Essay on Edward Baptist 's Book, The Half Has Never Been Told

1150 Words Oct 9th, 2015 null Page
Edward Baptist 's book, The Half Has Never Been Told, is a book that shows the unspoken history of life on a Southern plantation. Baptist used oral histories of former enslaved people, and with this information he wrote about how the increase in slave labor from 1790 - 1860 shaped America. He also used these oral histories to give further insight on the true lives of slaves in the South. By using Baptist’s book, in addition to the oral histories of different former slaves, we can answer questions like, how did masters get their slaves to increase their productivity? How did slaves resist or revolt against their master? And how did masters truly feel about their slaves? Slavery was a lot of things in the South. It was an economy, a business, a profession, and the way of life for so many southerners. In order to keep this economy going, slavers had to get more and more production out of their slaves. Baptist believed that slave masters used a form of modern business to get the most production of their slaves. They would give slaves a quota that must be met. Every time the quota was met, they raised the quota. If a slave couldn’t reach the quota, they got whipped. You would think that slave masters would just rely on whipping and other physical abuse to motivate slaves to work harder, but that actually isn’t true. Masters would abstain from whipping slaves, because a slave who cannot work is a useless slave. Marks of physical abuse also lowered a slave 's price. Buying and…

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