|Tag(s):||Zephaniah Kingsley, Slavery, Patriarchy|
|Course:||“HIS 240 African-American History I,” Rollins College|
|Rating:||2.75 (4 votes)|
”Patriarchy is a system where males are the head of the family and have all the rights of decision-making,”a system that has persisted for many years in American History. Patriarchy was not only used in government bodies, but it was also used in determining a slave child’s fate. In A Treatise on the Patriarchal or Co-Operative System of Society a humble servant by the name of Z. Kingsley allows to find out how a couple’s offspring’s destiny was chose for them by their parent’s social status.
Agriculture was a great foundation to the slave trade business, a business that soon became very popular among countries such as Spain, France, and the United States. Slaves were brought in from African countries and put to work in farms under the ruling of, more often than not, a white male. Sons and daughters of these slaves future all depended on the social status of their parents. Soon enough this procedure became a law, a “law that entitles the children of free quarteroons, to all white privileges, if the father is white.” Children, whose fathers were slaves, became slaves, and children whose father was white, was to have all of the same rights as a white would hold.
Families were separated and many never reencountered after being transported to different parts to continue their lives as slaves. Children often loathed their parents for being slaves, and many ran away after search for freedom. White Americans benefited greatly from this new law. The reproduction of slaves greatly favored plantation owners since it added more slaves to work their land. Young children were not allowed to work in the fields, so masters often had children working in the house, doing chores such as cleaning. Many plantation owners allowed the children to stay in their house and play with the other children. After a certain age, they were placed along with the other slaves on the fields.
Slave’s offspring was not only way slave population augmented. “The slave trade was the mechanism by which one of history’s greatest mass population transfers was affected,” and this was proven truth by the amounts of slaves that were being transferred over from Africa to America; men, women, and children. Ships were being sent over from all over African and European continent filled with slaves. While lives were being torn apart, and families were detached from their roots, American economy was increasing with every slave that stepped foot on slave soil.
Slavery was a never-ending cycle, and slaves began to accept the fact that the slaves themselves and their children would be in bondage for the rest of their lives. Escaping the rigorous life of a slave was almost an impossible dream to achieve. The patriarchal system ruined the lives of young girls and boys who often dreamed of being free and returning to their homeland. The fight for their freedom was reflected on misconduct of many slaves, but such rebellions only cause them more pain. African American’s lives were changed, the only aspect being passed on from one generation to the next, was that of being a slave.