Presentation on theme: "Racism. Racism The belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to another Racism has been widespread throughout US history where."— Presentation transcript:
Racism The belief that one racial category is innately superior or inferior to another Racism has been widespread throughout US history where ideas about racial inferiority supported slavery. Overt racism in the US has decreased, but remains a serious social problem.
Did racism cause slavery or did slavery cause racism?
Ancient Times and the 1500’s The Slave Trade in Ancient Times included: Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Persians, Indians, Aztecs. The word “slave” comes from the word “slav” referring to Russians taken during Roman times. In the 1500’s, Europeans didn’t play the only role! They relied on AFRICAN traders.
What are the various theories as to why African slave labor was so widely used in the Americas? Several/ schools of thought. A once popular theory held that Africans were more resistant to disease, as well as better suited to heavy work in tropical climates. Another held that use of Africans was motivated primarily by prejudice. Eric Williams has refuted that particular theory with his famous quote that “Slavery was not born of racism: rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.” Another assertion was that slaves were cheap. They were not, but since white Europeans’ indentures were relatively brief, the high cost of slaves could be minimized over a longer period of time. Rising sugar prices also meant that sugar growers could afford more expensive African slaves.
Destinations of Enslaved Africans, 1500–1870 Greatest sugar producer in 1600 – Brazil Greatest sugar producer in 18 th century – Saint Domingue (Haiti)
What was the life of a slave working on a plantation in the eighteenth century? Slaves were organized into “gangs” for field work “drivers” typically a male slave kept tight control over the slaves Rewarded for good work and punished harshly for failing to meet daily quotas and/or showing any form of resistance Worked hard to avoid punishment Most slaves died of diseases Death Rate Most slaves died of diseases Life expectancy of a Brazilian male was 23 years Low reproductive rates and high numbers of new slave imports were an integral part of slaves’ family and social lives.
Impact of the Atlantic Slave Trade By the 1800s, an estimated 11 million enslaved Africans had reached the Americas. Another 2 million probably died during the Middle Passage In West Africa, the loss of countless numbers of young women and men resulted in some small states disappearing forever. Slave Collar So a runaway could be heard!
A Different Kind of Slavery…BUT "Anyone can say that slavery has existed forever," says Frans Fontaine, "even the Greeks and Romans had slaves.” But this kind of slavery was different - it was fixed to race. You became a slave because you were black.
A Different Kind of Slavery… BUT But slavery didn't fit in with Christian ideals so there was a very good solution for this problem; black people, Europeans and Americans determined, they were not really humans. And that is the most cruel part of this form of slavery. Blacks were not people, they said,…could therefore be enslaved.
After American Revolution Continued the thoughts/practices of the Christian religion Only counted for 3/5 a person in the Constitution WHY? So the south could have more representatives.