White Slavery Research Paper

1453 Words 6 Pages
From its birth, the United States of America has experienced a lot of changes and adaptations to its economy, especially when it comes to labor and who was working. Many northern leaders after the Revolutionary War had anti-slavery sentiments and states such as Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Connecticut had all passed gradual emancipation laws. New York happened to be the last state to do this, however, just because these black slaves were being free, it didn’t mean they were equal in society or had equal opportunities for work. Although it is important to discuss the sociopolitical implications of emancipating slaves in 1863, a more pertinent line of thought would be to discuss how the gradual emancipation of black …show more content…
This unhappiness led to resentment and poor treatment of the white working class towards blacks. The resentment from the northern working class started during the era of gradual emancipation and built up after the general emancipation. “From the beginning of the emancipation era, various groups of whites attempted to limit free blacks’ access to political, social, and economic equality.” The main issue was that, in the ideals of republicanism during this time period, blacks were seen as slaves and only slaves in society. That was their role, their “livelihood” in the opinion of white people. As stated before, a lot of these slaves started working for white households after their emancipation and according to Harris, most of these households were former slave holders. Crippling and shackling free blacks was the whites way of maintaining power over these people, which made race relations rigid. “Black had a more difficult time achieving equality under the terms of republicanism.” The whole working class was shaken and basic ideals of these people were shaken up by the emancipation of black slaves and it was just the first time this would occur. On a parallel end, there was George Fitzhugh who basically argued that slavery was economically justifiable and that the poor working and factory class was already suffering enough and didn’t need an influx of new laborers to come into the market. The working class during the antebellum was very much split, especially in New York City. An example of these tense racial relations are the New York City draft riots that occurred in July 1863. The Irish were already unhappy with their socioeconomic position and now they were being drafted to fight a war that would add more competition to the working class and take away jobs from these Irishmen. They were not having any of that and they ended up destroying a black orphanage and

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