Slavery

Go to Names, terms and dates and practise the terms on Quizlet.

Who fought for freedom in the history of the USA?

  • the settlers for independence from Britain;
  • Native Americans;
  • the slaves for freedom from their masters.

How did slaves arrive in America?

They were carried there on ships from West Africa. African tribes were usually at war wth each other. Those who were captured were sold as slaves. Some tribal leaders gave “slavery” as a punishment. Others were simply kidnapped.

After being sold as slaves in America, families were separated – men, women and children were all sold as slaves and often worked for different masters on different plantations.

Some slave masters were very cruel – they would beat their slaves and gave them very little food. These slaves lived among really bad conditions. They tried to escape but hose who were captured were mutilated (e.g. feet cut off) or killed.

12 Years a Slave – Cotton Field Song:

The beginning and ending of slavery:

  • first slaves were brought to Virginia in 1619;
  • slavery officially ended by the proclamation of the 13th Amendment, ratified in 1865: it abolished slavery within the whole USA

12 Years a Slave – Bottom of the River

HOMES

  • some slave masters and plantation owners supported the slaves with housing, others had to build huts on their own
  • houses were made of wood and some stones and adobe, had thatched roofs and usually lots of people, up to 10 slaves had to share a hut
  • very little furniture, beds were made of straw and rags; pots were either given to them or also made by themselves -> received cornbread, porridge and the fatty part of the meat
  • better conditions for those who worked directly for the masters (these slaves didn’t work on the fields), they were even allowed to have a small garden for growing vegetables
  • they wore ragged clothes made of rough and coarse material, they were given a pair of shoes and several other items annually
  • depending on the cruelty of the master slaves were given a day-off per week (usually Sundays), but others had little free time of few days-off per month

SYMBOLS of slavery and the black movements for freedom in the USA

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • the Underground Railroad
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Martin Luther King Jr’s speech – “I have a dream…”
  • spirituals

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