A shoemaker in Massachusetts once said, “We are worse treated than the slaves of the south”. The free-laborers were not forced to America in ships, stripped of their culture, their language, and their freedom. The free-laborers were not enslaved. I do not agree with the shoemaker’s statement, but rather believe the Southern slaves were treated worse than Northern laborers. It may have been true that laborers in the North had harsh working conditions, but they did however, have their freedom. The laborers were not treated as if they were property. Slaves were treated more as pets than people, often times abused and ordered to perform hard labor. The slaves had no form freedom whatsoever. Every aspect of their lives was controlled by their owner, what times they eat, sleep, or work. Their lives consisted of routine, doing the same thing every day, especially slaves working at cotton factories. It is unreasonable that a man with freedom can argue that he is worse treated than a man without freedom. Slaves were forced into slavery and often had brutal punishments if they made mistakes. If slaves were treated so much better why, is it that free laborers did not flee to the south so that they could become slaves. Slaves were treated a lot worse, considering that they were treated as property, took care of poorly, and had no freedom.
Slaves were considered property, and they were property because they were black. Their status as property was enforced by violence. Enslaved African Americans could never forget their status as property, no matter how well their owners treated them. Although, some may say masters and slaves did not always hated each other. Human beings who live and work together are bound to form relationships of some kind, and some masters and slaves genuinely cared for each other. But the caring was tempered and limited by the power difference between slaves and owners. In The Slave Ship: A Human History, Marcus Rediker says “Within the...
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