Nat Turner Slave Resistance

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On August 13th, 1831 Nat Turner, an African American slave, brought about an insurrection against white families in Virginia. This revolt was very ruthless and indiscriminate in its slaughtering of entire white families and is considered the most successful slave rebellion of the old south. While Nat Turner had very personal reasons for the acts he committed, we can figure out the core reasons for slave resistance, by looking at the major principles of slave culture. Specifically, two major aspects of slave culture that gave slaves, including Nat Turner, reasons to rebel are the principles of religion and the family. By exploring these topics, the rationality behind Nat Turner’s rebellion becomes easier to understand.
In the early 1800s, African-American
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At the peak of her life, she was stolen from her family, into a foreign place with strangers. Even after the conditions slaves experienced on the slave ships (Equiano, “The Middle Passage”), the newly arrived slaves managed to maintain their lives under white servitude. One of the ways slaves adapted is by forming new African-American families. This is one the most amazing feats of American slaves. Keeping an established family as a slave was very difficult. Legally slaves couldn’t marry and females had an ever-present risk of being raped by their masters (U.S.: A Narrative History, 255). The most devastating reality of slave marriage was the possibility of being separated and sold to other estates. Nat Turner experiences this reality first hand, and the separation from his children affects him greatly. In the end, this would drive him towards his rebellion. Even considering the high possibility of separation, family ties amongst slaves remained strong. They formed their own marriage rituals and rules for unwed mothers (U.S.: A Narrative History, …show more content…
He would read his bible every day in the pursuit of knowledge and wisdom, even though slaves were not allowed to read. As Turner grew older he attended slave spirituals and got into the numerous Christian habits. Turner’s religion had a great effect on how he felt about his enslavement. During one happening Turner ran away from the overseer. Eventually, after one month he returned because of a spiritual encounter, in which God told him to obey his masters. As you can probably tell from Nat Turner, religion was a center point of slave culture (U.S.: A Narrative History, 256). At first, religion was just a tool used by slave owners to manipulate them, as such many slaves rejected it. Over time, the slaves began to seek a more relatable form of Christianity. Slaves would meet secretly at night and participate in spirituals. These would preach a far different message than the messages slave masters presented, deliverance from slavery (lecture). These meetings not only brought comfort to the slaves after long days of labor but also incited them against

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