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Slavery in America

Slavery in America

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Slavery in America

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  1. Slavery in America From Colonial America to Antebellum U.S.

  2. Earlier Forms of Slavery • Slavery existed in many places and forms throughout human history: Greeks, Romans, Slavs, Muslims, Africans, Europeans • Differed from place to place, time to time • Majority of slaves before Atlantic Slave Trade: • Slaves captured in wars (POWs) • Payment for debts (could sell self into slavery) • Usually temporary situation, at least generationally (status of slave not inherited from parents) • Ways of gaining status for some slaves (some social mobility) • African slavery existed before Atlantic Slave Trade • POWs, agricultural work, some soldiers, some gained high status • Most were of low status or debtors • Could marry non-slaves, children were free

  3. Environmental And Geographical Variety of Africa

  4. Spread of Islam in Africa up to Middle Ages

  5. Trade Across the Sahara • Trade brought west African societies into contact with Berbers, Arabs, other African tribes • The importance of camels – necessary to cross desert • Huge camel caravans to west Africa • West African rulers and kingdoms converted to Islam: used Islamic law, institutions, and writing • Link to Trade and Spread of Islam in Africa (Art)

  6. Islam & Slave Trade • Muslim demand for slaves of all races: not religious, for political power and wealth • Variety of uses for African slaves: for household, military, and labor • Different than Atlantic slave trade which was racially- and plantation-based • Slave caravans from west Africa across Sahara • Muslims also traded in slaves from east Africa – coastal ports on Red Sea and Indian Ocean carried slaves from African interior

  7. Empires of Medieval Africa

  8. West African Kingdoms: Ghana • Ghana – “land of gold” • Strong kingdom before Islam • Controlled trade of gold & salt • Berber traders converted elite to Islam • Then Berbers adopted militant form of Islam – followers were called Almoravids • Conquered Spain, converted Ghanaians • Art of the Almoravid Period • Trans-Saharan Gold Trade

  9. West African Kingdoms: Mali • Mali (1200-1450 CE) • Mandinke People • Successor to state of Ghana • Upper Niger River • Good agriculture & lots of rainfall • Strong Rulers: Sundiata, Mansa Uli, Mansa Musa • MM Pilgrimage to Mecca 1324 CE • Very rich & powerful – visited kings of other nations • Timbuktu became center of learning & culture (p. 134) Mosque in Djenne (Mali)

  10. Empire of Mali (1200-1450 CE)

  11. Ife West African Bronzes • 12th-15th-century CE • Symbols of power and religion • Connection with spirit world • Power of kings • To reach spirits • Over people • Link to images • Link to videos

  12. Effects of trade on West Africa • Connections to other cultures • Spread of Islam • Slave trade • Growth of African merchant class and cities • Consolidation of kingdoms to control trade • Power used to control trade and people: enslaved non-Muslims and unprotected • Example, Ife bronzes: show kings AND captives

  13. European Exploration & Labor Systems • Colonization & Empires based on exploitation of native and African populations • Spanish system = encomienda labor system = mining and agriculture by natives (slaves/serfs) • Portuguese, French, and English = enslavement of Africans • Creation of plantations in Caribbean, No. and So. Americas to grow staple crops: sugar, coffee, tobacco, cotton • Racial system of slavery eventually developed – Europeans rationalized only blacks could be slaves

  14. Slave trade transported slaves throughout Atlantic World – majority of slaves outside U.S.

  15. Atlantic Slave Trade • Europeans tapped into existing slave trade in Africa • Atlantic slave trade increased demand for slaves exponentially • Atlantic demand dramatically intensified and expanded slave trade within Africa • Slave trade greatly affected African societies • Increase power of kings and elites • Created new trader elite on coast – multilingual, multi-ethnic, married Europeans, mixed-race children • Affected political boundaries and states • Led to increased warfare and slave raids, conducted with Euro. guns • Created thousands of refugees • Created African dependence on foreign goods, preventing indigenous economic development still seen today

  16. Slavery and Industry • Often people think of slavery and industrialization as two separate processes • But there are major links and connections: • Time periods • Goods • Methods of production • Machinery • Methods of labor control • Emphases on efficiency and productivity • European middle classes involved in both: merchants, bankers, shipping, plantation owners • Slavery and industrialization connected in major ways – reinforced each other, affected the development of each other

  17. Slave Captives • Slaves were usually captured by African slave raiders • In early years of Atlantic trade, kings or traders sold slaves that were on hand • As trade deepened and expanded, demand for slaves increased, and raiders had to go further into the interior for supplies of slaves • Usually went up one of the major rivers in canoes • Raided villages • Link to clip of slave capture from the film Amistad • Raiders took slaves to coastal forts or factories run by Africans or mixed-race trading families • Slaves were usually kept in pens on the beach • Many slaves died en route to forts and on beaches before ever setting sail for the Americas

  18. African Slave “Factory” on African Coast

  19. West African Slave Fort or “Factory”

  20. Tools of the African Slave Trade

  21. Slave Fort and Boats

  22. Slave Fort, Ghana, 1973

  23. Slave Ship Middle Passage: efficient and controlled transportation of goods AND murderous enslavement and exploitation of fellow humans

  24. Below-decks of Slave Ship, 1845

  25. Atlantic Slave Trade, 1701-1810

  26. Cuban Sugar Mill Slavery and Industry: use of new technologies, machinery, labor control for more efficient production of consumer goods

  27. Sugar Plantation

  28. Sugar Mill

  29. The Merchant Ship: Industrial? • A factory at sea • Discipline • Control • Hierarchy • Economic profit • Engaged in Atlantic trade

  30. Consumption, Production, Finance • Relationships between new forms of industry and new forms of consumption • New forms of popular consumption fueled and reinforced the development of industrial production – slave and free • New forms of banking, finance, insurance to fund and secure Atlantic trade • Examples: sugar plantations, rum, coffee, tea, tobacco, cotton • Conclusion: most inhabitants of the Atlantic world were connected to slave systems in some way – not equal ways, of course

  31. The Coffee House:meeting place, banking, dealing, consumption

  32. New Forms of Consumption • Cheap sugar, textiles, guns, rum • Not just for royalty anymore • Growing middle-class conspicuous consumption: • Cakes, sugary treats, for example • But also working-class consumption • Coffee houses – places to talk politics • Sugar – cheap calories for factory workers • Cheap goods for Atlantic Trade • New consumption patterns tightened relationships, both positive and negative

  33. North American Slavery • Distinctions: • General differences between North American and Caribbean/South American slavery • Differences by size of plantation • By region – northern slavery, upper vs. lower south, western slavery • By crop – tobacco, rice, sugar, coffee, cotton • Changes over time (for example, after Am. Revolution; after end of Atlantic slave trade; after LA Purchase) • Link to clip on slavery in the Carolinas (from the PBS series, Slavery and the Making of America (2005)

  34. Slaves in the Original Thirteen Colonies (1750-1860)

  35. Slaves as Percentage of Southern Population (1750-1860)

  36. Slaves as Percentage of Southern Population (1750-1860

  37. Pirates • What do pirates represent? Link to National Geographic article on Blackbeard’s ship, recent archaeological work on the underwater wreck Blackbeard the Pirate

  38. Blackbeard and North Carolina • Blackbeard hijacked French slave ship La Concorde off Caribbean island of Martinique; set slaves free • Ship had been used for at least 3 slaving voyages, around 500 slaves each • 61 died on Middle Passage on last voyage • 16 crew members also died • Blackbeard plundered ships in triangle and Atlantic/Caribbean trade

  39. Atlantic Resistance to Power? • At their most radical: • Pirates represented rare form of interracial lower-class solidarity • Whites, blacks, and people from all over the Atlantic fought Atlantic industrial and slave systems together • But….white resistance to power, authority, and exploitation usually took other forms: • Problem of racism - usually divided white working-class from slaves and free blacks in Atlantic world • White workers defined themselves as not slaves • Whites gained prestige, small level of comfort & consumption, wages for not being slaves

  40. Popular Resistance • There were a variety of popular responses by people around the Atlantic in times of economic change • During feudalism (peasants vs. lords) • Reused during transition to industrial economy • Used to attack or undermine authority of masters (of different kinds – slave masters, industrial owners, middle class)

  41. Mumming and Masquerade Mumming was tradition of masquerade in feudal and modern Europe Usually around harvest or Xmas time A night when it was ok to challenge lord’s or master’s authority Lord or master expected to share wealth or abun-dance, “the treat” Mummers showing up at the master’s door

  42. Luddites in England Luddites reused tradition of popular local protest and masquerade to protest new industrial system Luddites smashed new industrial factories and machines to protest control and power of new industrial system Often worked at night, in masks, costumes, under cover of darkness Signed protest letters as “Ned Ludd”

  43. Modern Mumming in Philly Modern Mummers Day Parade in Philadelphia every New Year’s Day

  44. History of Public Resistance and Performance • Context of owner surveillance and control – attempts to limit gatherings in groups, fear of slave revolt • Slaves, free blacks, post-slavery black Americans cele-brated Emancipation Day as reminder of continued fight for racial, social, and economic equality • Claiming public sites or spaces when they did not have any formal power or rights • Examples • John Canoe or Jonkonnu • Pinkster and Negro Election Day • Public religious, political, musical expression • Often poked fun at whites through dress and mimicry

  45. Everyday acts of resistance – What are they talking about?

  46. Slavery in Age of Revolution • Revolutionary and Enlightenment beliefs had great impact on slaves and slavery • Ideas of liberty, freedom, equality, natural rights circulated throughout the Atlantic world • Adam Smith – free labor and markets are best • Lord Dunmoore – slaves would be freed if they fought for Brits during Am. Revolution • Some upper south owners freed slaves after Am. Revolution • Northwest Ordinance, 1787 – slavery banned from NW territory • Gradual Emancipation in northern states in late 18th- and early 19th centuries

  47. Frederick Douglass and the Slave Experience • In what ways did Douglass resist the power of slaveholders and slave society?