Orlando Patterson's Theory on Slavery

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Slavery is a legal ownership of a person just like a property. They are either captured or purchased or born to a slave. The owner has a legal right on his slave to get labor without giving any compensation to the slave except food, clothes and shelter. Slaves do not have any personal freedom and cannot refuse to work or leave their master.


American Slavery: In America, slavery began with the European settlers. From seventeenth century to late nineteenth century, slavery was prevalent in the United States. Most of them were of African origin who were enslaved by whites, American Indians and also by Free blacks. Their treatment was totally inhuman. Violence was considered a legal right of the owner and in many plantations the overseers whipped the slaves if they did not comply. Their movements were restricted, and escapees were brutally punished. Apart from the physical torture, their family members could be sold off anytime as per the master's wish.
There were some incidents where the slaves killed the master or the overseer. Sometimes they retaliated by burning the barns or killing the horses or slowing down the work (Genovese, 1967)1 But these were few isolated incidents. Mostly they were treated as an expensive investment and apart from food, clothes and shelter, they were also provided medical care. From 1750's, the awareness regarding slavery as a social evil started to spread. Voices were being raised for abolition of slavery. In 1808, the import of slaves was stopped legally, still it continued till 1860. Slaves provided free labor that was a major factor in the growth of industries in the US. ...
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