Unit 2 Essays

Topics: Slavery, Racism, Slavery in the United States Pages: 2 (508 words) Published: December 5, 2006
A.P. history

Unit 2 Essays

#4.Write your definition of racism. Then use this definition to argue that the origin of slavery in colonial America was or was not primarily the result of English racism.

Racism is a word that reflects a person’s or group of people’s hatred, jealousy, or spiteful feeling or actions toward someone or a group of people of another race. It is also a belief that one is the way he/she is, or even acts a certain way because of their race. Racism can lead to cruel actions such as, hazing, torture, verbal and physical abuse. In the 18th century, Africans who were slaves in the New World’s colonies, underwent the act of racism.

The origin of slaveryin colonial America was primarily the result of English racism. The first few Americans who arrived in America, gained their freedom and some even became landowners. As the African population increased, the white colonists took a new prospective toward them. The colonists reacted in great regard to “this supposed racial threat.”

As more Africans were being shipped into the colonies, the government started to set up laws. Laws were set up to make distinctions between slaves, servants and even the colonists, on the basis of race. In 1662, the “slave codes” were set up in Virginia. This “decreed the iron conditions of slavery for blacks.” This made blacks and their children property of their white masters, for the rest of their lives. In some colonies, teaching a slave to read or write was considered a crime. Even if slaves converted to Christianity, it did not qualify them for their freedom. By the government setting up these laws, it only influenced the colonists to look down upon slaves and become racists against them.

Economic reasons may have been the reason for slavery in America. However, racial discrimination also took a great hold on the American slave system. Not only were Africans thrown to the bottom of the social line, but they were treated horribly and were forced...
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