“The Experience Of Slaves Who Worked In The Fields Was Typical Of All Slaves' Pultney Grammar School Year 9 Essay

2124 words - 9 pages

“The experience of slaves who worked in the fields was typical of all slaves.”
How accurate is this statement? Refer to a range of slave groups in your response.
There were numerous experiences that all slaves had regardless of their situation. Slavery existed in the Americas from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Slaves were utilised for the most part to make or harvest materials, like sugar and cotton to export to European countries. Life for slaves was overwhelmingly unforgiving. Aspects of life that were similar to all other slaves were family relationships, housing, nourishment, laws and disciplines. Although, many parts of a plantation slave's life were uncommon and notably worse than different slaves. However, domestic slaves also had specific aspects in their lives that were distinctive and different to other slaves. And runaways who fled their owners had an extraordinary experience contrasted with different types of slaves, depending on whether they escaped successfully or not.
There were many experiences that all slaves encountered regardless of their circumstances. Essentially, all slaves shared many experiences like having hardly any human rights. These experiences are broken down into four categories. Family, home life, hardships and religion. They were all significant parts of every slave’s life no matter what situation they were in. Firstly, a slave was not allowed to marry or have children although when marriage happened, it had no legal status and families were often broken apart. Moreover, if a slave had a child, labour started from age 4, the child doing part-time easier work, but by 10-14 children were working full time in the fields or house. The home life of slaves was impoverished. Slaves made their own houses, which were huts, and they only contained little furniture such as a bed of straws and rags. These huts housed up to 10 people. It was very cramped. Some slaves had small gardens and only a couple of animals which were sold if there was left over for clothing and items. Their diet was limited with fatty meats like pig and chicken stews and cornbread. Slaves went through many hardships like having to deal with harsh punishments such as whipping, mutilation, being burnt, buried alive or even hung. British Caribbean slaves were not allowed to write or read or learn, were not paid at all and could not own property. All slaves were removed from their original African civilisation, their original language and family and they were bought, treated as objects and abused. Additionally, the journey to England or America was practically impossible to survive. Even though slaves were shackled, sickened, outnumbered and in captive, Africans frequently fought back against their tormentors. On more than 300 voyages, the captives on the slave deck attempted to overthrow the crew, and in several cases, they triumphed. In 1839, the victorious Africans on the slave ship ‘Amistad’ succeeded in sailing the ship into port a...


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