Slavery DBQ

Topics: Slavery, United States Constitution, American Civil War Pages: 2 (783 words) Published: January 5, 2014

Slavery DBQ
At the birth of the United States, around 1775 to 1830, Americans took up a new identity. This identity on its face was considered to be liberating and largely democratic, to the point where the American constitution even states that everyman deserves “ life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”. Although this is how the fathers of America wanted their country to be portrayed. The reality was, not everyone was allowed his or her constitutional rights. Albeit many groups were deprived of these rights, the cultural/racial group at the forefront was the African slaves and their freed peers, who still struggled to obtain these rights once becoming “free”. Despite these struggles many slaves obtained freedom through petitions and letters to their owners (Docs B&H) and some earned their freedom by fighting in wars (Doc A). Due to economic reasons however, many slaves were trapped by slavery (Doc C). These slaves and freedmen that fall under this category responded in both positive ways, such as peaceful petitions (Doc J), and negative ways, such as rebellions (Doc G & J). As previously stated the freed African Americans, and slaves of the late 18th century and early 19th century seemed to be omitted from the constitutional rights of America, even being referred to as “other persons” in the constitution. Despite this fact many slave still wanted to become free, which forced the number of freed African Americans to increase. This was best indicated in (Doc. A), which infers that many slaves, about 40,000 to be exact, responded to the British in search of freedom, in turn increasing the number of freed African Americans. This trend is also portrayed in (Doc. B) shows one of the peaceful ways freed African Americans found to raise awareness of the discrimination brought upon them, through written petitions. On the other hand (Doc. H) shows how the non-freed slaves used written petitions to work towards the emancipation of slavery. (Doc. F) also supports...
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