Friday, June 3, 2011


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As we look back in history, we can see many of the events that have brought a curse upon African Americans. One of which was the trading of slaves. Slaves in the 1800’s were taken from Africa, or many times, sold to the slave traders by rival tribes, and brought to America. Once they arrived in America, if they arrived in America, which brings out the point of the horrible conditions in which they were shipped to America, they were put up on display at the slave auctions. At this time, slave owners, or those wishing to purchase them, would make bid’s on them, as if they were just property. Slaves were not only purchased for money, but were also bartered for rum. The slave traders would sail from the Caribbean, where they got the rum, to the coast of West Africa, and they would then give the natives there bottles of rum, in return for the slaves. How many slaved were braught like this is hard to tell but according to

“The Atlantic slave trade operated from the 1500s to the mid-1800s. No one knows how many Africans were enslaved during this period. The most reliable estimates suggest about 10 million blacks” .

Along with the trading of the African slaves, came the denial of two of the founding promises of our nation. That was the denial of freedom, and the denial of equal rights. Slaves were not free; they were just property, owned by the plantation owners and private families. It didn’t matter that there were more of them, because they were looked upon as dumb. They were never seen as equals; therefore they were never given equal rights. In the time of slavery, slaves weren’t allowed to learn to read, or write. They weren’t allowed to live there own lives. It was this lack of freedom, which also brought about the denial of their chance for equal rights. And even with the abolition of slavery, it still took many years, of hardships, and trials to even begin receiving their equal rights for which many Americans take for granted.

The economy of the early American Colonies was primarily agricultural. Particularly in the south were plantation were constructed to yield large amounts of tobacco, rice, and sugar all which had a high demand in England. These plantation were worked by English indentured servants, however toward the end of the1600s there was a big push to use African slaves. This change was brought on by a combination of rebellious English workers, affordable African slaves, and African slaves farming abilities. Fist of all, the problem the plantation owners had with English indentured servants was they were not slaves. After a specified amount of time they were to be set free and given land. During the 1600s thousands of indentured servants flocked to these plantation with the hope of acquiring a piece of land. When they found that their was not land to be given they started to revolt. Nathaniel Bacon led one of the most famous of these revolts.

Custom Essays on slavery

In 1676 Bacon and a thousand other frustrated indentured servants led a revolt in Jamestown. They attacked the Indians and chased the governor, William Berkeley, out of Jamestown. Although Bacon died and the revolt failed, they cause fear to the colony plantation owners. Plantation owners in didn’t want to bring more indentured servant to their colony to led a bigger revolt. This caused them to look towards Africa as a means of getting a less threatening workforce.

Another major factor that contributed to the growing slave trade with Africa was the Royal African Company losing its African slave trade monopoly in 168. This allowed anyone to enter into the profitable slave trading business. Slave prices were dramatically lowered do to this new competition. Also with the increase of slave traders came the increase in the number of African slaves brought to America. In the decade after 1700 over ten thousand Africa slaves were imported to the American colonies.

Lastly, one of the most profitable crops grown in the southern American colonies, especially Carolina was rice. The English colonists were inexperienced in rice cultivations; however they found that West Africans had been growing rice in Africa for hundreds of years. Colonists in Carolina would pay a lot of money for an African slave experienced in growing rice.

Not only did African slaves know how the grow rice they also had the rare ability to be able to work in the fields. However, rice is grown in large swampy fields prone to mosquitoes carrying malaria. The African slaves were native to a similar climate they developed immunities to the disease. This made them better able rice growers, which were vigorous sought after by the colonial plantations.

Once the slaves started having children, the demand for slaves dropped while the market for selling slaves and their children went up. This was another way they kept slaves in slavery. If a person was born to a slave, he or she was automatically born into a life of slavery. The owners would also keep their slaves ignorant. Slavery is one of this country’s most debated topics. In America’s history slavery and economics go hand in hand? The issue of slavery has been debated between the North and South since before the colonization of the thirteen colonies.

The debate over the economic advantages of slavery in the South has raged ever since the first slaves began working in the cotton fields of the Southern States. The economic systems that dominated slavery reflected the transitions in Americas economic system. Initially, mercantilist views characterized the conduct of the slave trade. Between 1774 and 1804 all the northern states undertook to abolish slavery. At the outbreak of the Revolution, the United States contained about half a million slaves. Between the North and the South, on the eve of the Civil War the country held almost 4 million slaves, confined entirely to the South.

Southern slaves were viewed in economic terms of labor to capital. While the ownership of slaves was a source of pride in plantation owners, this interdependence created a vicious cycle of rashness that caused slave owners to become irrational.

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