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Topic: Slavery in America
Slavery used to be an important resource in America, and the first workers were imported to Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. There the African slaves were used to aid in the tobacco and cotton productions. There were many different opinions on this subject, but slavery was here to stay, at least for the next couple of centuries. Around the 1860s, the bloody Civil war broke out and Abraham Lincoln, as the president, ratified a law which would eventually free the nations four million slaves. Five years later, the North won the Civil war, the slaves were freed and slavery was abolished. Even though black people were free at last, life would not be easy for them.
Slavery had always had its critics in America, so as the slave trade grew, so did the opposition. The slave labor enabled the colonies to become so profitable, that in 1660 England’s King Charles the second established the royal African company to transport humans from Africa to America. When England finally outlawed its slave trade in 1807, America relied on its own internal slave trade. By 1860, millions of slaves were still moved and sold in the colonies, but no new slaves were imported into the US after 1808. In 1820, the Missouri compromise banned slavery in all new western states, this concluded mostly the southern colonies. The country began to divide around the 18th century over the North and South issue.
When Abraham Lincoln was elected for president in 1860, he convinced many southerners that slavery would never be permitted to expand into new territories acquired by the US. He also declared the emancipation declaration during the war, in 1863. Though Lincoln’s antislavery views were well established, the central Union war aim at first was not to abolish slavery but to preserve the United States as a nation. Eventually, the confederate surrendered in 1865 and the Northside won. The 13th Amendment officially abolished slavery, but freed blacks’ status in the post-war South remained problematic.
Opinions were based on your beliefs and how the world around you evolved. In the North, people were against slavery, but in the South, they thought something else. In the South, people were taught to think that slavery was a natural concept. The defenders of slavery meant that they could not end servitude, considering that slave labor was the foundation of their economy. They also meant that freeing the slaves would lead to anarchy and chaos, and that slavery had existed throughout history and was a common state of mankind. The Northside didn’t rely on slave work as much as the Southside did. The Northside did not like slavery and meant that it was heartless. Other groups (religious groups), thought that it was gruesome and inhuman, while others were busy thinking about their beliefs.
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The life of an African-American, after the Civil war, was a world transformed. There were no more of the brutal beatings and the sexual assaults, the selling and forcible relocation of family members, the denial of education, legal marriage, homeownership and so on. Congress enforced laws that promoted civil rights and political rights for African-Americans. The three most important laws the Congress passed was the Amendments. There was the thirteenth amendment which ended slavery, the fourteenth amendment which gave African-Americans the rights of American citizenship, and the fifteenth amendment which gave black men the right to vote. Life after the years of slavery would also prove to be difficult. The South established laws known as the black codes, which meant that they had no right to own land, there were own laws for punishments, they had no rights to carry weapons, no rights to vote and it was illegal not to have work. Most of the African-American, though free, lived in severe poverty.
Slavery began in America when the first slaves were brought to Virginia in 1619. The slaves would aid in the production of crops such as tobacco and cotton. Slavery was of central importance to the South side’s economy. The differences between the South and the North would provoke a big debate, that would tear the nation apart in the gruesome Civil war. Slavery ended after the North won the civil war in 1865 after Abraham Lincoln ratified the thirteenth amendment law. There were many opinions, especially in the South. The southerners meant that slavery had always been around and that it was natural. The Northside meant that it was not right, while other religious groups thought it was horrific. After the Civil war, problems would still appear for the freed slaves. Despite that the beatings, the sexual assaults, and the selling were long gone, life would not be easy for the African-Americans. The South made new laws, known as the black code. It indicated that «negroes» were not allowed to do certain things such as own land, or even carry weapons. Although it was a new law and a new era, it would not change peoples hearts.