Outline

Name 6

Theseverity of whipping/punishments of slavery

Topic:The severity of whipping/punishments of slavery

Objective:To explore the accuracy with which Frederick Douglass`s narrative inthe “Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass” depicts thetopic of severity of whipping/punishments of slavery.

Thesis:Whipping and other forms of severe punishment that are described byFrederick Douglass were the major strategies that the slave mastersused to gain control of slaves and force them to work withoutcompensation.

  1. Americans perceived slave trade as a solution to the agricultural challenges of an increase in demand for different crops (such as cotton and sugar) that were produced through labor intensive agriculture (IBIS Communication Incorporation 1).

  2. Slaves provided free labor and the cost of maintaining them was low since they could be forced to work through whipping and other methods of punishment (Malmed 1).

  1. Preview of main points

  1. Frederick Douglass`s narrative

  1. Slaves could be whipped for no reason, while others were whipped for being absent from fields without permission, being unmanageable or inefficient (Douglass 2).

  2. Some slaves were kept in animal like sheds, sexually harassed, starved, or even murdered for gross mistakes (Douglass 8).

  1. Accuracy of Frederick Douglass`s narrative

  1. The fact that about 60 % of the female slaves had their first born before celebrating their twelve birthday has been cited as an evidence of sexual harassment (Gutman 11).

  2. A study has estimated that about 5 million slaves died out of hunger, beating, or diseases (Greenberg 1).

  1. Conclusion

  1. Whipping and other forms of severe punishment were the major strategies that the slave masters used to gain control of slaves and force them to work.

  2. Frederick Douglass gave an accurate explanation of the suffering that slaves went through in the hands of their masters.

Theseverity of whipping/punishments of slavery

Slavetrade is one of the incidents of historical injustices that resultedin the death, injury, and the suffering of many people in the historyof the world. It mostly affected the people of color, especially theAfrican Americans who were traded as commodities. Americans perceivedslave trade as a solution to the agricultural challenges of anincrease in demand for the crops (such as cotton and sugar) that wereproduced through labor intensive agriculture (IBIS CommunicationIncorporation 1). This is because slaves provided free labor and thecost of maintaining them was low since they could be forced to workthrough whipping and other methods of punishment (Malmed 1). Thispaper will analyze the Frederick Douglass`s narrative in the book“Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass” with the objectiveof determining the accuracy with which it explains the severity ofwhipping and punishment of slaves.

FrederickDouglass`s narrative

Whippingwas the major strategy theta the slave masters used to commandrespect and obedience from their slaves. Slaves could even be whippedfor no reason, while others were whipped for being absent from fieldswithout permission, being unmanageable or inefficient (Douglass 2).In addition, Douglass explained how slaves were killed for minormistakes. For example, General Mathew, son of a slave master inMaryland, shot a slave claiming that he had disobeyed one of hisorders (Douglass 13). Some slaves were kept in animal like sheds,sexually harassed, starved, or even murdered for gross mistakes(Douglass 8).

Inaddition, Douglass gave an explanation of his own experiences withslavery, which makes the narrative more convincing. For example,experiences with the second master, Mr. Convey, gives a clear pictureof how slaves interacted and were treated by their merciless masters.Douglass states, “I had been at my new home but one week before Mr.Convey gave me a very severe whipping, cutting my back, causing theblood to run, and raising ridges on my flesh as large as my littlefinger” (p. 51). From Douglass’ personal experience and theexperience of the slaves (including his own aunt) that he observedbeing whipped, it is evident that slaves were in the hands ofinhumane masters, who did not care about their wellbeing.

Accuracyof Frederick Douglass`s narrative

Otherauthors have given similar experiences that slaves went through. Forexample, the fact that about 60 % of the female slaves had theirfirst born before celebrating their twelfth birthday has been citedas an evidence of sexual harassment (Gutman 11). Other authors havealso stated that slaves who were perceived to be disobedient ordifficult to handle were whipped severely or beaten to death (Weld13). Although Douglass does not give the exact number of slaves thatwere injured or killed, modern scholars have tried to estimate thisnumber. For example, one study has estimated that about 5 millionslaves died out of hunger, beating, or diseases (Greenberg 1). Themajority of slaves worked in large agricultural plantations wherelife was unbearable. They worked for long hours without compensation,but they were given some food to keep them alive and able to work.

Conclusion

Whippingand other forms of severe punishment were the major strategies thatthe slave masters used to gain control of slaves and force them towork. Frederick Douglass gave an accurate explanation of thesuffering that slaves went through in the hands of their masters.These slaves were whipped, sexually harassed, starved, andoverworked, where most of them died and the others got permanentinjuries.

Workscited

Douglass,F. Narrativeof the life of Frederick Douglass.Boston, MA: The Anti-Slavery Office, 1845. Print.

Greenberg,J. John Stewart: Slave trade caused 5 million deaths. PunditFact.11 March. 2014. Web. 30 October 2015. &lthttp://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/mar/18/jon-stewart/jon-stewart-slave-trade-caused-5-million-deaths/&gt

Gutman,H. Slaveryand the numbers game: A critique of time on the cross.Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 1975. Print.

IBISCommunication Incorporation. Slave Trade: The African connection, ca1788. IBISCommunication Incorporation.2007. Web. 30 October 2015. &lthttp://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/slavetrade.htm&gt

Malmed,J. The long and winding road. DigicationIncorporation.2015. Web. 30 October 2015. &lthttps://bu.digication.com/jmalmanifesto/Final_Draft2&gt

Weld,T. Americanslavery as it is: Testimony of a thousand witnesses.Boston: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1839. Print.