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CAS SO 207 (15)

Pages 104-112.docx

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CAS SO 207
Ruha Benjamin

Pages 104-112 • The Creation of Slavery in the United States o Noel Hypothesis for why blackAfricans were enslaved instead of white indentured servants orA.I.  All three were objects of ethnocentric feelings on part of dominant colonial group: • Black Africans andA.I. had different religious and racial grounds and indentured servants were usually Catholics (not protestant) or criminals  Competition existed • A.I. vs. Colonial: Land (direct competition) • Indentured servants (white and black) vs. Colonial: labor force for landowners (indirect competition)  Differential in power • Balance in power between Colonists and A.I. was even • White indentured servants had advantage of being preferred over black which gave them bargaining power for better treatment • Black Africans were a colonized group and had no bargaining power and no safe havens (no relatives, knowledge of countryside, etc.) • Paternalistic Relations o The nature of inter-group relations will reflect the characteristics of the larger society o Small elite class and plantation-based economy led to paternalism characterized by vast power differentials, repressive system of control over minority group, caste-like barriers between groups, elaborate and highly stylized codes of behavior/communication between groups, and low rates of overt conflict. o To control labor of their slaves, plantation elite designed a system of laws and customs to give masters total legal power. In these laws, slaves were defined as chattel, or personal property.  Thus slaves had no rights (could only testify in court against another slave but that is it)—masters had legal authority over everything  Slaves forbidden by law to read or write and marriages were not legally recognized o Slavery was a caste system (a closed stratification system—ascribed social status)  Interactions between members of dominant and minority groups in a paternalistic system are governed by rigid, strictly enforced code of etiquette. • Slaves had to display they were of a lower status in order to not threaten power and status differentials • Many owners were polite to their slaves when they both followed the system so slaves came to hate the system more than their owners o Powerlessness in slaves and little way to defy system without being beaten or killed  Nat Turner led an uprising, killing 57 whites and >100 slaves died in armed encounter at state militia, Nat Turner and 13 others later executed, the result of this was greater oppression and control by the dominant group • This shows how little power slaves have in revolting due to the system)  Others were successful, runaway slaves, some received help from Underground Railroad, supported by blacks and whites involved in abolitionism (movement to abolish slavery)  Others used open rebellion in the forms of resistance (intentional carelessness, work slowdowns, sabotage, dragging their feet, etc.) o Slaves both resisted slavery and accommodated to it to maintain family and their lives • The Dimensions of Minority Group Stat
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