Indentured Servitude

Decent Essays
It is a common misconception that slavery grew out of racism, and that whites enslaved Africans because they are black. In actuality, the idea of race developed from the institution of slavery. Whites denied blacks rights and freedoms, and they needed a reason for doing so. Racist ideologies emerged to support the enslavement of blacks. From the first black indentures to reach the colonies, Africans faced an improbable chance of gaining their freedom. Indentured servitude was a lengthy journey that was often elongated. Eventually, outright ownership of human beings replaced the indentured servitude process, and blacks were slaves for life. Even with the creation of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, the institution of …show more content…
The new document upheld the institution of slavery for some time. It protected the Trans-Atlantic slave trade until 1808, which reinforced the bondage of Africans. It also included the Fugitive Slave Clause, which stated that individuals who escaped from bondage were to be returned to their owners and that slaveowners could venture into free territory in order to reclaim their slaves (Trotter 137). The Constitution also addressed slavery through the Three-Fifths Compromise. The amount of representation in Congress given to each state is based upon its population. Southern states with large slave populations wanted to count slaves because northern white population was significantly greater. In order to include slaves in the population, they must be considered human beings. However, as previously addressed and as northerners would argue, black slaves were not considered humans or citizens, so they did not have a right to be counted. To reach an agreement, the Constitution initiated the Three-Fifths Compromise, which counted slaves as three-fifths of a person. As a result, southerners gained excess political power and used it to further the institution of …show more content…
The cotton gin revolutionized the U.S. economy and concomitantly changed the nature of slavery. Slaves were needed in the cotton growing states. Consequently, nearly 1 million enslaved blacks were traded from the Upper South to the cotton states of Georgia, South Carolina, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana (Trotter 149). The majority of slaves in the southern territory now lived mainly in the Deep South. Internal slave traders also took an interest in women who could bear children. This was the “so-called fancy girl market” (Trotter 152). Aside from the painful relocation of slaves to the Deep South, natural increase was another way to grow the slave population for cotton production. Numerous traders entered the domestic slave trade and built up individual reserves of sellable slaves. In addition to small traders, the domestic slave trade also encompassed slave-trading firms located in the Upper South and border cities (Trotter). These firms created a business out of the internal slave trade by establishing sales, marketing, facilities, and campaigns. Both small-scale traders who met with private owners as well as the larger internal slave trade business resulted in the mass relocation of southern slaves to the cotton growing areas. The introduction of the cotton gin not only revolutionized the U.S. economy by means of cotton production but also significantly altered the institution of

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