Final--Lecture Notes

Final--Lecture Notes - Women and Slavery 1865 (slavery is...

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Women and Slavery 1865 (slavery is outlawed) – 1619 (first enslaved African women arrived in the country) = 244 years in which it was normal/legal to sell women and their children o During this period of time it’s relevant because women were considered to have been kept out of hard labor, too delicate, etc. Much longer period of time for slavery to be normal than from 2007—1866 (141 years) in which it has been outlawed First slave brought into the colonies in 1619, but it’s not actually legal until 1640 o During the 17 th century, you could be freed if you became baptized as a Christian (brought many Africans from their tradition religion to Christianity reinforces it been a liberation religion) “There is neither male or female, free or slave, you are all one with Jesus” This way out was overruled over time Of the 10 million Africans brought into the New World, only 5% end up in the slave market for America o Most die going along the Middle Passage, or are destined for the sugar plantations of the Caribbean or Brazil/South America o Image we have of slavery in the U.S. is very “Gone with the Wind” 90% of all southerners owned 1 or 2 slaves (most who had slaves did not have many) ½ of all slaves in the south were owned by a few wealthy leading families (the elite 10% have many) Gradually, people are going to consider women being sold, women doing hard labor, etc. o Sex role stereotyping does not apply, they want as much work done as possible Slave women who weren’t in the fields did traditional jobs, like cooking and childcare, breastfeeding white babies, also assigned to being midwives and caregivers in their own communities A lot expectations of women to do things, and exploitations of breeding
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Around 1775, the Continental Congress tried to slow down the slave trade, but with the new Constitution, it recognized slavery (each slave was 3/5 of a regular person), runaways had to be returned by law, extended slave trade to 1808 o Our Constitution says that SLAVE TRADE will end o Then invention of the cotton gin, in 1794, created a revolution It made cotton the main crop, huge profits, but the Constitution says no more bodies to work the gin Pressure is put on women to reproduce to have more slaves o People go to court to challenge that; can slave children be sold away from their mothers? Can white fathers sell their own children (mothers are slaves)? YES Few alternatives to escape, but certain ways to resist o Artwork and songs signify safe journeys to the North Quilts wove patterns that were maps to the Underground Railroad It was against the law to teach slaves to read and write (literacy would lead to better awareness of one’s rights) “The Drinking Gourd” The song says “the dipper” but the mean the big dipper o People who deliberately broke or lost tools, behaved as though they didn’t understand, pretended to be more ignorant than they were
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course WSTU 01 taught by Professor Morris during the Fall '07 term at GWU.

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Final--Lecture Notes - Women and Slavery 1865 (slavery is...

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