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Development Of The U.S. Began With Slavery

1323 words - 6 pages

When slavery was first practiced in the early American colonial period, it was purely for economic use. The use of slaves in sugar, tobacco, and cotton production brought a great deal of profit. These regions were located within the equator, where the climate was hot, humid and apt for agriculture. Slavery was implemented into this harsh agriculture as a way to produce with cheap labor. As time past, industrialization began, and influenced the non-agricultural regions of America. Hence, two distinct types of economies emerged, creating a friction between the two regions. Those who remained dependent on agriculture, needed slavery to economically survive. Those who were industrialized did ...view middle of the document...

But the Indians knew the terrain well and could escape easily. The supply of Africans seemed endless, especially by 1641 when Massachusetts legalized chattel slavery. Connecticut and Virginia followed suit. Virginia passed a law stating a child born to a slave would also be a slave. They also passed laws rescinding the custom of giving black indentured servants their freedom.During the development of the thirteen colonies, a great diversity set in early. The birth of the United States of America was a democratic experiment. A government of, for, and by the people had not existed since the great Greek culture. The world believed democracy would inevitably lead to anarchy. Our founding fathers, most notably John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, were determined to prove skeptics wrong. A majority of colonial representatives felt the need for independence due to the constant political irreverence from Britain. The original Declaration of Independence was the document to gain this freedom. It called for freedom from British rule and the abolition of slavery. But as the political stand off with the British became a secession issue, the South would hear nothing of it. They would rather stay loyal to their oppressive government than cooperate in an act that would completely change their way of life. They were strong believers in states rights. The North was forced to make a decision. In order to keep a unified nation, the abolition of slavery was deliberately absent from the completed Declaration of Independence.An important precedent was set with the passage of the Northwest Ordinance, which forbade slavery in the regions that later corresponded to the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. Taken together with a large amount of northern emancipation measures originating in Vermont in 1777, the Northwest Ordinance established a pattern of slavery in the southern states, and making it illegal in the northern states.In 1788, the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It forbade Congress from prohibiting the importation of slaves for the following 20 years, and counted slaves as three fifths of a person for the purpose of population totals. In 1808, President Thomas Jefferson reminds everyone of the ratified Constitution and a law is passed ending slave trade. But ending international slave trade doesn't put an end to slavery itself. It continues to grow by natural increase and within the South, a major internal slave trade begins. Again, this created an uneasy compromise between the southerners and the northerners regarding slavery.The technological growth of the nation interfered with the attempts to keep the country together. As time went on, the United States divided into two separate nations. The Industrial Revolution gave northern living its own culture, as the development of machinery took hold. This Revolution also assisted the south in continuing its own institution of slavery. In 1793, the invention of the cotton gin, by Eli Whitney,...

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