Slavery was a very unstable, fluctuating part of history. From 1775 to 1830, slavery was booming, while at the same time, plenty of slaves were freed. Although this statement seems paradoxical, it is entirely accurate. The reasons for this happening range from political manipulation to social typecasting. Not only are these reasons imperative, but understanding how enslaved and freed African Americans responded to what was happening around them is also important.
The expanding need and growth of slavery depended on a number of factors. With the growing numbers of large tobacco, indigo, and cotton plantations, particularly in the South, it was apparent that plantation owners needed a helping hand. Because of their strong bodies and immune system, plantation owners thought Africans would handle the laborious work well. Yet, to diminish this need of African slaves, Eli Whitney created the cotton gin to lighten the workload of picking cotton. To his dismay, the plan backfired, doing the opposite of what he had initially intended. Expanding westward also contributed to the advancement of slavery. After the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, which brought in more land that stretched from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains for the colonists to farm on, there was a higher demand for slaves. The three-fifths compromise didn’t help much either. After farmers was informed that their slaves counted as part of a person, which means more votes for that state, they saw an opportunity to run the government.
The situation wasn’t all bad for the African Americans. Looking at the brighter side of things, there were a lot of slaves that were freed! This is due to the North being too preoccupied with other occupations like shipbuilding, fishing, and all that other fun stuff. There was a minimal need for slaves. More importantly, during the American Revolutionary War, Lord Dunmore made a proclamation that stated that slaves who fought for Britain would be emancipated. This...
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