Dbq About Slavery in America

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Atlantic slave trade Pages: 9 (2705 words) Published: March 2, 2012
AP U.S. History Document Based Question

Question: How did slavery affect American Society socially, economically and politically during the Antebellum years? Document A Source: William LLoyd Garrison, letter to a friend, 1830 Now, how is it with the slave? He gets a peck of corn (occasionally a little more) each week, but rarely meat or fish. He must anticipate the sun in rising, or be whipped severely for his somnolency. Rain or shine, he must toil early and late for the benefit of another. if he be weary, he cannot rest--for the lash of the driver is flourished over his drooping head, or applied to his naked frame; if sick, he is suspected of laziness, and treated accordingly. For the most trifling or innocent offence, he is felled to the earth, or scourged on his back till it streams with blood. Has he a wife and children, he sees them as cruelly treated as himself. He may be torn from them, or they from him, at any moment, never again to meet on earth. Friends do not visit and console him: he has no friends. He knows not what is going on beyond his own narrow boundaries. He can neither read nor write. The letters of the alphabet are caballistical to his eyes. A thick darkness broods over his soul. Even the "glorious gospel of the blessed God," which brings life and immortality to perishing man, is as a sealed book to his understanding. Nor has his wretched condition been imposed upon him for any criminal offence. He has not been tried by the laws of his country. No one has stepped forth to vindicate his rights. He is made an abject slave, simply because God has given him a skin not colored like his master's; and Death, the great Liberator, alone can break his fetters!

In this letter by William Lloyd Garrison, he describes how slavery affected the lives of African Americans, the lowest social class in the United States during the Antebellum years. This relates to my question by giving me examples of how slavery affected society socially before the Civil War began, which was by making the African Americans look like property to everyone rather than human beings. It also tells us that the simple reason they were slaves was just because their skin color was different to his master’s.

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AP U.S. History Document Based Question by Francisco Arca

Document B Source: E.W. Taylor(A Pro-Slavery New Yorker) letter to a friend, 1837 I care not what people at the North think, for I am now a regular Southerner.... And men, like the abolitionist...[who goes] about meddling with other Peoples' affairs... [should] pay attention to his own affairs, & let his neighbor alone. As long as those professed to be Christians, are...by their influence & gold [are] producing discord & discontent--rebellion, insurrection, & division, it [emancipation] will never take place. If these matters are going to be [agitated it will]...lead to the separation of the Union.... [I] feel as though I could plunge the dagger to the heart almost of a brother in such a glorious cause--it would be for Liberty, Liberty.... I heard of an incident the other day of one of your fraternity suddenly changing his views with regard to slavery. A minister from the North, he was spending the winter in a Southern city and when he could, made known his sentiments. In the course of time he was introduced to a young lady of much beauty, but more property in Plantation slaves amounting to $116,000. All at once his feelings suddenly changed, he ranted against northern abolitionists & northerners generally, the result of it is he's just got the gal & what he likes better the slaves, & I bet $100,000 dole, thus in less than a year, and he will have slaves of his own blood. Now such men I detest. I abhor them, & I must say that I cordially think that these and hundreds of others at the north who are now accusing the southern slaveholder of cruelty thus would jump to do as this minister has done.


Cited: Document C
“Slave Market.”(1850) http://amst312.umwblogs.org/2009/04/02/slave-market/.
Document I
“Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers ' Project.” Narrative of Sarah Frances Shaw Graves at the age of 87.(1937).http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/snvoices02.html
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