Slavery

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Introduction

Slavery refers to a system in which human beings are treated as property. In this case, people are forced to carry out various jobs. The slaves are detained against their will and also deprived other rights. For instance, they can be deprived the right to leave and refuse to perform different activities. They are also denied compensations. Slavery was common in many countries. For instance, slavery was common in America, Europe and even Africa. The countries used slavery for different purposes. Some of the countries used slavery for economic purposes and political purposes. For example, slavery in America had economic benefits and political benefits and this affected the formation of a new country. Several amendments were made in the constitution to abolish and support slavery. This paper analyzes slavery between 1775 and 1789 in terms of political and economic context.


Discussion

Slavery was a major issue during the formational of the first government by the founding fathers under the articles and the constitution. People had different views about slavery during this time. Some supported slavery because of the huge benefits that resulted from slavery in terms of politics and economic benefits. Others rejected slavery because of its effects on the slaves. The prohibition of slave trade by insertion of a clause in the constitution became a problem and caused debate among the leaders and citizens in general. Some of the citizens rejected the prohibition of slave trade as it was not important to the citizens. This forced some states to reject the move by the government to declare slavery an illegal business in the country (Barden, 2002). The leaders inserted a clause in the constitution that stated that the importation of slaves was not prohibited in the states, but a tax would be imposed on the importation of slaves.


For instance, in 1989 parker from Virginia inserted a clause that stated that people importing slaves would be charged ten dollars per person. In 1774, the congress stated that the importation of slave was not allowed in all the states in the country. Some of the states including Delaware, Virginia   and Maryland did not allow importation of slaves. The states enacted certain laws in their constitution that prevented slave trade. Similar laws were enacted in northern states, but the laws did not prevent practicing slave trade in other countries. In this case, the merchants in those states were allowed to carry out slave trade in other regions. The states wanted to maintain slave trade even after declaration of independence. For instance, North Carolina did not prevent importation of slave trade. The state claimed that the prevention of importation of slave trade was not wise instead the state imposed heavy taxes on importation of slaves (Newman, 2001).


Most of the states in the south wanted to maintain slavery because it had a lot of advantages to the residents in the states. During this time the southerners depends on agriculture. Most of the people in the south cultivated cotton and this forced them to look for cheap labor. The farmers relied on slave trade to get cheep labor. The slave trade enabled the farmers to get slaves from Africa and other parts of the world and use them as workers in the plantation farms. Studies have shown that the number of slaves in the south between 1775 and 1789 was large due to slave trade.


Most of the slaves who were captured from Africa and Europe were brought to work in cotton plantation farms in the south. The slaves were forced to work against their will without any freedom and   reward. Only a small number of the slaves were able to be free, but most of the slaves   were brutally enslaved and oppressed. The slave owners were allowed to own a large number of slaves and they found ways to ensure the slaves remained industrious and obedient to them. For instance, they enacted laws that prevent the slaves from becoming free and rising into power (Barr, 2004).


The use of slaves in the cotton plantations led to economic growth in the south. This is because most of the farmers were able to reduce the production cost and produce more. It also led to growth of industries in the south. In addition, the states in the north also had slaves. The number of slaves in the north was not large as the number of slaves in the south. This is because most of the people in the north were not farmers and they did not rely on cotton plantation. Instead, the slaves were used in the industries. The difference in interest between the people in the states that supported slavery and those which did not support slavery led to the debate on slavery. The states that supported slavery were forced to enact laws that encouraged slavery in the region. This is because slavery was beneficial to them. The states that did not support slavery were forced to develop laws that abolished importation of slavery as slavery had negative impact on the states and human rights (Barr, 2004).


Further, in 1784, the congress passed an act that allowed children born in various states in the country to be released at the age of 25 years. Most people in the country used Negros children as slaves and this affected the children right. The act prevented such children from being misused (Hine, 1990).


Moreover, slavery was a political issue between the southern states and the northern states between 1775 and 1789.Most of the politicians from the southern states and northern states fought hard to enact laws that favored their interests. For instance, politicians from the southern states wanted to retain slavery so they passed laws that supported slavery. On the other hand, politicians from the north enacted laws that were aimed at ending slave trade in the country. The leaders proposed amendments to laws that encouraged slavery. For instance, some of the laws allowed slavery states to import slaves at a certain fee. The Northerners wanted the laws to be changed as they thought slavery was illegal as it violated human rights. As a result of the slavery issues in the country, the congress reached the first agreement in1787 at a “constitutional convection of the 1787”.The topic became a controversial issue again in 1819  as the south wanted the north to join it (Rodriguez, 2007).


Conclusion

Slavery was a controversial issue between 1775 and 1789.This is because people in the country had different views about slavery. Some of the states did not want the constitution to be amended to eliminate slavery. On the other hand, some states supported the elimination of slavery in the country as it violated human rights. The states enacted laws that prohibited slavery in the country. For instance, the laws allowed children in the country to be released at the age of 25 years and slavery to be abolished. Other states established laws that encouraged slave trade at a certain fee. The laws imposed a tax of 10 dollars per slave. The differences affected the development of the constitution and formation of the country.


 Reference

Barden,C.Slavery in the United States.Mark Twain Media,2002

 

Barr,G.Slavery in the United States. Heinemann Library,2004

Hine,W.C.Slavery in the United States.Jackdaw Publications,1990


Newman,S.P.Slavery in the United States.Scholastic Library Pub,2001

Rodriguez,J.P.Slavery in the United States: a social, political, and historical .PublisherABC-CLIO,2007

 

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