stockings is allowed them for the year; when

these are gone, they have no more. They have one suit of clothes for the year. This is very poor indeed,

and made by the slaves themselves on the plantation. It will last no more than three months, and then the

poor slave get no more from the slaveholder, if he goes naked. This suit consists of one shirt, one pair of

pants, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes, and no vest at all. The slave has a hat given once in two

years. When this is worn out, he gets no more from the slaveholder, but must go bareheaded till he can

get one somewhere else. Perhaps the slave will get him a skin of some kind, and make him a hat.

Sometimes during holidays, their masters would buy new clothes as presents and gifts during the holiday.

Slaves were often crowded into tiny cabins even if the slaves were not related or knew each

other. This was better compared to northern factory workers that sometimes had no homes and had to live

on the street. Lack of sanitation led to the spread of disease. Slave cabins were usually crude, one-room

structures with dirt floors and log walls packed with mud to keep out the weather. The cabins had

fireplaces for cooking and to provide heat during the winter. Some had board floors, but many were built

directly on the earth. Windows rarely had panes of glass and servants in the more modest households

lived in dormitory-like quarters in back of the main house. The domestic servants in the plantation houses

led a better life. They ate the leftovers from the master s table and wore the discarded clothes. Indeed, a

well-dressed butler and footman were a credit to his master. Although household slaves were better off,

they too could be cruelly punished for trivial reasons.

4

These living conditions were primitive by modern standards. They tended to improve as time

passed. Poor farm people, in the North as well as the south, were not much better off in these respects.

They were not, however, unhealthy unlike some northern city workers. The cities were crowded and some

living conditions were worst than slaves. They lived in single roomed apartments and were barely paid

anything. Workers worked about for the same price and as hard as slaves.

In the cities slaves who were skilled tradesmen enjoyed some measure of freedom, especially those

who were rented out and lived apart from the master. By the 1850s about two hundred thousand slaves,

most of them rented out by the year, worked in heavy industries in the cities. For them, kind treatment

and rewards replaced the whip, because a resentful slave could ruin a business by sabotaging expensive

machinery. Production above the daily quota brought cash bonuses paid directly to the slaves. They could

spend it on fine clothes and good food. In addition, they learned valuable technological skills.

Slaves were treated well. There was no rivalry, no competition to get employment among slaves,

as among free laborers. Nor is there a war between master and slave. The master s interest prevents his

reducing the slave s allowance or wages in infancy or sickness, for he might lose the slave by doing so.

His feeling for his slave never permits him to stint him in old age. The slaves are all well fed, well clad,

have plenty of fuel, and are happy. They have no dread of the future- no fear of want. A state of

dependence is the only condition in which reciprocal affection can exist among human beings- the only

situation in which the war of competition ceases, and peace, amity and good will arise. A state of

independence always begets more or less of jealous rivalry and hospitality. A man loves his children

because they are weak, helpless and dependent. He loves his wife for similar reasons. When his children

grow up and assert their independence, he is apt to transfer his affection to his grandchildren. He ceases

to love his wife when she becomes masculine or rebellious; but slaves are always dependent, never the

rivals of their master. Hence, though men are often found at variance with wife or children, we never saw

one who did not like his slaves, and rarely a slave who was not devoted to his master.

5

Slavery: Good or Bad?

Slavery was good for slaves because their masters cared for them. If they were sick or hurt their

masters helped them. Their masters made sure their slaves always had a sufficient amount of food, some

place to live. Their masters gave them clothes to protect themselves from the weather. Like from a hot

day in the sun or a rainy cold day. Their masters also protected them from people outside their homes.

From people that harassed and beat their slaves. Last, slaves always had a job, but if they were free, it

might have been harder to get a job because of their skin color. Southerners even thought that slavery

was for their own good for them.

Slavery originated from the Sahara on ancient trading routes and by the 17th century an increasing

number of goods and slaves were transported out of the continent from the European ports on the Atlantic

coast. European exploration in the Americas led to a great demand for slaves to work in the new

colonies. Europeans did not want to do such work themselves, so they began to ship captured Africans

across the Atlantic Ocean.

Like Africa, the Americas were transformed by the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. When

Christopher Columbus reached the Caribbean, they forced the local people to work for them in mines and

plantations. Many thousands of Native Americans died as a result of brutal treatment, or from unknown

European diseases, such as smallpox, to which they had no immunity.

The first English colony on the mainland was established in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. By

1732, there were 13 English colonies along the east coast. To survive, the English colonists had to work

the land. Some Native Americans worked as field laborers, but more common was the use of indentured

servants, poor Europeans who received free passages to America in return for years of unpaid work. The

first Africans were brought to North America in 1619, and from about 1680 the use of black laborers

increased dramatically.

1

Although slaves were forced to work, some slaves had better lifestyles than northern factory

workers and were treated better. Northern factory owners did not care if their workers were sick or hurt.

Workers worked in unsafe and unsanitary conditions, and many workers died from living close to factories.

Workers lived in cities that were crowded and overpopulated, but Workers mostly lived in single roomed

apartments. The workers had little pay and insurance was not an option in the factory. Slaves owners

took care of their slaves because it made sense to take care of such important, valuable, and useful

property. Another reason slavery could have been good for slaves was that their owners would protect

them from people in the world. Southerners even thought that slavery was for their own good.

Cotton is the reason why slaves became more valuable and were treated much better than

Northern factory workers. Southerners attitudes about slavery changed after the discovery of a new crop

that greatly increased the need for slave labor. In the 1790s cotton was in great

demand in many parts of the world because of the new spinning machinery that had been invented in

England. It was just at this time that Samuel Slater was building the first spinning machines in America.

These machines could produce thread so rapidly that they were soon using up cotton faster than the world

was producing it. Most cotton came from Egypt. Egyptian cotton was of very high quality. It had long,

soft fibers that grew around and protected the seeds of the plant. When the plant ripened, the cotton boll

burst open. Then fluffy white fibers could easily be separated from the shiny black seeds.

A little of this cotton was grown in America on the Sea Islands along the coasts of Georgia and

South Carolina. The winters there were very mild. But Sea Island cotton would not grow on the mainland.

The plants were so tender that they were killed by the slightest spring frost. There was another variety of

cotton, called upland cotton that could withstand colder temperatures. It was hardy enough to be grown

almost anywhere in the southern states. Unfortunately, the fibers of this plant were short and tightly

woven about the seeds by hand from a single pound of this cotton.

2

Saves normally had to ask the permission of their masters before marrying. Some slaves married

partners from neighboring estates, known as marrying abroad . This was discouraged by planters, as it

meant that male slaves spent what little free time they had visiting their wives and relatives. However,

slaves could not leave their plantations without a pass, so remained under their masters control.

As long as it was cheap and easy to import slaves form Africa, planters in the Caribbean

Discouraged slaves from marrying and having children. Young children were of no use to them on the

plantations, and in any case huge numbers of slave children died within weeks of birth from disease and

lack of food. However, in the late 18th century planters became worried that the supply of slaves from

Africa was about to end, so they began to encourage men to marry on their plantation and to father the

next generation of slaves.

Slave marriages had no legal status and slave families were not officially recognized. Nevertheless,

slaves struggled against all the odds to preserve the family network. Most planters did not think twice

about separating members of a slave family. Male slaves were often sold or hired to another estate,

leaving wives to bring up their children alone. Children inherited their mothers status as slaves. Some

slave children were put to work as early as four years of age, doing jobs such as picking up rubbish or

pulling weeds. Older children were expected to look after the younger children during the day, while

mothers were at work in the fields. Between about 10 and 14, children became full-time domestic slaves

or field laborers.

Slaves may not have gotten the best foods, but they always had enough to eat, so they would not

starve. Slaves ate plain foods usually cornmeal, pork fat, and molasses, and sometimes coffee. They did

not have a balanced diet, but not many people during that time period understood the importance of

vitamins and minerals for good health. Many masters allowed their slaves to keep gardens, where they

often grew sweet potatoes and greens. Still, many slaves suffered the effects of dietary deficiency diseases

like pellagra, which is the result of a lack of niacin and protein. They could fish in the streams and hunt

and trap small forest animals, such as opossums, rabbits, and raccoons.

3

Slaves were always covered. They usually wore old clothes from their masters. The slaves wore

clothing that was also simple but sufficient-overalls, cotton and woolen shirts, a pair of heavy work shoes,

a hat for protection from the rain and summer heat. Slaves would have gotten one pair of shoes for the

year; if these are worn out in two months, they do not get another pair that year, but must go barefooted

the rest of the year, through cold and heat. The shoes are very poor ones, made bye one of the slaves,

and do not last more than tow or three months. One pair of stockings is allowed them for the year; when

these are gone, they have no more. They have one suit of clothes for the year. This is very poor indeed,

and made by the slaves themselves on the plantation. It will last no more than three months, and then the

poor slave get no more from the slaveholder, if he goes naked. This suit consists of one shirt, one pair of

pants, one pair of socks, one pair of shoes, and no vest at all. The slave has a hat given once in two

years. When this is worn out, he gets no more from the slaveholder, but must go bareheaded till he can

get one somewhere else. Perhaps the slave will get him a skin of some kind, and make him a hat.

Sometimes during holidays, their masters would buy new clothes as presents and gifts during the holiday.

Slaves were often crowded into tiny cabins even if the slaves were not related or knew each

other. This was better compared to northern factory workers that sometimes had no homes and had to live

on the street. Lack of sanitation led to the spread of disease. Slave cabins were usually crude, one-room

structures with dirt floors and log walls packed with mud to keep out the weather. The cabins had

fireplaces for cooking and to provide heat during the winter. Some had board floors, but many were built

directly on the earth. Windows rarely had panes of glass and servants in the more modest households

lived in dormitory-like quarters in back of the main house. The domestic servants in the plantation houses

led a better life. They ate the leftovers from the master s table and wore the discarded clothes. Indeed, a

well-dressed butler and footman were a credit to his master. Although household slaves were better off,

they too could be cruelly punished for trivial reasons.

4

These living conditions were primitive by modern standards. They tended to improve as time

passed. Poor farm people, in the North as well as the south, were not much better off in these respects.

They were not, however, unhealthy unlike some northern city workers. The cities were crowded and some

living conditions were worst than slaves. They lived in single roomed apartments and were barely paid

anything. Workers worked about for the same price and as hard as slaves.

In the cities slaves who were skilled tradesmen enjoyed some measure of freedom, especially those

who were rented out and lived apart from the master. By the 1850s about two hundred thousand slaves,

most of them rented out by the year, worked in heavy industries in the cities. For them, kind treatment

and rewards replaced the whip, because a resentful slave could ruin a business by sabotaging expensive

machinery. Production above the daily quota brought cash bonuses paid directly to the slaves. They could

spend it on fine clothes and good food. In addition, they learned valuable technological skills.

Slaves were treated well. There was no rivalry, no competition to get employment among slaves,

as among free laborers. Nor is there a war between master and slave. The master s interest prevents his

reducing the slave s allowance or wages in infancy or sickness, for he might lose the slave by doing so.

His feeling for his slave never permits him to stint him in old age. The slaves are all well fed, well clad,

have plenty of fuel, and are happy. They have no dread of the future- no fear of want. A state of

dependence is the only condition in which reciprocal affection can exist among human beings- the only

situation in which the war of competition ceases, and peace, amity and good will arise. A state of

independence always begets more or less of jealous rivalry and hospitality. A man loves his children

because they are weak, helpless and dependent. He loves his wife for similar reasons. When his children

grow up and assert their independence, he is apt to transfer his affection to his grandchildren. He ceases

to love his wife when she becomes masculine or rebellious; but slaves are always dependent, never the

rivals of their master. Hence, though men are often found at variance with wife or children, we never saw

one who did not like his slaves, and rarely a slave who was not devoted to his master.

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