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American slavery began as the result of individuals from Africa being
brought to the United States and sold. It began in 1619 and continued
until the end of the Civil War in 1865. Many of the early civilizations
in the Americas depended upon slaves to help them get things set up and
organized. By the end of it though there were more than four million
slaves to be found on American soil.
It is believed that during the span of time that slavery was taking place
in America, more than twelve million Africans were brought in as slaves.
When you add in the number that were also born in the Americas of slave
mothers that is quite a huge number of people who’s lives were affected
by this form of forced servitude.
As the settlements began to grow and land was used to harvest food,
tobacco, and cotton, the use of slaves continued to increase. They were
brought in to do all of that work. They only expense related to this free
labor for the owners was for food and logging. Of course they were very
scarce when it came to offering food to them. They slept in cramped
quarters as well to keep these overhead expenses to a minimum.
Slavers were forced to do the work on the plantations without
complaining. Even those that were tired and weak due to illness or a lack
of food had to keep up the pace. If not they were beaten. They women were
forced to have sex with the people who owned them or anyone they wanted
them to. They would force slave men and women to have sex so that they
could reproduce. The idea was that the offspring would be slaves and
therefore they wouldn’t have to buy more of them in the future.
Slavery in the Americas isn’t one of our favorite memories. In fact, it
is one that may in our history look back upon with shame. There are
documented accounts from the first person of such slaves and their live
in the Americas. Even after slavery was abolished they still suffered
many injustices. Perhaps this is why there are so many programs in the
United States today that do benefit African Americans.