Money Vs Morality Essay, Research Paper
Money vs. Morality
In a time when white males believed in superiority over everything around them, Africans, not even considered people, were kidnapped and sold as slaves. How could this ever happen? Why would Africans ever stand for such a horrific thing? These are all questions asked by many people today when looking back at history. In 1692 Columbus sailed the ocean blue in search of a quicker trade route to Asia. He ended up stumbling upon a new land, America. Slowly people migrated to the new land in search of prosperity. Uneducated people from England were taking contracts from the King of England to become indentured servants and work for five or so years and gaining land because of it. Soon the English realized they could get slaves from Africa, and they would no longer need to pay for the indentured servants. They could just have relatively free slaves. One way of obtaining slaves was slave traders would sneak into the homes of Africans, and kidnap children and adults. It did not matter if they were women, men, or children. They were simply just dirty slaves to the English. Another way of getting slaves was war. They would take the prisoners of war from warring tribes in Africa. The third known way to obtain slaves was to pillage. All three ways were efficient, and often used. So the slaves were then loaded on a carrier ship. The slaves were loaded into the basement of the ship, a hot, musty, and dark place. Think of the worst place you could imagine, and think of staying there for days at a time. Some tried to escape, but for those who got away, they drowned in the Atlantic. Slaves, who tried and did not succeed, it was a whipping that was horrific.
Slave trading was simply an economical advantage by the English. Other countries in Europe had used slaves before. The English had waited to use slaves until the indentured servants had dried up. Once that happened, the English were importing slaves by the hundreds from Africa. One New Englander said that they could equal the cost of twenty slaves to one indentured servant. It took until the late 1700’s to begin the abolishment of slavery. This all started with “An act for the gradual abolition of slavery” in 1780, which stated a need for these Negro’s brought from Africa in the early 1700’s to become free. But this was only followed in a few northern states. The southern states have been dealing with this subject and are still today.
In conclusion, the business of slave trading was a horrible act of which the United States even today has not fully recovered, but in the 1700’s it was a question of pure economics. The question of the cheapest labor, it was not a race issue. It was over time that the belief of white supremacy came into the minds of whites, and has taken centuries to erase. We still have a long way to go to learn from our ancestor’s mistakes.
1998 The Avalon Project. William C. Fray and Lisa A. Spar, Co-Directors.
Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, Vol. I, pp. 141-145.
Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, Vol. I, pp. 194-196.
Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, Vol. I, pp. 354-55
Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, Vol. I 357-359
Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, Vol. I, pp. 439-443.
Elizabeth Donnan, Documents Illustrative of the History of the Slave Trade to America, Vol. II, pp. 599-602.
Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano(1788), excerpts from Chapters 1 and 2.