February 27, 2013
Slavery was not born in the United States when the country was in its infancy. Slavery has been part of human life for thousands of years and every great civilization has used slaves in one form or another. What made slavery such an issue in the early 19th century in the United States? Some could say it was the fact European countries had already outlawed slavery. Some could say because no other slavery country had been divided on the issue of slavery. The United States was divided on the issue of slavery, the North was anti-slavery because there was little to no need free labor, however the south depended heavily on slave’s free labor to maintain high profits and high levels of production. In early America, slaves were a minor portion of the labor force and later became a vital asset to the economy. The slave population in America had a dramatic increase from the late 1700s to the early 1860s. Expansion of the country, invention of the cotton gin, and greater demand for cotton were all contributing factors to the changes in the slave population in early America. However as the country was expanding westward, slavery became the main issue. Which states would allow slavery and which opted out of slavery? These issues the federal government took on and began overriding state laws, all these issue pushed the country into civil war. However, what part did slave narratives play in gaining support of the banning of slavery? How far did this topic reach, did it remain in the United States or did the world spread to other countries creating pressure on the United States to change its policies on slavery. This essay will examine three narratives written by or about slaves that lived through these struggles in the United States. The first book is fiction, were as the other two are written by slaves about the same time the difference is one author is a...