Sample History Research Paper on Slavery in America

Ever since the ancient days, the topic on ‘slavery’ has remained to be a controversial global issue. Slavery was a common historical aspect of the American society during the 18th and early 19th centuries. This was an inhumane practice where people were tasked under arduous conditions while being subjected to sufferings and free labor. Even though there is no amount of money that can possibly equate to any person’s life, it was easy for a slave to be sold to another person during the olden days. However, amid the tremendous technology, economic and social progressions, slavery still remains to be a daunting problem in today’s digital era. [1] It is for this reason that the act of slavery continues to receive a lot of heated backlash from several religious bodies and human rights activists seeking alleviate people from the excruciating pains caused by slavery. This is because slavery converts an individual from being regarded as a normal human being to being viewed as a private property. Aside from being subjected to a multitude of mistreatments, slaves are also denied their right to freedom. In worst scenarios, most slaves have ended up losing their lives as a result of mistreatment or murder.

For many years, slavery was a common practice in various parts of the world.  The wave of slavery hit Americans during the devastating periods of World War II. The act of slavery took root in America during the colonial period where both Whites and Africans were put as slaves by the colonial masters. However, after the post colonial era, the White community in America sought to acquire a cheap source of labor needed for their country’s economic growth.  It is for this profound reason that the African community was forcefully migrated from their own countries to America where they were subjected to slavery.  Majority of people who were subjected to slavery in America were Africans. The rapacious ambitions for America to gain significant economic status led to the quick progression of the act of slavery. This form of slavery led to significant division of communities along two racial lines namely; White and Black people. [2]  The black community who were mostly imposed to slavery suffered great brutalities and mistreatment from their White masters. Most slaves were forced to endure severe cruel form of treatment simply because there were no laws put in place to protect slaves.

Majority of Africans who were brought to the New World against their will were sold as permanent slaves to White landowners. Most Africans were thereby subjected to till and farm on tobacco and cotton farms in America. The invention of cotton gin led to the commencement of freedom rights movements that aimed at abolishing slave trade in America. The continuous persistent plea by the Civil Unions eventually bore results with more than 4 million slaves regaining their freedom. [3] In order to prevent further abolishment of slave trade, most white owners became less strict on their slaves. They reduced the initial stringent measures by allowing their slaves to marry and make a family. As more and more slaves bore children, so did the slave masters benefit with an increased population of slaves. The slave masters gained more power to dictate the lives of the slaves. In addition, the slave masters became more opulent as they bought and sold more slaves at a higher cost. The rebellious slaves faced the wrath of their masters who would brutally punish them to death. The alarming cases of brutality against the African slaves raised a myriad of questions and concerns on the subject of racism and discrimination. This later on catalyzed to the formation of a wide range of African movements that sought to alleviate their fellow men and women from the jaws of slavery.  The rise in inhumane treatment against the African slaves led to an unprecedented growth in the number of rebellion movements that were championing for the rights of the African community.

In the year 1860’s, the antislavery movement gained more support from renowned authors namely; Harriet Beecher Stowe and William Lloyd Garrison. Through their books, both authors freely expressed their opinion on slavery and why the slavery era needed to be put to an end. The antislavery rebellion movements were also backed up by various religious denominations. One of the most notable religious groups that fought for an end to slavery was the Protestants. According to the Christian doctrines and values, the act of slavery was regarded slavery as a sinful act. Through active creation of antislavery awareness, the public was enlightened on the negative attributes of slavery. Slavery was said to be an oppressive, regressive and primitive aspect of life that had not contributed to any form of economic growth. Additionally, some of the liberal antislavery northerners constructed an Underground Railroad System as a leeway to allow elusive slaves to migrate from slave land to North America where slavery was not practiced.[4] The development of Underground Railroad system gave hope to many hapless slaves who had escaped from their slave masters in pursuit for a new life with more freedom and rights. North Americans efforts to end the despicable act of slavery increased pressure to South America’s slave masters as they were required to release all the slaves unconditionally. After Abraham Lincoln was elected as the president, South America’s slave trade business was disbanded and immediately put to a halt. 

Even though Abraham Lincoln early objective was to maintain the sovereignty of United States, he was faced with a weighty issue of ending slave trade. Abolishment of slavery became a priority for the President after getting too much pressure from the military, self-emancipation of Black American people and the anti-slavery liberal movement from the North. [5]As a result, on 22nd September 1862, the former president Lincoln issued a maiden emancipation declaration on the abolishment of slavery.  On 1st January 1863, former president Lincoln officially declared all the slaves within any State in the USA territory to be set free from oppression and subjection. This declaration led to the start of a journey to completely end slave trade in America. New laws meant to protect Africans from the heinous acts brought about by slavery were amended and implemented in parliament and the society at lager.

The idea of slavery began in an era where most countries had not yet attained their full potential on economic growth and development. Slavery however ended up as a huge encumbrance to both the slave masters and the slaves. Majority of the slaves who worked in cotton and tobacco farms in America played an integral role in the initial growth of America’s economy. The slave masters contributed to the rapid growth of international market by selling important farm products such as; tobacco and cotton. Aside from directly shaping the country’s economy, the Africa slaves also shaped America’s politics and culture. America grew exponentially to be a superpower country due to their economic growth status that was made possible after the continuous increase of government revenue contributed from slave trade. Even though slavery indirectly contributed to America’s supremacy, this form of trade left a wake of death, anger, and destruction in America.

Bibliography

Adeleke, Tunde. UnAfrican Americans: Nineteenth-century black nationalists and the civilizing mission. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

Blum, Edward J. Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865–1898. LSU Press, 2015.

DeConick, April D. “The Countercultural Gnostic: Turning the World Upside Down and Inside Out.” Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies 1, no. 1-2 (2016): 7-35.

Money, Duncan, and Jason Xidas. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution. CRC Press, 2017.

Van Horn, Jennifer. ““The Dark Iconoclast”: African Americans’ Artistic Resistance in the Civil War South.” The Art Bulletin 99, no. 4 (2017): 133-167.


[1]Money, Duncan, and Jason Xidas. The Problem of Slavery in the Age of Revolution. CRC Press, 2017.

[2]Adeleke, Tunde. UnAfrican Americans: Nineteenth-century black nationalists and the civilizing mission. University Press of Kentucky, 2015.

[3]DeConick, April D. “The Countercultural Gnostic: Turning the World Upside Down and Inside Out.” Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies 1, no. 1-2 (2016): 7-35.

[4]Van Horn, Jennifer. ““The Dark Iconoclast”: African Americans’ Artistic Resistance in the Civil War South.” The Art Bulletin 99, no. 4 (2017): 133-167.

[5]Blum, Edward J. Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865–1898. LSUc Press, 2015.