Essay on The Slavery Of African Americans

1921 Words Oct 2nd, 2016 8 Pages
As English settlers became more desperate for someone to work the land in the newly settled Jamestown, they quickly realized that using the Natives was not an option. The opportunity to use blacks as servants was an obvious choice, as they were already known to be slaves. (Zinn 10) Now, the question of how did they reconcile emergent chattel slavery with Christian precepts is an interesting one. Zinn references a letter written by the Catholic priest Father Sandoval asking the Church if the enslavement of African blacks was legal according to their doctrines (Zinn, 12) The response from the church was not grounded in any biblical proofs but rather the excuse that no other Fathers considered enslavement of blacks or even owning slaves as illicit. (Zinn, 12). This lack of acknowledgement from religious figures went on to allow for laws and customs to develop unchallenged by society and eventually led to full blown chattel slavery.
Europeans and English settlers used the existence of slavery in Africa as a justification for their own involvement in the slave trade (Zinn, 11). The slavery in Africa was much different than the chattel slavery system developed here in America, those who were in enslaved in Africa were more like servants and were afforded rights that those enslaved in America would only dream of. Settlers also looked to the Africans as inferior because of the huge disadvantage they faced with being in a new land, new culture, and not speaking the language.…

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