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Full scale slave rebellions as those planned by Nat Turner, Denmark Vessey, and Gabriel Prosser were not common among the African American community in the United States in the nineteenth century. This was due to a lack of hope among the slaves in the South, slave patrols, the fact that less than five percent of the slaves could read, fear of brutality by white masters, and lack of equality for blacks in the legal system. The underlying theme for lack of black resistance was southern paternalism!
Many slaves had a lack of hope for freedom. Most slaves were located in the south where slavery was accepted. To reach freedom they needed to head north where blacks could live freely. Also most slaves were born into slavery and were raised to accept it. But the north was hundreds of miles away. So most slaves just accepted their lives, with little or no hope of every being freed or revolting. As Angelina Grimke explains "I have seen it! I have seen it! I know its horrors that can never be described. I was brought up under its wing. I witnessed for many years its demoralizing influences and its destructiveness to human happiness. I have never seen a happy slave. I have seen him dance in his chains, it's true, but he wasn't happy. There is a wide difference between happiness and mirth. Man cannot enjoy happiness while his manhood is destroyed. Slaves, however, may be and sometimes are mirthful. When hope is extinguished they say, "lets us eat and drink for tomorrow we die"(Document 13-8). This shows their lack of hope for freedom and shows why resistance was not realistic. The slaves had a destiny to be slaves, from the cradle to the grave. "The child born of a slave was destined to remain slave" (Out of Many pp.303).
The fact that most slaves were able to have families and feel a sense of community also lessoned resistance of slaves. "Masters encouraged marriage among believing made the men less rebellious "(Out of Many pp.306).
Whatever dreams that slaves had; most that they would never escape; this also greatly reduced African-American resistance in the south. White Southerners were determined to prevent Black resistances. They mostly used slave patrols to stop and prevent blacks from escaping. "Slave patrols were a common sight on southern roads. Any Black person witho
Quotes talked about in this paper
- William Henry Trescot, a farmer in the South Carolina in 1850, "Slavery informs all our models of life, all our habits of thought, lies at the basis of our social existence and of our political faith"
Names mentioned in this research paper
Nat Turner, white, Vassey, Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vessey, Black, Angelina Grimke, Gabriel Posser, William Henry Trescot, Harriot Beecher Stowe, Vessey, Prosser,
Locations referenced in this report
United States, Charleston, Denmark, Richmond, VA, South Carolina, Greece, Rome,
Keywords talked about in this report
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