Slavery began a long time ago. For many centuries, different cultures practiced slavery. People became slaves after been defeated in wars, through abductions and kidnaps or when one culture decided that another one was not fit enough on earth. However, the levels of slavery escalated in the 16th century through bulk buying of slaves. Slave trade was a great business in the African Sahara to European countries. Slavery in America began in the 17th century. It has built the USA economy since then until it was abolished later in the 19th century. Although slavery was abolished, the Southern spokesman contended that chattel slavery which was practiced in the American South was more human than the system of wage slavery that was used in North America and even in Britain (Fitzugh, 1857). Chattel slavery was the traditional system of slavery, where slaves were compared to property. The slaves were owned by their masters which simply meant that the slaves were at the mercy of their owners. The masters could exploit them, treat them kindly, beat them or even kill them. The slaves would work for their masters with little or no pay at all. On the other hand, the wage slavery system was where a person; slave or masters life totally depended on income they got.
Fitzhugh characterized the lives of slaves into two categories; the white slave trade and the black slave trade (Fitzugh, 1857). In the white slave trade, he says, all Americans have participated in it, both slaves and masters. In the white slave trade, it happened in North America where people toil hard to get by in life. They want to succeed more than the rest. They want to increase their profits, get a promotion, or simply get a lot of money. That statement can be supported through Aunty Sallys story as a slave. She says her mothers master would not allow them to be idle. There was always some work to be done (Sarah, n.d.).
The black slave trade is where black people are enslaved by white people they work for them for free. This kind of slavery was mainly done in South America. The profits of the white slavery are generated from black slavery. Fitzhugh continues to say that black slavery is least desired because there isnt any freedom per say. When a black slave is done from his work, he is free, but he is not exactly free because now he/she will have to deal with personal issues like family and their household (Fitzugh, 1857). It is true because according to the actual slave stories, Aunty Sally recalls how her mother would come home at night from the corn field and had to grate the corns so that her family could have a meal the next day (Sarah, n.d.). Fitzhugh also says that it is a moral duty whether or not to treat free laborers well (Fitzugh, 1857). Some would have treated their slaves well like Aunty Sallys master, as she says he was not that bad, however, her mothers master used to whip his slaves for pastime (Sarah, n.d.).
Fitzhugh also argued that slavery was the basis of civilization. Civilization is the stage of human social development that is considered most advanced. The black slave works tirelessly with no pay, so as to give the white slave profit. Slaves work hard for their master. For a white slave his/her master is capital or income (Fitzugh, 1857). For a black slave is to please their masters and avoid a whopping. The two kinds of slavery improve the economy. The white slave would be financially crippled if the black slaves would stop providing their free labor. Slavery divided the society into different classes. There are the wealthy, skillful respectable people, poor hardworking people and poor thieves and criminals. The social classes exist even in the 21st century. He also argued that slavery make life better for everybody. Through slavery, white or black, everybody gets something in return. In the black slavery, the master would provide food, shelter, and clothing to his/her slaves while in the white slavery the slaves would get capital, profits, and income.
The white slavery system exists till today. Most people toil hard to gain better profit or get that promotion they have been dreaming about. Slavery is disguised as public opinion and luxurious status. Public opinion shuns poor people thus everyone will toil as hard as he or she can to get rich and avoid being branded as poor. The todays slaves are free, they also have rights too, but at the end of it, all slavery is still slavery.
Fitzugh, G. (1857). The Universal Trade. In Cannibals All. Virginia.
Sarah. (n.d.). Slaves Stories.
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