Thursday, May 31, 2012

Essay on Slavery in America

Essay on Slavery in Colonial America

By the end of the eighteenth century the topics of human rights and freedom grew more and more popular in the United States, the land filled with a “young” nation fighting for its freedom and equality. At the same time “the land of the free” had scarce human resources able to work hard, which was an absolute necessity for the enrichment of the landowners of the newly inhabited country. The nation had to acknowledge the practical necessity of slavery as the rewarding and fairly inexpensive way of making huge capitals. This duality of existence – the combination of slavery and the principles of freedom and equality – resulted in the massive evidence of the African Americans claiming for their fundamental rights in different ways.

Some of the U.S. slaves had the same status back in Africa, however, their rights and the overall perception were totally different at their home country – in the United Stated the challenges of the capitalism changed human slaves into cattle in the eyes of the traders and the landlords.


Escaping slavery – the central form of labor both in the North and the South for several centuries – became the main aim for the African Americans of the time. Later, with the times of the Revolution the concept of the full citizenship was born in the minds of those who fought for freedom. The first goal – the abolition of slavery - was officially ratified in 1863, while the second – the granting of the citizenship - was documented only five years later. In reality, the fight for the real freedom and equality had just begun. The end of Reconstruction in 1877 signified the return to the inequality and racial prejudice, making basis for the later emergence of the Civil Rights Movement that signified further notion of freedom for the African Americans.

The fight for slavery abolition resulted in the emancipation of the huge portion of the American inhabitants and the change of attitude to humans that are all “born free and equal”, according to the basic principles of the U.S. Constitution.

The abolition of slavery was a dream for the African Americans that were brought to the America as slaves or born into it for many generations. Slavery in the United States was forced by enormous economic challenges, backed by country official legislation and the connivance of the church. The United States were destined to realize the meaning and the price of freedom largely due to the African Americans’ active fight for their basic human and civil rights. Thousands of people were depleted of their basic freedoms and dignity due to the difference in color and status. The change of this status that officially began in the late nineteenth century, lead not only to the transformation of the perception of the equality and freedom of the African Americans – it has forced a change in attitude to women’s rights, leading to women suffrage and further emancipation, making strong basis for the further acknowledgement of gender, racial, disability and sexual orientation equalities. Ever since the Fifteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude”1, the African Americans fight for the rights gave a chance to the real, unconditional freedom in the land of the free. This goal lead to further development of the civil rights movement, resulting in the acknowledgement of the document that would enable more equality despite gender, race, color, disability or religious belief. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 that extended voting rights and outlawed racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and in public accommodations, was another victory of the African American ancestors that fought for freedom back in the nineteenth century.

It would be wrong to claim the fight for the equality is over, because even almost half a century later, practical issues of discrimination remain, although these cases are incomparably fewer than back into the times of the formation of the United States. The civil rights movement achieved impressive results in the fight for equality and it is important to study the African American History as it apparently constituted an impressive part of the history of the United States, starting from the early colonial days to the current events. The African American History has also formed the basic principles of the human coexistence within the country, creating the key laws on human rights and freedoms of the United States of America, which will surely determine the future of the nation.
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