American History / Slavery In The United States

Slavery In The United States

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Autor:  anton  16 December 2010
Tags:  Slavery,  United,  States
Words: 1480   |   Pages: 6
Views: 765

Throughout this course we learned about slavery and it’s effects on our country and on African Americans. Slavery and racism is prevalent throughout the Americas before during and after Thomas Jefferson’s presidency. Some people say that Jefferson did not really help stop any of the slavery in the United States. I feel very differently and I will explain why throughout this essay. Throughout this essay I will be explaining how views of race were changed in the United States after the presidency of Thomas Jefferson, and how the events of the Jeffersonian Era set the stage for race relations for the nineteenth century.

"Nobody wishes more ardently to see an abolition, not only of the trade, but of the condition of slavery; and certainly, nobody will be more willing to encounter every sacrifice for that object." (Thomas Jefferson to Brissot de Warville, 1788. ME 6:428) Thomas Jefferson said this to Brissot de Warville in 1788 explaining his view on slavery in the United States. This was both positive and negative for Thomas Jefferson, in many ways. He was very positive in the abolition of slavery in the United States because Jefferson says he would do anything to stop slavery, and the slave trade in the States. Thomas Jefferson had a theory that the United States could use part of the coast of Africa, and it would be used as an establishment where African American who were in the states would be moved. Jefferson sees this as the best way to deal with the slavery issue. Jefferson thinks this is a good idea because when the African Americans got back to Africa they would take the things they learned wile they were enslaved here and us them back in Africa. Thomas Jefferson saw this as retribution to the African Americans for all that they were put through in the States. As you can see Jefferson did not approve of slavery at all, he wanted to abolish it all together, but he didn’t want to give his slaves their freedom. This is where people say that Thomas Jefferson is very hypocritical, and wrong.

On March 2, 1807 Thomas Jefferson signed a bill that would stop the slave trade on January 1, 1808. The slave trade was not only a problem with the government it was a problem morally for everyone part of it. Jefferson was the one who really got the wheels turning in the issue of abolishing slavery in the United States. In 1790 a law was passed that prohibited any US citizen from participating in the slave trade with foreign ports. Also another law was passed in 1794, and it said that no one can give parts, help fix, ro help any vessels that are used for slave trading. As you can see form all of these laws that before during and after the Jeffersonian era the United States was trying to put a stop to slavery without going through a civil war.

In 1787 the United States made up the ordinance of 1787, this banned any slavery north of the Ohio River. This made the north the place to be for runaway slaves. The north was a place where all runaway slaves can go and be free. This was very good for the slaves and the northern colonies because of the strong moral obligations that northern settlers had against slavery. Also another good thing that congress passed in favor of African Americans was the 3/5 ordinance. This said that slaves could vote but if five slaves voted than it would only count as 3 votes. This was good and bad for African Americans. It is good because African Americans are getting their say in the government, but it is very bad because their votes are not worth the same amount as white settlers. When the war of 1812 broke out racism was once again a factor in the war. When the war broke out the southern settlers did not allow African Americans to join their military. This was not good because this showed once again that African Americans were still oppressed and looked down upon.

Throughout Jefferson’s reign as president of the United States he did many good things that led to the freedom or Slaves. He also practiced slavery and that totally goes against what he was preaching. I feel that what Jefferson did during his presidency definitely outweighed the bad things he did. Jefferson started the abolition against slavery in the 19th century, and starts to change the minds of many men with the issue of slavery. The Jeffersonian era helped change many peoples views about slavery, and helped change Americas views on slavery.

Bob Walsh

Essay #2

Mr. Mace

Nov 20, 2006

In the movie Amistad there was a lot of racism shown throughout the movie. This movie was a great example of how people must change because of how horrible slavery really was. Throughout this essay I will be explaining how race is seen through 1939-1942. I will also be explaining how John Quincy Adams closing speech shows that our country will be going into civil war.

Amistad is about a group of slaves that have been kidnapped from Africa and are put on a boat and shipped to Cuba where they are given fake names and fake documents saying they were from Cuba. This is very illegal at the time and this is how the slaves become free. On their travels to the Americas the slaves revolt and kill all of the crew except two men. They told them to sail back to Africa, but they do not and they sail to the America. All of the slaves are than put back in chains and are put into prison until their trial. The way the movie shows the African people is less than human. They are chained up at all times and are not treated as humans at all.

This movie shows a lot of different views of African Americans in the United States. When the slaves got to the states they were immediately imprisoned, and since they couldn’t speak English they were at a distinct disadvantage. In court they couldn’t speak for themselves and this made it very easy for the prosecutors to convict them of killing all of the crew for no reason. This would have been the outcome if Baldwin (played my Matthew McConaughey) didn’t come to the Amistad slaves rescue. He fought and proved that these two men who survived the slaughter on the boat kidnapped them From Africa. Baldwin found some documents that said that the slaves were form Africa and they took a boat named the “Tecora” and took them to Cuba to be processed as legal slaves.

Throughout the movie this court case reached the Supreme Court. This itself showed the bias our country, and our country’s courts felt were when it came to the issue of slavery. This showed that our country was so hateful toward African Americans that they would do anything to put these Africans into prison for nothing.

At the end of the movie John Quince Adams (played by Anthony Hopkins) reads off an amazing speech. He says in it that if these men were white and their captors were British he wouldn’t be standing fighting for his freedom. He would be standing there with so many metals and so many award that he couldn’t stand. We would tell our children of his story and he would be praised for it. He than comments on the south and their fondness of slavery and the hatred for the constitution “all men are created equal” “inalienable rights," "life, liberty.” He speaks of James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and our fear of asking them for guidance. He speaks of America and how we have to overcome our prejudice and fears against Africans. He says, “Give us the courage to do what is right. And if it means civil war? Then let it come. And when it does, may it be, finally, the last battle of the American Revolution.” This obviously means that this country had to put a stop to slavery even though it will lead to a civil war. He knows that slavery would have ripped our great country into two sides, one for slavery and one against slavery. He knew that our county would not have survived it we had slavery in it and through his speech he shows it.

Throughout this essay I explained the movie Amistad and how race relations were seen throughout the movie. This movie really helps people see how horrible it was for African Americans back in 1839-1842. The movie showed the bias that this country had against people from Africa and how horrible our country treated slaves. Through John Quince Adams speech it stated how the problem was going to be fixed, and that was through a civil war.


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