Nikolas mistress, overseer, plain white, and poor

Nikolas HongMr. BaileyAdvanced US History 13 December 2017Take Home Quiz#3: Distinguish among the major groups within southern white society and explain why each group was committed to the continuation and expansion of slavery.White society was divided between the planter elite and all of the rest. This included the plantation mistress, overseer, plain white, and poor white. While they all had different socioeconomic backgrounds they were all committed to the continuation and expansion of slavery. The planter elite made up about 4% of the southern white society, and they had a disproportionately large political and social power. They usually owned more than 20 slaves. Overseeing the slaves and home was the plantation mistress. Although the mistress of the plantation had slaves to wait on her and attend to her needs, she also supervised the domestic household in the same way as the planter took care of the cotton business, overseeing the supply and preparation of food and linens, the house cleaning and care of the sick, and many other details, including the birthing of babies. Other than the plantation mistress and planter elite, the whites who worked on large plantations were mainly overseers. They managed the slaves and made sure they worked hard and efficiently. The majority of overseers came from the middle class of white farmers or skilled workers, or were younger sons of planters.   Other than the planter elite there were very few white folk who owned slaves. A majority of whites were “plain white folk”. These people were often uneducated and illiterate. They were also very independent and did not trust the government. However, the majority of them sided with Andrew Jackson’s democratic party. They lived in small two room cabins, and were simple farmers who raised corn, cotton, hogs, and chickens. The poor whites were a category of desperately poor people relegated to the least desirable land, living on the fringes of polite society. They were often day laborers or squatters who owned neither land nor slaves.   Despite the majority of whites not owning slaves this they still supported the continuation of slavery. This was because they feared the competition they believed they would face if slaves were freed and they enjoyed the privileged status that race based slavery gave them. The planter elite, plantation mistress and overseer were committed to the continuation of slavery because it provide a workforce and income for themselves and their family.   #5: Analyze how enslaved peoples responded to the inhumanity of their situation.Originally, slaves were indentured servants that were supposed to have had the power to eventually become free after 7 years. However during the eighteenth century slave codes were introduced, and codified practices of treating slaves as property instead of people. The frequent buying and selling of slaves meant that children were often separated from their parents and sold to new masters. In missouri, one woman saw six of her seven children sold away by the plantation owner, and she never saw them again. Slaves often responded to this with deep hate and resentment. However, few revolted due to the harsh consequences that resulted because of it. Southern whites feared slave uprisings more than anything. As a prominent Virginian explained, a slave revolt should “deluge southern country with blood.” Any sign of resistance or rebellion therefore risked a brutal response. The overwhelming firepower and and authority of whites made organized resistance by slaves extremely risky. It was hard for slaves to live a country that was built on freedom and the beliefs of equality for all men. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Slaves often took this as being offensive. This resulted in few seldom slave uprisings. In 1800, a slave named Gabriel Prosser, who was a blacksmith on a plantation near Richmond Virginia, hatched a revolt involving perhaps a thousand other slaves. To plan to seize key points in the city, capture the governor, James Monroe, and overthrow the white elite. Gabriel expected the “poor white people” to join their effort. However, someone alerted the whites to the scemes. Gabriel and 26 of his fellow “soldiers” were captured, tried, and hanged. Before his execution, Gabriel explained that he was only imitating George Washington: “I have ventured my life in endeavoring to obtain the liberty of my countrymen.” A white Virginian who observed the hangings noted that the rebels on the gallows displayed a “sense of their natural rights, and a contempt for danger.” This is how slaves reacted to the inhumanity of their situation. #1: Describe the major changes in the practice of religion in America in the early nineteenth century, and analyze their impact.In the early eighteenth century the religious idea predestination arose. Predestination was an idea in which many people believed that God decides what happens to you and your actions don’t impact your afterlife. In the late eighteenth century the groups of Universalists and Unitarians, from New England, challenged the idea of predestination. Unitarians believed Jesus was a saintly man but was not divine. Universalists believed salvation was available to everyone. These two parallel religions believed that humans are able to make decisions for themselves and that good actions could receive salvation. This was known as the Second Great Awakening.  The idea of free will leading to salvation was preached throughout frontier revivals which took place in frontier churches in the west.  These Frontier Revivals were dominated by Baptists and Methodists in the early nineteenth century. Baptists believed that every story from the Bible was true. They also believed in social equality for all. The Methodists believe in similar ideas as the Baptists.  They developed the idea of a “circuit rider.” The job of circuit riders were to travel to remote frontier settlements and try to convert people. These two religions attracted mainly two groups: African Americans and Women. Such appreciation can be seen when an African American named Richard Allen said in 1787, “There was no religious sect or denomination that would suit the capacity of the colored people as well as the Methodist.” There was also religious leadership roles for women.  These religious opportunities had a huge impact on traditional roles. It reinforced women’s self confidence as well as expanded horizon. The energies of the revivals spread more of a democratic faith among people on the frontier. #4: Analyze the impact on American society and politics of the emergence of the anti-slavery movement?The first organized emancipation movement appeared in 1816 with the formation of American Colonization Society, whose mission was to return freed slaves back to Africa. Its supporters were prominent figures such as James Monroe, James Madison, Henry Clay, John Marshall, and Daniel Webster. Some saw it as a way of getting rid of the free blacks. In total, 15,000 blacks were returned to Liberia. Abolitionism emerged in the 1830s, demanding an immediate end of slavery. Blacks in Boston and whites in the anti-slavery movement adopted an aggressive new strategy. Its initial efforts to promote a gradual end to slavery by prohibiting it in the western territories and encouraging owners to free their slaves gave way to demands for immediate abolition everywhere. A zealous white Massachusetts activist named William Lloyd Garrison illustrated the change in outlook. Some abolitionists went even further, calling for full social and political equality among the races, although they disagreed over tactics. Abolitionist efforts in the North provoked a strong reaction among southern whites, stirring fears for their safety and resentment of interference. Yet many northerners shared the belief in the racial inferiority of Africans and were hostile to the tactics and message of the abolitionists. Free blacks in the North joined in on this movement to help enslaved blacks in the South escape. This led to the formation of an underground railroad.   

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