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Race and racism (evolution - Coursework Example

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Race and racism (evolution

An example is Pedro Alonzo Nino who was a pilot of a ship in the fleet led by Christopher Columbus and was believed to be African (Smedley 89). Native Americans on the other were less exploited as slaves due to the fact that many of them got ill quite often and succumbed to European diseases. They were also perceived to be brutal and many would escape since they knew the land better than anyone else. This left the planters no choice but to take advantage of the vulnerable Africans and turn them into slaves. It is in 1661 that Virginia was granted a formal slave status by Queen Elizabeth which allowed slaves to be bought and sold just like any other commodity. From this time Africans’ status dropped drastically and they were consequently believed to be inferior to all other races. This legality to trade in slaves facilitated and maintained this trade for centuries. There was the perception that the whites were more superior to all other races while the rest were termed as colored people. The whites in America even disregarded immigrants from Europe. They claimed to be biologically different from all immigrants regardless of origin. This perception created rifts in the society which caused the Americans to dominate others. The New World perpetuated slave trade because they had vast lands which were productive and the climate was favorable (106). This followed a massive expansion of plantations in Georgia and South Carolina which translated to increased production levels of rice and tobacco. These slaves did a great deal of work which the white servants had refused to do for example draining of swamps. West Africans came in handy especially in rice growing plantations since they were familiar with the kind of work required as their mother lands grew rice. Slaves worked for 15 hours on a daily basis especially during the harvest season. One overseer was required to supervise a minimum of 20 slaves doing back-breaking work and when a slave lazed around, the overseer was supposed to whip them. The fact that slaves were cheap to buy and maintain saw planters buy them in masses so as to plant and cultivate more (281). As earlier indicated slaves used to work for many hours per day which translated to bumper harvests and therefore booming plantation business. Many plantation owners like the Byrd family from Virginia turned to be quite wealthy. Such families came together to form elite classes of planters in the southern states who ensured that slave trade remained because it was a lifeline to their wealth. Some slaves also supported the trade owing to the fact that some, especially the overseers, lived better lives than the one they left in Africa. Q2 America is comprised of people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. When America was organizing itself as a country many people streamed in as immigrants from all over the world but majority from Europe. All these people on their arrival to the United States found a society strictly stratified hierarchically on the basis of ethnicity (Sacks 55). These hierarchies defined ones social and economic status thus limits had been set in regards to what one can or cannot do. The white settlers are the ones who set these hierarchies so as to protect their interests and to limit others from exploiting existing resources. The African-American population especially before the civil war was condemned to slavery. European immigrants like the Irish people worked as laborers or supervisors in farms or small ...Show more


Professor: Module: Q3 Slave trade in America has its roots back in 1619 with evidence from an article by John Rolf that twenty slaves had been bought at a Virginian coastline on August 31st. America was then termed as the New World…
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