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Continuing Effects of Slavery on American Society

ContinuingEffects of Slavery on American Society

Thehistory of the United States is rooted in the enslavement of aparticular human race by another. Indeed, it is often difficult totalk about the history of the United States without mentioning theslavery that blacks had to undergo in the country. For quite a numberof years, explorers would travel to African countries in an effort toobtain slaves who would work in their farms. Scholars have noted thatslavery started after the creation of Jamestown in the middle of the17thcentury (Buell23). Jamestown had been created with the sole intention of increasingmonetary profits. Settlers in the town realized that tobacco was anincredible source of monetary profits as long as they could managethe farms appropriately. In essence, gaining the highest amount ofprofits necessitated reduction in the amount that the settlers spenton labor, which could only be done through the enslavement of otherpeople. This triggered the exodus of explorers from America andEurope to the western coasts of South America and Africa so as tocapture slaver, who would be forced to work in distasteful conditionsin cotton and tobacco plantations (Buell 56). There was an increase in the number of slaves that were neededas more land was taken up by cotton and tobacco plantationsespecially in the western region. Nevertheless, the enslavement ofother human beings (and, consequently, slave trade) was abolished19thcentury. In spite of the abolishment of this phenomenon, its effectscontinue to be felt close to 200 years later.

Oneof the key effects of slavery on the American society is thepersistent mistreatment and discrimination of races that areconsidered inferior or a minority. As much as slavery was officiallyabolished in the 19thcentury, there still exist some stereotypes pertaining to theinferior nature of blacks or African Americans when compared to theirwhite counterparts (Buell34). This is especially with regard to their mental aptitude. African Americans have continued to be seen as incapable ofundertaking tasks that their white counterparts can accomplishespecially in white collar jobs. Instead, they are relegated to bluecollar jobs, which mostly require physical strength (Turley45). This discrimination has its roots in slavery through which theUnited States went.

Inaddition, slavery may be credited with increased societaldisintegration. Scholars have noted that there exist negativeattitudes among even the whites depending on the magnitude of slaverythat took place in the different regions. Scholars have specificallytaken note of the fact that white southerners who currently live inthe Cotton Belt where plantation economy and slavery were dominanthave a higher likelihood of expressing increasingly negativeattitudes towards African Americans compared to their fellowsoutherners living nearby but who had fewer slaves (Turley48).As much as these negative attitudes may be mutual betweenAfrican Americans and whites, the key effect is primarily thecontinued conflict between the two. There have been numerous cases ofracial conflicts not only in the political arena but also in otheraspects of the society.

Inaddition, slavery had a negative impact on the African Americanfamilies. Scholars have noted that the weakened black family has itsroots in slavery. This is especially with regard to the destructionof the African family unit via the intrusive sexual exploitation ofwomen alongside other evil designs propagated by the slave masters.These designs essentially evolved into an extremely volatile moralcode for African Americans or black people. Consequently, more than70% of children by African Americans today are born to single mothersin the United States (HortonandLois33). Scholars have noted that the number is an extremely astonishingresidual impact or effect of slavery (HortonandLois39). It goes without saying that such immense proportions of childrenborn to unmarried women is undoubtedly the wrong model for a secureand stable future for African Americans especially considering thefact that there exists a direct connection between absent dads andincreased likelihood that a kid would drop out of school and even goahead to have a criminal record.

Similarly,slavery has been shown to have an impact on the politicalinclinations and attitudes of Americans depending on the areas inwhich they live. Scholars have shown that the variations of politicalattitudes among contemporary human beings across counties in theAmerican south may have their origins traced back to the prevalenceof slavery more than 150 years ago. It is worth noting that whitescurrently living in the Southern counties that experienced highslavery in the 19thcentury have a high likelihood of identifying as Republican, expressresentment towards African Americans and even oppose policiespertaining to affirmative action (HortonandLois39). After the Civil War, whites in the southern counties were facedby economic and political incentives for reinforcing institutions andnorms that were racist in nature. This gave rise to politicalattitudes that were racially hostile, which have, since then, beenpassed down across generations. The sudden enfranchisement of blackswas seen as a threat to the white control over the local politics.Consequently, the whites in the previous slaveholding counties hadthe incentive to encourage a violent and intimidating environment soas to disenfranchise them. Counties in the Southern exerted immenseefforts for violence and repression, which needed and supportedsocial norms that relegated blacks to inferior levels than whites. Asmuch as institutionalized slavery necessitated the support of whiteeconomic and political elite, the widespread violence and repressiononly required that entire communities be involved. The involvement ofentire populations essentially led to the entrenchment of attitudesin the political arena that supported repression, with RepublicanParty seeming to b more favorable to the same.

Inconclusion, the history of the United States is rooted in theenslavement of a particular human race by another. In spite of theabolishment of slavery and slave trade in the 19thcentury, its effects continue to be felt close to 200 years later(Morgan47). One of the key effects of slavery on the American society is thepersistent mistreatment and discrimination of races that areconsidered inferior or a minority. African Americans have continuedto be seen as incapable of undertaking tasks that their whitecounterparts can accomplish especially in white collar jobs. Instead,they are relegated to blue collar jobs, which mostly require physicalstrength (Morgan49). In addition, slavery had a negative impact on the AfricanAmerican families. Scholars have noted that the weakened black familyhas its roots in slavery. This is especially with regard to thedestruction of the African family unit via the intrusive sexualexploitation of women alongside other evil designs propagated by theslave masters. Similarly, slavery has been shown to have an impact onthe political inclinations and attitudes of Americans depending onthe areas in which they live. It is worth noting that whitescurrently living in the Southern counties that experienced highslavery in the 19thcentury have a high likelihood of identifying as Republican, expressresentment towards African Americans and even oppose policiespertaining to affirmative action.

WorksCited

Buell,Tonya.&nbspSlaveryin America: A Primary Source History of the Intolerable Practice ofSlavery.New York: Rosen Central Primary Source, 2004. Print.

Horton,James O, and Lois E. Horton.&nbspSlaveryand the Making of America.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Print

Morgan,Edmund S.&nbspAmericanSlavery, American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia.New York, NY [u.a.: Norton, 2003. Print.

Turley,David.&nbspSlavery.Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishers, 2000. Print.