The various moral, economic and religious arguments against slavery were clear from the outset of the practice in the early 16th century. The ownership of a human life as an economic commodity was decried from religious circles from the earliest days as an immoral affront to basic human dignity. However the practice of gaining lifelong labor in exchange only for a basic degree of care meant slavery persisted for centuries across the New World persisted as a lucrative endeavor.
The colonial United States would, from the early 17th century, receive many thousands of slaves from Africa. Many of the slaves transported were sent to work on plantations and farms which steadily spread across the warmer southern states of the nation. Others would do manual work on the docks, for instance moving goods in the fledgling trading colonies.
Using voluminous research and reliable sources spanning the centuries, W. E. B. Du Bois crafts a convincing and evocative portrait of a country which was increasingly torn over its relationship with slavery. The abolitionist movement, at first fragmentary and sporadic, grows in step with the prosperity of the U.S. colonies - finally, in the 19th century, slavery is already banned by the major European powers, and is on the cusp of abolition in the United States.
Despite the protracted battle of abolitionists and religious figures, slavery would not be banned from the United States until the mid-1860s, coinciding with the conclusion of the American Civil War. Although legally permitted, efforts and campaigns to undermine and discourage slavery were numerous and varied; Du Bois relates details of these, giving the reader a history which is informed, dramatic and intense.
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 18, 2016)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 274 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1540482278
- ISBN-13 : 978-1540482273
- Item Weight : 1.05 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 0.62 x 9 inches