America is one of the nations that have the most extended history considering that it is one of the oldest forms of civilization. Many wars and interactions have happened in the state, and many people live in the nation. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus (Shi 22). Some early cultures existed in the era. This paper is a discussion of the evolution of African American History from 1620 to 1787, citing the significant events and happenings of that age. It also explains the struggles of African Americans struggle to maintain their autonomy in a society that saw them as property even in the revolutionary war.
During its discovery, some cultures lived in America. They included the Mayans, Incas, and the Mexica (Shi 34). These ancient civilizations were using the land to their benefit. There were also significant empires, such as the Spanish empire, which was one of the largest and controlled most of the resources. The empire visited and interacted with the ancient cultures of other people, such as Mexica. It later collapsed in (Shi1763).
England was one of the superpowers and had colonies all over the world. One of the most significant forms of migrations in history was the transport of slaves from Africa to the west where they could be sold, maimed, tortured, and kept captive. It was one of the core businesses in the 17th and 18th centuries. The slaves had to follow their master's rule and could not own property as the rest of the cultures would. They also had to ask for permission from their captors for marriage. They came from very different backgrounds and spoke different languages in the states that they came from. Some of them were members of large Kingdoms, while others had been taken from small villages. In captivity, their culture mixed up, and more people could interact with each other. Some of the cultures were kept even in slavery, and the people worshipped their gods and practiced cultural practices such as praying. They were, however, forced to take up new identities as African Americans due to their experiences in the new land.
During the selection of slaves, there was little consideration for women and the weak. The ones who made it past the harsh voyages were very few, and as time went by, there were very few women slaves in Africa. It made them a more valuable asset. Their social status also improved slightly, and they got better treatment from their masters (Shi 122). The slaves who were first to arrive were treated as indentured slaves i.e., they were released after some time in service and later released. They gained freedom but were no equal to the white people (Shi 134). The customs, however, changed later, and the people were enlisted for life long slavery.
With time the slaves replaced servants who had earlier existed. The whites saw the black slaves as evil and used the color to prejudice against them (Shi 136). Their behavior was entirely controlled by their masters, especially after passing the black code, which was a regulation for slave behavior. As the population of the black people grew, the expertise also increased. Black people became experienced potters, blacksmiths, and many other activities that they were forced to do.
In 1764, some slaves killed a white man in a desperate need for independence. From then on, the measures to abolish the slave trade begun, and the black people sought the chance to live normal lives just like their white counterparts. A group of slaves even appealed to the governor of Massachusetts to free them like their fellow white slaves. They claimed that even in the early days before colonization, they could govern themselves and interact positively with the white people (Shi 205).
The lack of freedom made the people yearn for their way of life and practicing of their religious and social cultures, Most of them also needed to own property as other free people did. Slave trade was ended in 1807 after the signing of the landmark bill, which prohibited the importation of slaves into the United States. The action did not cease immediately, and instead, some of the slave buyers continued to smuggle Africans into America.
During the years of slavery, black people strained to maintain autonomy. They hated being ruled by the oppressive white masters who saw them as evil people. They were also not allowed to practice their cultural beliefs and traditions. They had to rely on the white masters to approve all their actions and rate them, whether right or wrong. It also took away their rights, and they were treated as property. They could be sold, given as presents, and exchanged from one master to another. That was degrading to them, and most of them revolted, which led to the signing of the black code to regulate their behavior.
In conclusion, the slave trade was one of the most common economic activities in the 17th and 18th centuries. The slaves were taken from the colonies of England and used to provide labor with no pay. In its early years, the slaves were captured, used, and then given freedom. The practice of releasing, however, changed, and lifetime slavery was established later. In captivity, the people had to follow the rules of their masters and could not practice their cultures. Some of the essential activities, such as marriage, also depended on their masters. With time, white slaves were freed, but due to racial bias, the black people continued being held captive. It was not until the signing of the Landmark Bill that the slave importation was banned in the US. For some time after the law was passed, slaves were smuggled into the United States.
Shi, David E., and George Brown Tindall. America: A narrative history. WW Norton & Company, 2016.
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