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Slavery In American History

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Autor:   •  December 20, 2010  •  1,410 Words (6 Pages)  •  929 Views

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When it comes to some important events before 19th century in United States, we must mention the Abolition Movement, which began in 1930s, and ended with Emancipation Proclamation. Just like our textbook---A Short History of the American Nation, ÐŽoNo reform movement of this era was more significant, more ambiguous in character, or more provocative of later historical investigation than the drive to abolish slavery.ÐŽ±

Abolition Movement was not only meaningful to itself, that is, slavery was abolished and black slaves were freed, but also meaningful to the whole nation, because it exerted much influences on American society and economy. In this paper, I will firstly present a brief introduction about slaves in North American. Secondly, IЎЇd like to unfold a systematic picture of Abolition Movement. Finally, I will summarize this movementЎЇs influences on America from two aspects, economy and society. Then, I will come to conclusion of this paper.

Slavery in North American

The history of slavery can be traced back to a much earlier time. During the colonial period, there were a lot of Europeans in North American working as slaves. They wanted to seek better life in North American, but they were sold to colonial rulers as slaves. We all know that selling black slaves was the most vicious dealing in human history. However, the huge quantity of profits of selling black slaves became the main source of capital accumulation for Americans.

In 18th century, black slaves had decisive influences on development of south plantation. Since the products of south plantation were sold in world market, so the plantation economy was the commercial production of capitalism. Plantation owners got a lot of benefits from slavery, so they kept it and developed it.

Abolition Movement

Just as saying goes, ÐŽoA coin has two sides.ÐŽ± Everything has more than one aspect, and nothing can always go smoothly. It seemed that slavery developed very well in south, and southerners wanted to keep it, but it could not to say that all classes in America had the same ideas as southerners, such as blacks and northerners. Where there is disagreement, there is conflict. With the pace of history, people who fought against slavery started the Abolition Movement. First of all, letЎЇs come to social conditions.

ўс. Social Conditions

Every event takes place under some certain society. Abolition Movement is no exception. First, it is known that America passed the Bill of Rights in 1789, which allowed American citizens to have democratic rights, but blacks and Indians were not included. This document admitted the existence of slavery in America.

Second, with the development of both north and south, there were more and more conflicts between them, because they had different systems. North was of capitalism, and south was of plantation. Here, IЎЇd like to mention the most serious event, which sharpened the conflict between south and north, that is, the Missouri Compromise. This was a heated political battle between slave owners of south and capitalists of north. The focus of their conflict was Missouri should become a slave state or a free state. This issue related to the balance of south and north in Senate, so both sides wanted to be more powerful.

This political conflict, rising from the establishment of Missouri State, was the reflection of political contradiction between different economical system, and it cannot be reconciled.

After negotiating for many times, south and north reached the compromise at last. The result was, ÐŽoMissouri entered the Union as a slave state, and Maine, having been separated from Massachusetts, was admitted as a free state to preserve the balance in the Senate.ÐŽ±

Missouri Compromise was an important event in American history. On the one hand, it enhanced the southern ownersЎЇ flame to suppress and exploit black slaves. On the other hand, it woke up blacksЎЇ awareness of fighting for self-freedom.

Third, we must mention the international environment at that time. At the beginning of 19th century, with the requirement of capitalism and black slavesЎЇ fighting, Britain and France declared to abolish slavery and stopped to selling slaves respectively in 1833 and 1848. After independences, many countries in South American began to abolish slavery. It seemed that slavery had no environment to exist. This situation affected the slavery in America, and encouraged the Abolition Movement.

ўт. Economical Conditions

Compared with quick development of capitalism in north, the plantation economy in south was extensive farming, of agricultural economy, which based on exploitation of black slaves.

Since new ways of production of capitalism in north developed quickly, the plantation in south became a huge block in the development of capitalism. From the point of historical course, capitalist employment would undoubtedly instead of slavery. The existence of slavery in south hindered the use of machine, new farming ways and fertilizer. Economy in south was still in original state, and it lag behind. Also, plantation owners forbid black slaves to learn any technology, because they were afraid of blacks rebelling and fighting against them. Due to lack of technology, there were large areas of wild land in south. For all these reasons, southern industries were far behind.

Due to slaves were forced to work, productive relationship blocks the development of productiveness. So plantation system gradually became decadent, and it could not live up to the development of society. Slavery prevented the further development of American capitalism, so inevitably it would be collapsed in the course of history.

ўу.Public Condition

Both south and north began to influence publics by issues, books, speeches, and so forth. South wanted to establish slavery nationwide, while north wanted to collapse slavery and establish capitalism.

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