West African World Views
West African world view about the power and will of the gods
- Humans had to understand the powers and the will of the gods (created
by the creator god) and pay homage
so that the natural forces would be kind and work harmoniously.
- The social classes in West Africa consisted of nobles,
non-nobles, and workers.
West African world view toward older people
- Older people must be treated with respect so that their spirits
would later provide their descendants
with guidance and wisdom; if disrespected, they would cause harm
Rights of African slaves
- Similarity between slaves before and after 1400: both groups were
- Three ways that slavery before and after 1400 was different:
| Before 1400
| Slaves usually stayed in own culture.
||Sent to outside cultures.
| Many races enslaved.
||Mainly Africans enslaved.
|Could work to become free.
|| Unable to become free.
The European Slave Trade
- Slave Coast: nickname for West African coastline.
- Europeans bought African slaves from other Africans. This is how Europeans
usually got slaves.
- Four major geographical areas where African slaves were taken :
Europe, North America, the Caribbean Islands, and South America.
- The place that imported the most slaves between 1400-1700 was South
- The place that imported the second largest number of slaves between
1400-1700 were the Caribbean Islands.
- On the average, 10-20% died on a slave ship.
- From 1450-1860:
a. Approximately 11,700,000 people were taken from Africa.
b. 9,500,000 Africans survived the crossing.
- The Middle Passage was the route across the Atlantic Ocean in which slaves
from Africa were brought to the European colonies in the Americas.
- Astonishment and terror:
how Equiano felt when he was taken aboard the slave ship.
- Horrible stench under the decks: why Equiano was unable to eat.
- He was beaten: what happened to Equiano when he refused the food.
- Severely cut: what happened to the African prisoners who tried to
jump over the side.
- Like savages: how Equiano thought the white people acted.
The treatment of slaves
- Intolerable stench, crowded,
filth : living conditions of the Africans in the hold of the slave
ship. Many Africans died from breathing the loathsome
smells in the air, which created a sickness that lead to death.
- The African prisoners jumped into the ocean because they preferred
death over their life of misery.
- The slaves who did not drown were flogged
- Indentured servants: people who signed a contract saying they would
work to pay back the person who paid the cost of their ship's passage
from Europe to the 13 Colonies.
- An indentured servant's chance of living long enough in the Southern
Colonies to gain his/her freedom was only 1 in 5, or 20%.
- Many died from back-breaking labor and disease.
- Why the use of indentured servants was not a successful solution
to the Southern Colonies' labor problem: many indentured servants
either ran away before finishing their contract (nearly impossible
to find), or left their master's plantation
to start their own farm.
- Native Americans knew the land well and could escape easily, so
the use of Native Americans as slaves was not a successful solution
to the Southern Colonies' labor problem.
- A slave could not leave the field until an order was given by the
driver to halt.
- A slave is punished by whipping if they didn't pick their expected
amount of cotton.
- Primogeniture (pry-mah-jen-ih-chur): when a man died, this old British
legal system stated that all his land went to his oldest son.
- To solve the problem caused by primogeniture for younger sons, fathers
bought uncultivated land
in the back country and gave it to them.
- Although the Declaration
of Independence said that all men were created equal, slavery
went against this belief: why many Northerners did not agree with
slavery during the Revolutionary War.
- No one thought that African Americans, free or slaves, were worthy
of being social or political equals.
- Abolitionists: throughout
the United States, these were the people that wanted slavery ended
- Martyr : someone who believes in something so much they are willing
to give their lives for it.
- Nat Turner was famous for leading a rebellion
- He eventually surrendered
and was tried and hung.
- Frederick Douglass was famous for becoming a great leader of the
abolitionist movement, after escaping from being a slave for 21
- Abolitionists disliked the Fugitive Slave Act because the money
it cost to recapture escaped slaves or kidnap free African Americans
was paid by the federal government.
- Harriet Tubman was famous for being a great "conductor" of the
Underground Railroad after escaping slavery.
- The Underground Railroad was not really a railroad, but a group
of anti-slavery people who used railroad terminology
as a code for moving people from the south to the north.
- Stations: houses.
- Conductors: anti-slavery people who helped.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Her book made people realize what life was like for slaves.
The Dred Scott Case
- He was a slave who sued for his freedom (he lost).
Other Groups who had their rights violated
- When too many settlers moved onto a reservation,
the U.S. government tried to solve the problem by buying the land
from the Native Americans and making a different treaty
- Reservations: the areas of land that were set aside for specific
Native American tribes to use.
- "One Big Reservation": Native Americans were granted all the land
west of the Mississippi River (first stage).
- "Concentration" : tribes were taken from their traditional lands
and made to live within geographic boundaries
drawn on a map by the U.S. government (second stage).
- "Small Reservations": tribes were required to live on much smaller
parts of the concentrated reservations than before (third stage).
- "People's rights" were a problem for many tribal leaders.
- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Mexican citizens had the chance to
become U.S. citizens.
- How settlers got land
from Mexican families : stole the land.
- Mexican-American small farmers lost their land because they couldn't
show their deeds.
- U.S. people were taxed on how much land they owned (real property
- Mexicans were taxed on the livestock/crops produced on the land.
- Replacing Mexican taxes with U.S. ones caused Mexican Americans
to lose their land because if crops were poor, they couldn't pay.
- Mexican American families: not familiar with U.S. legal system:
lost land because: didn't have lawyers, and didn't understand rules
about land distribution.