Assignment 2 – There Is No Such Thing as Rest
12 November 2011
The historical events that provided the foundation of slavery with the U.S. first began when Columbus came looking for the New World, he brought slaves with him. In addition, slaves accompanied other explorers such as Ponce De Leon and then other British bound ships continued the import of slaves. “By 1808, when the trans-Atlantic slave travel to the U.S. officially ended, only about 6 percent of African slaves landing in the New World had come to North America.” (Wahl, 2010) Slaves helped build the economic foundations of America by helping in the production of crops such as corn, tobacco, rice and cotton to include the invention of the South’s cotton gin. They also work in industrial type jobs and were used in domestic help as well. The English common law formed the foundation for slavery in America governing policies and matters such as slave status, slave crimes and master ownership.
After the American Revolution in 1783, many colonists began to associate the domination of slaves to their own oppression by the British and to call for slavery's elimination. The new Constitution that was established after the American Revolution War didn’t however ban slavery; rather it counted a slave for taxation purposes guaranteeing the right to reclaim any person detained to service or for labor which basically was a rephrasing for slavery in the Constitution. In addition to the Constitution and with the large portion of black slaves residing in the South, southern law largely identified skin color with slavery. Even if they were Native American, your skin color dictated your status. Whites were rarely ever considered to be slaves. Until the 13th amendment that was adopted in 1865, slave rights, debates over slave movements and expansion, abolishment of slavery and civil wars continued throughout history. “Virginia was the only state to pass a statute that actually classified people...