Presentation on theme: "The Effects of the Slave Trade Resistance On Western Plantations."— Presentation transcript:
The Effects of the Slave Trade Resistance On Western Plantations
Aims: Consider the different ways that slaves were punished. Examine the resistance by slaves on Western Plantations. Success Criteria: You will complete a diagram showing at least six types of punishments and describe three ways that slaves tried to resist their masters.
Why were slaves punished harshly if they disobeyed their masters? Try to suggest at least three reasons: To make sure they do what is asked To set an example to the other slaves To prevent a full-scale rebellion To keep the slaves working effectively
Slave Numbers By the beginning of the 1700s there were far more Black Africans in the Caribbean than there were white people The plantation owners grew afraid that their Black African slaves would turn against them. They treated their slaves harshly, and controlled them through fear. However resistance was common and many slaves tried to resist this brutal treatment and often paid the ultimate price.
Discipline Slaves were made to keep working by threats, blows and beating – slavery was maintained by violence. Cruelty and torture were part of everyday life. Errors, lateness and lack of attention were all routinely punished. Even small mistakes were not to be tolerated. Remember that slave gangs were overseen by slave drivers, who would whip anyone who was not working properly. In this way, plantation owners would try to cause divisions between slaves. The offer of extra food or slightly better living accommodation would tempt some to become slave drivers.
Slaves were branded with their master’s name when they were sold. If they tried to runaway and were captured, they could be easily returned to their master.branded Whipping was the most common form of punishments – a whipping could be anything from 100 to 150 lashes with a thick leather cart-whip that tore open the flesh. Film Clip Film Clip
Thumbscrews were used as an instrument of torture. The thumbs would be placed in the vice, the screws twisted, crushing the victims thumbs and fingers. The iron muzzle or mask restricted the slave’s ability to talk or speak. The spikes could be added onto the collar making it impossible for slave to sleep or lie down.
This was a large treadmill with a bar above it. The slaves had to hold onto the bar while walking on this treadmill. If they got too tired on the treadmill, they would fall off. This meant that they would be left hanging and if they let go they would be whipped again. The iron collar was used when a slave tried to run away. The spiked ends prevented the slaves from moving into any area with trees or bushes. It would be impossible to lie down or lean against any surface.
Think about all the different types of punishments we have looked at. What do you think was the worst type of punishment a slave could be given, apart from hanging? Give a reason for your answer.
Running away. On small islands it was difficult to stay free for long. In larger islands like Jamaica slaves could hide in the dense forests for years. Slave Revolts. Groups of slaves would try to rise up against their master and take over the plantation. Some would steal, damage or destroy their owners’ property when they had the opportunity Some worked slowly, pretended to that they didn’t know what to do or were deliberately careless. How Did Slaves Resist Their Owners?
In Source A, Mrs Carmichael, who had lived in the West Indies at the beginning of the 19 th century (1800s) wrote. There was a dinner given by a club to the ladies of Kingston. One Negro boy was left in the upper gallery where it was laid out, to take care of it. After the dancing ended, we went up to supper, but alas! It had gone. Everything but for a few plates had vanished. This was a daring piece of impudence; but the lesser kinds of impudence are common wherever there are Negro servants.
Source B is extracts from the Session Book of the Parish of St Thomas in the East in Jamaica at that time. Jack, for being a runaway, sentenced to be immediately carried to the place of execution and there to be hanged by the neck until he is dead, and his head to be cut off in the most public place in the estate. Adam, for running away, to be taken to his masters’ estate and have a halter put round his neck, and one of his ears nailed to a post, and then his ear nailed to a post, and then his ear shall be cut off. Priscilla, for running away, both her ears cut off close to her head immediately, to receive 39 lashes the first Monday in every month for one year and to be worked in irons during that time.
In Source C, Olaudah Equiano who was a slave on the British islands of St Kitts, remembers the punishments handed out to slaves who showed any signs of resistance. It was very common in several of the islands, particularly in St Kitts, for the slaves to be branded with the initial letter of the master’s name, and a load of heavy iron hooks hung about their necks. Indeed on the most trifling occasions they were loaded with chains, and often instruments of torture were added. The iron muzzle, thumbscrews, etc. were sometimes applied for the slightest faults. I have seen a Negro beaten till some of his bones were broken for even letting a pot boil over. It is not surprising that treatment like this should drive the poor creatures to despair and make them seek refuge in death from those evils that do not make life worth living.
Slave Revolts There are some examples of successful revolts by slaves. Watch the two video clips on Slave Resistance and complete the question sheet which your teacher will give you. Clip One Clip Two
Final Task – Slave Revolts Write a detailed paragraph on each of the two famous slave revolts in Jamaica (1831) and Haiti (1791). Make sure your paragraph covers: When this happened What happened during the revolt What the overall outcome was