Antebellum Slave Culture Paper

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Antebellum Slave Culture To begin explaining the antebellum slave culture it would best to start with the meaning of antebellum: belonging to the period before the war especially the American Civil War according to Merriam-Webster dictionary. The word slave means a person held in servitude as the chattel of another (Merriam-Webster). The slave culture in Africa begun when Africans enslaved other Africans if they were criminals serving a punishment or captured in war, however, the treatment of these slaves were far less cruel then American slaves (American Journey, 2009, p. 13).
The Portuguese started to market Africans as free labor at a price in the 1430’s (American Journey, 2009, p. 12). The Portuguese discovered selling slaves as a means to make a profit. The African businessmen began selling their own people to European consumers this initiated what is known as the slave trade (American Journey, 2009, p. 12). According to American Journey (2009), in the 1500’s the Spanish and Portuguese started producing sugar in the Atlantic Islands (p. 47-48). The Portuguese at this time discovered Brazil and industrialized it into the world’s major sugar producer (American Journey, 2009, p. 48). The Spanish began to import African slaves for labor with the sugar production on Santo Domingo (American Journey, 2009, p. 48). According to McGill (2009), businessmen from Portugal and Italy had setup a triangle effect were European consumer’s ship their products to Africa in exchange for slaves (p. 1). Then the slaves were sent to the New World where they were traded for American products in which those products were sent back to Europe (McGill, 2009, p. 1).
In 1619 the first record of 20 African indentured servants arrived in Virginia, on a Dutch ship. The term indentured servant meant a person signs and is bound by indentures to work for another for a specified time especially return for payment of travel expensive and maintenance (Merriam-Webster). After a period of time it was difficult to recruit indentured servants to arrive in North America and another problem was that they would be freed. Indentured servants were both black and white race. In the 1640’s the West Indies lead in controlling of Africans as slave labor according to American Journey (2009).
By time the 1700’s African slave trade from Africa was abundant because labor was needed to work the land. However the conditions that Africans traveled to America were unspeakable. According to American Journey (2009) African leaders began to kidnap their own people to sell into slavery. The slaves were examined for fair health, and then they were branded and placed on the ships tightly packed (Atlantic Slade Trade, p. 1). This 2-3 month journey is called the Middle Passage meaning the force voyage of enslaved Africans across the Atlantic Ocean to Americas (Merriam-Webster). This voyage was terrible from the foul odor of blood, body waste and vomit in which they had to remain in (American Journey, p. 72). So not only the Africans slaves were ripped from their native home and family in Africa this was the environment in which they had to endure.
According to American Journey (2009) slave codes declared slavery to be lifelong condition that passed from parents to their children. In 1705, Virginia declared slave codes according Slave Codes on Wikipedia stating “All servants imported and brought into the Country...who were not Christians in their native Country...shall be accounted and be slaves. All Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion...shall be held to be real estate." Another slave code stated that "If any slave resists his master...correcting such a slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction...the master shall be free of all if such accident never happened" (Wikipedia Slave Code). By the time of 1722 the difference between indentured servants and slaves were first the slaves were easily recaptured if escaped just by the color of