The African Slave Trade in America and How it Effected the American way of Life during the 1800s

Part 1: Sources 1&3 (Time and Maps)

The slave trade in America has had a profound impact on the United States history and culture. In the 1800s, more slaves were brought to America then any other time in history. During this time period, which ended in 1860, there were about 3.9 million slaves that lived in the U.S.. A large majority of the slave population was in the south. This is because of the large plantations that needed several people working on them in order to keep running. The plantations were the main source of revenue for the people who lived there. This boosted America’s trade and economic status as a young nation.


But this newfound status came at a cost. As this map shows, the majority of slaves that were being imported were entering the states in the south. This boosted the south’s economy and provided a way for there to be added revenue for the southern people. The transatlantic slave route, which almost all African slaves had to endure, was a grueling and terrifying trip to make. Some slaves did not make it across the Atlantic and died on the journey to America. Those who did make it, found themselves in equally horrible living conditions of the southern plantations. This only dehumanized the African slaves even more and provided a way for farmers to become wealthy .

Part 2: Sources 2&4 (Images and Words)

With the increasing amount of slaves entering in the south, the living conditions only became worse and worse. Slaves would often live in slop and be forced to sleep with animals. If they were more “fortunate”, they had a shack with maybe one blanket to share among several people. Then they would go out for extremely long work days where they they were beaten, broken, and treated horribly by their owners and slave drivers. Taking all of this into account, there were several movements to stop the harsh conditions of the southern slave oppression. However, none prevailed. Then when Abraham Lincoln was elected president, the south secession began as a means to keep the United States united, but at the heart of it, slavery was the core reason behind it.slavery-2015

Part 3: Sources 5&6 (Numbers and Social Media)

From a link on pintrest, it tells about the story of Mary Prince, a slave that escaped slavery and spoke out against it. Her story helped inspire others to follow her in the fight against the horrid treatment of slaves. Women specifically were viewed as weaker and were used as “breeders” to have more children that could be used in either the owner’s fields or be sold off. This, of course, only would happen in the child would survive the living conditions. In the article, Slavery, by the Numbers, it says, “In the U.S., on average, a slave mother gave birth to between nine and 10 children, “twice as many in the West Indies,” according to the Gilder Institute of American History. Yet, in 1860, “less than 10 percent of the slave population was over 50 and only 3.5 percent was over 60.” That means that women were having children at very young ages. These were not ideal conditions to raise a child by any means. So, in turn, the children would either come out as strong individuals or be riddled with health issues.

This all goes to show that American culture has been shaped differently than in most places. The American way of life in the south has greatly been effected by its past. Parts of it even still linger today. Because of this awful mistreatment of other human beings, it has provoked several issues that are common and occurring in American today.


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