Slavery - Research Article from Americans at War

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 9 pages of information about Slavery.
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How Slavery Was Justified

Slavery began in what would become the United States with the importation of twenty enslaved Africans into Virginia in 1619. Given the universality of slavery, its legitimacy was rarely questioned or explained. By the 1660s, English settlers clearly believed that enslavement was a normal, if unfortunate, position in society for which Africans and their descendants were perfectly and naturally suited. However, racism—far from being the original justification for American slavery—emerged over time. In the early seventeenth century, English colonists used a longstanding rationale for enslavement: Africans were not Christian. Because enslaved Africans sometimes converted to Christianity in order to be freed, this definition created a good deal of fluidity in early Virginia. Some Africans were enslaved, but others were not. Some slaves were freed for exemplary service, whereas others were enslaved for life. Some even enjoyed social mobility, becoming not only free...

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This section contains 2,544 words
(approx. 9 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Slavery Encyclopedia Article
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Americans at War
Slavery from Americans at War. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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