The Dehumanization Of Slavery In America

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Slavery in America has been a nasty battle from the start. With opposition arising alongside indentured servitude, it gradually morphed into atrocity we know as slavery today. As with the majority of issues regarding slavery, elites were at the forefront. The select few that could afford large numbers of slaves were able to churn out more product at lower prices than a single yeoman farmer could even dream of. The accompanying racism enforced by the wealthy kept the slaves from rebelling and small farmers to finally see something to gain. Slavery has had a large impact on the formation of America’s culture, economic structure, and politics through the entirety of it’s existence.
Even with Indentured Servitude, the precursor to slavery, an abuse
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As a result color lines were reinforced and oppressive policies were incorporated. The slave code in Virginia was solidified-- stating that slaves were property and nothing else. Due to the increased affordability of slavery slaves quickly rose from 10% of the Virginian population in 1700 to over 50% of the population in 1750. With such a large number of slaves one would think that there would be an expansion in African American rights. But by this point plantation owners had been quite successful in the dehumanization of their slaves and their continual mental abuse limited …show more content…
Since the yeoman farmers were unable to compete with the amount of product slave owners could put out it would have made sense for them to be opposed to slavery. Instead, they reinforced it with their limited political power.
In Harriet Jacobs book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, there is a time that the homes of the town are searched. Jacobs speaks about the eagerness of the poor white men to scrummage through colored folk’s property in the powerful statement: “It was a grand opportunity for the low whites… They exulted in such a chance to exercise a little brief authority...not reflecting that the power which trampled on the colored people also kept themselves in poverty, ignorance, and moral degradation,” (55,56).
Slavery was not beneficial to the poor whites. It made no economic or moral sense for them to support it. But as home searchers, overseers, and slave patrol they could enforce the system of slavery while simultaneously reinforcing that they were of some “value.” Poor white men were not the bottom of the chain-- because no matter how much they lost-- they would always have their

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