The Effects of Slavery on 18th Century England
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The Effects of Slavery on 18th Century England
In the 18th century, the African slave trade was an accepted form of business in the Americas and part of Europe. Among the European countries, England proved themselves to be a dominant force in the business of slave trade. The Slave trade greatly affected England’s political, economic, social, and cultural structures bringing dramatic changes to England.
The English benefited greatly with help from successful economic progress. As a result, the slave trade provided many sea captains with a new line of work, resulting in some growth and improvements in the shipping industry, including stronger ships, faster ships, and safer ships. Although few, some slaves were transported to England and used as servants for extremely low wages for their hard labor. If their wages were compared to an English person of a different race, it would be noticed that the payment of a slave was lower. One these servants were let out of the street out on the street, it proved difficult to understand and succeed in a much different economic structure than what is in African at the time. A not an easily understood ideal, the idea of a universal currency for making purchases confused many African “immigrants”. These people were more adjusted to the idea of bartering for their commodities, good, and services.
Many major problems were spawned form the many social misunderstandings and differences between the Africans and the Native English. Transforming ones social standards from a life of hunting in a loincloth and practicing many spiritual to the hectic cities and practicing capitalism was a bold and dramatic change. African were also made social outcasts. Their inability to succeed in the western system brought stereotypes to the Africans, making it even harder for a successful life. Racism was another factor; many qualified Africans were turned away from jobs because of their race. After adding all the factor together, one can imagine how difficult and stressful it was to rise in society, in some cases, almost impossible.
Understanding the circumstances many Africans underwent, one must place himself (herself) in the shoes of the Africans. The life of the Africans prior to being imported to the hectic England, they lived a much more simplistic life. Lacking the technological advantages of Europe, they spent their time doing what many consider today to be arts and crafts: Sewing, painting, pottery making, etc. other chores included basic survival practices such as hunting and farming. Life in Europe was different though. Not only were the daily routines different, the climate proved surprisingly colder and damper then their native Africa. This resulted in a difference in fashion; English being dressed more fully and revealing much less skin in their attire.
Life in a loincloth ended for the immigrants. Now they had to dress to English standards, meaning they had to “dress to impress” arranging their wardrobe to, not only fit to the occasion planned, but also must fit the fashion for the people in that class. If he/she were planing to work in the factory for the day, he/she would dress for that, wearing practical, working clothes. If that person were going to church or some other important even, then more fancy and nicer cloths would be worn.
Another major difficulty the newly arriving Africans encountered was a difference on languages. Communication issues made it difficult for Africans to understand, adjust, and improve the situation they were in. Learning a new language is not an easy task to accomplish, especially if the language is based on a different mentality. People see thing differently in different cultures, as a result, the meaning of a phrase may imply one meaning, but in literal translations it may contain a different connotation. For example in a standard Spanish to English translation, the phrase “me gusta” would translate “I like,” but in literal translation, “me gusta” means “it pleases me.” The mentality of the Spanish culture thinks that objects are there to give a person an emotion, while the English people think a person exerts an emotion in reaction to different objects. These made it confusing for the Africans who had a different mentality in their languages. Although it might not have been so difficult the words, the difference in grammatical format
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Racism, African slave trade, Slavery in the United States, Atlantic slave trade, Black British history, Slavery
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