The Essay About Creating Black Americans

The Impact of Slavery on American Economy

The author makes a case about how slaves were used by their owners and how that affected them in chapter five of the book. The author goes into great depth about how the slave trade benefited the American economy. Thus, the author attempts to demonstrate how slaves contributed to the growth of the American economy. The slaves served as laborers on farms, exchange goods, and property. Americans who participated in the slave trade benefited financially, including Rhode Islander John Brown, who founded the Bank of America. During the Industrial Revolution, the manufacture of textile by the British and Americans slaves was used to produce cotton leading to the booming of the economy of the Northern region.

The Poor Treatment of Slaves

The author also depicts the poor treatment of the slaves. They faced brutal force and their owners forced them to work at an early age, between seven and ten. “As children, they began working as soon as they could be of use - in the house by about age seven, in the field by age ten” (pg.93). The slaves did not have any choice but to do as they were commanded and if they disobeyed or try to escape brutal force was employed. Despite the hard labor they were forced to do they were also sold in the domestic trade, families were separated, and women were forced to give birth as early as 19 years of age. Other slaves were given as wedding presents to the newlyweds especially the children and women.

The Psychological and Physical Impact on Slaves

Many of the slaves tried to retain their humanity from the church and the support of the family but that was not enough they had been exposed to trauma which affected them psychologically and physically. Slavery cost the victims a fortune, they lost dignity, income and also wealth since they depended on their owners for everything. Although black people were never able to destroy slavery, they constantly tried and struggled against being enslaved. For example in 1755, in South Carolina, a slave woman was burned by trying to poison her master (pg.103).

The Emancipation of Slaves During the Civil War

Chapter six focuses on how the civil war led to the emancipation of the many slaves that were found in America. During the civil war, there was a ban on black officers, and there was also a controversy over equal pay. The African Americans also had to fight against racial discrimination. Many of the blacks joined the war for their freedom, and the emancipation of the civil war freed more than 4 million people, a figure that was higher than in any other society that practiced slavery. This signaled the end of slavery as a modern institution (pg. 116).

The Role of President Lincoln

The author also portrays the role of President Lincoln. The war against slavery started when President Lincoln saw that the union could not defeat the Confederacy and this demanded fresh manpower since the whites alone could not manage to win the war. President Lincoln had to accept that the war was a fight over slavery and he issued two emancipation proclamations: the preliminary and the final version. This decision made Lincoln become a hero among many black Americans despite the limitation of the proclamation.

The End of Slavery

The author also shows how slavery came to an end. The civil war ended, the union won the war, and when President Lincoln was assassinated, the smell of freedom started to whirl on the air. Achieving freedom demanded a series of struggles that would last for many years which started with the work of reconstruction. During the end of the war, the blacks started seizing freedom in many ways depending upon individual’s families or circumstances. Many slaves ran away from their owners or when the union came near, they willingly volunteered as workers or soldiers. When they fled, they invested their labor on their gardens to raise subsistence crop for food instead of commodities for sale. As seen in the book, “in April 1862, the federal government abolished slavery in the nation’s capital Washington, D.C., compensating former owners for their loss” (pg.135). Despite enduring pain and violence, many slaves learned to make their weakness to be their strength, and they managed to plan their future thoughtfully.


In conclusion, the examples and the main themes of these chapters have made me understand the real struggles the African Americans went through to fight for freedom during the time of slavery. It is clear that African Americans had to endure physical and psychological pain every day since they were owned by rich people who did not care about their lives. They saw children being separated from their families and taken to other areas. Others were subjected to harsh labor and torture. However, black Americans struggled hard to fight for their freedom intellectually as they joined the union and later on they won their freedom although the struggle was not easy.

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