Slavery Essay

1423 words - 6 pages

Slavery is something that should have never happened, but unfortunatly it
did. This

project is about the history of slavery in America, and the terrible unfair
reality that slaves had to

deal with.

When the Meso American, or the Middle American natives first encountered
the

Europeans, they were very familiar with slavery. Among the most advanced
civilizations in

Central America was the Aztecs and Maya. In these places slavery, although
not necessary, was

common. The Aztec used the the same methods for getting slaves as other
cultures. Slaves were

prisoners of war, criminals, debtors, and poor people selling family members
into slavery. The

most common reasons for becoming a slave was poverty, or not being able to
pay taxes to the

empire. Slaves in Aztec were not mistreated and were fed, housed and
clothed by their owner.

Slaves could marry, and have their own property, just as others could.

In Aztec, slavery was a reversible condition and if you were once a slave
you could

become a normal citizen again. Slaves could gain freedom by running away
from their masters

at the market, and if they made it to the rulers palace they were freed. No
one could stop the

slave or they themselves became a slave. Also they could buy their freedom,
or marry their

owner. Slaves were often used in sacrificial ceremonies. The removal of
the heart was a

practice of the Middle American civilization, the most common of their
sacrifices.

The Maya was a civilization who were known for architecture, artwork, trade
networks,

writings, mathematics, and the calendar. Like the Aztec, the Mayans aquired
slaves in the same

ways. In Maya, slavery was hereditary, the children of the slaves would
automatically become

slaves themselves. Slaves preformed hard manual labor for households. They
carried

merchandise on their backs, paddled canoes, gathered supplies, and pampered
their masters. The

slaves of an important person who died may be killed and buried with the
owner to become his

slave in the next life.

Two separate economies developed in northern and southern America. In the
north,

where there are many small farms and mills, slave holdings were small, and
most of the slaves

were domestic servants in coastal cities. In the south there was a
cash-crop economy based on

plantation. The north was creative in the development of the southern
economy because of its

domance in the slave trade that brought African labor to the colonies. The
trasatlantic slave

trade between Africa and North America lasted less than 170 years, even
though slavery existed

in the colonies and the new United States.

The constitutional delegates were able to reach a compromise on the issue
of slavery

representation. They decided that for the purpose of representation, each
slave would count for

three-fifths of a person. Several individual states would be allowed to get
rid of slavery in their

own time and in their own ways. The African slave...

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