Sunday, September 3, 2017

Slavery and the Making of America by A. G.

  In James O Hortons “Slavery & Making of America” lecture he explains how slavery was complex, wide spread, and long lived. During this period of time labor was needed throughout British Colonial North American and that’s where African slaves came in. They came by the boat load shipped from Africa and landed in the Caribbean’s, North America, and South America. Only 6% went to North America but those who made their journey to the Americas almost 90% came from Africa. James O Horton explains how some might think Slavery was short-lived but, this is a misconception because Slavery lasted more than 250 years and was long-lived. Many might also believe that Slavery was a Southern Institution but, this is another misconception because slavery was also big in the North as well. Slavery was complex because Africa was the second largest continent and many number of slaves came from here. In West Africa, they sent captives of war to the Europeans as slaves and were given weapons for trade. This intensified the struggles in West Africa’s coastal nations. The significance of slave labor was that slave labor saved British America because they didn’t have enough settlers to control all the work which made slave labor a major need during this time. The slaves were being mistreated and denied freedom and one of the biggest contradictions was that Thomas Jefferson wrote Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Jefferson had 150 slaves during this time and contradicted himself because these African slaves weren’t free and didn’t have rights. North America was the first to start abolishing slavery and Vermont was the first to completely abolish it. Some places like New York had abolished it but still worked their way away from it gradually. The south took longer because a crop called cotton was introduced and the south needed more slaves to produce and pick it. Cotton was much more valuable during this time than any other crop so slaves were needed in high demand throughout the south.
            The purpose of this lecture from James O Horton was to educate some who didn’t know the real truth about slavery. Slavery really isn’t taught that much in school so I believe he tried educating students and educators in a way. The point of view he gives us is from an educator and a voice easy to listen to without confusion but also from an African American that relates to something like this to this day as in rights being taken away. So, we heard his voice of what he learned from his education. The voice that was missing was of the slaves from this time such as a journal or some sort of writing. Also of those who traded slaves and the settlers in the British Colonial North America trying to figure out a way to survive with all that land before and after slavery was introduced to them.
            The in-class sources helped to understand slavery more during this time also the input from other classmates was a huge help. In class, we discussed how he lecture and gave his information to us in a chronological order. The information from James O Horton was easy to understand and he kept this lecture interesting. The lecture and work in class enhanced my understanding because we realized slavery wasn’t only an institution of the south but more of the world. Also, it helped me understand that the Africans weren’t kidnapped from their home but that Africans that were help captive during wars were sent to the Europeans as slaves and got guns in return. Just the lecture that was given by Horton was very informative and he made his points about how complex slavery was and the misconceptions of slavery during this time. Also, he provided a timeline of everything that happened from how slavery began, when it started, and when it ended.
            We drew a lot of historical questions in class but one of the questions that caught my ear was “Is African Slavery the same as Native American Slavery”. Our conclusion was yes, that it is the same as native American slavery because they help war captives and had them as slaves then let them go when they didn’t want them anymore. It’s weird how the two-different kind of people do the same even though they live far from each other and couldn’t really copy their actions but still do the same as having war slaves. We discussed about why the boats stopped going to the Americas at one point in the map timeline. Our conclusion was that importation of slaves was illegal but in the states moving slaves around and selling was legal. There was also a question of “who was the first to abolish slavery”. And we concluded that it was Alexander Hamilton but I thought it was someone else so I finally got the right information. I still have some questions left. One is “What happened to the Native American slaves during this time?” And “On the timeline chart of slaves from 1500-1875, why did Europe have the lowest numbers?” My last question is “Why couldn’t they just bring more settlers to British Colonial North American instead of slaving Africans?”