Perception Of Slavery Essay

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The Perception of Slavery
“By 1750 nearly a quarter of a million people lived as slaves in eastern north America--more than 21 percent of the colonial population,” (Jones, Wood, Borstelmann, May, Ruiz, 2011). These slaves were transported to North America mainly on ships traveling on what is know as the Middle Passage. Arriving slaves would be sold at auctions to the highest bidder and would be forced to work for their new owner. The perception of slaves themselves, the labor those slaves performed, and how those slaves were treated by their owners varied greatly at the time. Slaves were regarded as hard workers in the eyes of some people. “...even after one adjusts for the fact that on large plantations slaves generally worked on better land than free southern farmers and had more equipment, large plantations were still some 34 percent more efficient than free farms,” (Fogel, Engerman, 1974). That is why a majority of plantation owners prefered to own slaves over hiring free workers. Black slaves in particular were praised for their great work ethics and were even considered to be more efficient in that fields than white laborers. On the other hand some people believed that black slaves were not equal to white Europeans. The main thought behind this belief was that blacks were
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Kenneth Stamp claimed people, “who were concerned about the welfare of slaves found it difficult to draw a sharp line between acts of cruelty and such measures of physical force as were an extricable part of slavery,” (Fogel, Engerman, 1974). Slave owners wanted their slaves to be as productive as possible so in some cases punishments were given to slaves that did not meet the standards. The punishments could obviously lead to mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Physical issues would be a concern as well taking into account the scarce availability and reliability of medical care during that

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