Slavery is a taboo dysphemism that can evoke and embody sensationalism of white man’s oppression of the Negro. However, slavery was not always seen this way, there was a time when the stigma of slavery was not tied to despotism and apartheid. Slavery was once an intrinsic part of everyday life in the South, especially during the antebellum period, yet it was during this time that the Founding Fathers started to question slavery.
Records of slavery can be found dating as far back as the early 1700s B.C.E. in the Mesopotamian code of Hammurabi. The code of Hammurabi is one of the earliest written records of slavery and gives us an idea of the intrinsic nature of slavery to early settlers, “ If any one take a male or female slave of the court, or a male or female slave of a freed man, outside the city gates, he shall be put to death.” In the code of Hammurabi we can see one of the dominant issues that arises from slavery is the handling of slave run-aways, “If any one find runaway male or female slaves….” Slaves since the inception of slavery have for the most part fought the institution of slavery. Slavery in Virginia was no different in the sense that it produced run-aways; this caused the enacting of slavery laws. The Virginia Slavery Codes of 1660-1705 doubled the allotted time of servitude for runaways that were caught.
Slavery is also a dominant theme throughout the history of the Bible. One of the accounts shares how a young man named Joseph is sold into slavery by his brothers. Another report involves a nation of people being enslaved, “Now the sons of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, aside from children” it is known as the Exodus which in Hebrew means ‘[to] exit’. The Exodus was about the institution of slavery for Pharaoh had enslaved the Hebrews and as enslaved servants they shadow the theme of runaway, albeit at the hands of the God of the Bible.
Two of the most dominate empires in history...
Cited: Felipe Fernandez-Armesto, The World a History, Volume I: to 1500 (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2007)
George Fitzhugh, Cannibals All! Or, Slaves Without Masters. Electronic Ed. (North Carolina, D.H. Hill Library)
William W. Freehling, The Founding Fathers, Conditional Antislavery, and the Nonradicalism of the American Revolution. Article 14. (New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1994)
William W. Henning, The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, v.2 (1823)
Richard Hooker “World Civilizations”, Mesopotamea The code of Hammurabi, http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/MESO/CODE.HTM (accessed December 6, 2010)
Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilizations (Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press, 1998)
John Murray, A Concise Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (Albermarle, London Spottiswood and CO., 1898)
James Oakes and others, eds, Of The People: A History of The United States (New York, Oxford, Oxford University Press 2011)
David Turley, Slavery (Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 2000)
Benjamin Quarles, Lincoln and the Negro. (New York, N.Y., Oxford University Press, 1990)
Please join StudyMode to read the full document