American History in the 18th Century

American History in the 18th Century
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Title of the CourseInstructor’s NameDateIn the American history, the era of the colonial regime that occurred in the 18th century led to the birth of a republic. The American nation became independent and had the power to form new policies. The Great Awakening was a major phenomenon in the American character making, and it swept over many colonies. This developed political structures that were democratic and independent in different states, which led to the formation of a constitution in order to deal with national issues. However, the constitution did not aIDress the issue of slavery in the nation. To deal with this issue, a draft was made, which was a bill of right that dealt with human rights and the issue of slavery.There was an enormous emergence of slavery from Canada to Brazil. It is believed that slavery had existed before the emergence of the Europeans. The form of slavery that the European introduced was the shipping of people from West Africa in order to work for them in the various areas of interest. In this regard, there emerged two different kinds of slavery that were dependent on two things, which were the need for labor and the nature of the society. Slavery in Barbados was different from the slavery in Massachusetts. This brought different views to slavery after its occurrence. In areas with diverse plantations like Barbados, people in these regions concentrated on farming various types of produce. For this reason, a lot of labor was required in order to make and maintain high profits and the available labor was not enough. Putting this into consideration, the British switched to black slavery because local native slaves were weak in nature. Sugar production in Barbados was linked to black slaves. It is noted that Brazil had 41 percent of all slaves from the African continent.There has been a misconception that migrants to religious communities had moved in the regions they inhabited to practice their native religion freely. The reality was that the people were looking for ways in which they would make money. This was largely experienced in New England, Massachusetts Bay. The Dutch did not have many plantations although they relied partly on maintaining available slaves. This was because there were fewer immigrants in the colony, and this caused a terrible labor shortage. For the Dutch, getting into slavery practices was logical because they already played a big role in the development of slave trading. The slaves were introduced to all kinds of work that included clearing land, building roads, and herding cattle; others exercised skilled labor like shoe making and carpentry. In Virginia, a plantation economy emerged that had its roots on the tobacco trade. During this time, all regions seemed to support slavery even though slaves differed according to society. For example, there were “societies with slaves” whereby the slaves were not many, and some were employed laborers. The other areas had “slave societies” in which slaves were more in number than the whites. Consequently, the treatment of the black slaves differed just as slave dependence differed. This led to the emergence of distinct slave systems that would later bring serious friction to the slave masters and the people in general.An Englishman by the name of George Whitefield became a very popular preacher who successfully ignited revival meetings that brought the first Great Awakening in America. This made him among the most influential men in colonial America. His ideology and opinions were regarded seriously, especially in places of religious tendencies like New England. A book was later published, and it had three letters aIDressed to the citizens of Virginia, Maryland, South and North Carolina. Though he himself advocated for slavery, he dictated that God had issues concerning the treatment of slaves. He never dealt with the issue of slavery directly, but he laid a platform on which many would later come and spring from. Whitefield concentrated on the slave treatment by the slave owners, especially the masters who claimed to be of a Christian faith.At this stage, several people started to castigate slavery openly, and the Pennsylvania’s Quaker movement spearheaded this campaign. This group started to oppose slavery, gradually. Elihu Coleman was a man who came out clearly concerning the abolishment of slavery, especially in the case of those slaves that had converted to Christianity. Coleman wrote several books and pioneered for slavery abolishment movements. Most of his ideology was not based on rational arguments, but on biblical interpretations. Even though several people lamented about slavery, most of the population saw it as good, especially after considering the wealth gained through the slaves. This produced and outweighed the ideas and moral objections some individuals had. Slavery abolishing was still many years to come in such kind of society. Because economic plantations depended on slaves, the critiques of slavery were from other regions. After these movements, the people were not really cut to the core because it was evident that there was no much impact. Though these movements never achieved slave abolishment, they objected several parts of black slavery. A perfect example was the keeping of slaves who are Christians. Independence had not gone to the northern colonies, and this meant that there was much dependency between the south and the north in terms of produce. Hence, this required slaves to maintain prosperity and trade.A legal code was refined by many colonies in order to regulate slavery within the republic. Black slave trade had started and accelerated to high levels within the various colonies. There is no accurate knowledge concerning the number of black slaves shipped into America from the African continent. The River Rebellion transpired in 1739 and had occurred during the time of harvest in South Carolina. The rebellion struck fear in the southern colonies because the slaves in these regions were great in number. Except Charlestown, the highest population of black slaves was in New York. The issue of slavery became major during the revolutionary war. The Crown offered freedom to slaves who would fight the Loyalists, and this made many slaves attain their freedom. This issue came to the fore after the establishment of a constitution in the nation. The delegates never really debated the central issue of slavery, but they always agreed to amend the bill for the provision of a way to end the slave trade. The northern states were the first to start ending slavery hoping that the southern states would follow suit. However, with cotton gin invention, the economies of slavery were transformed drastically.
BibliographyEdmund, S. Morgan. American Slavery. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2003.Lepore, Jill. New York Burning. New York, NY: Vintage, 2006.