Keith Burkholder has been published in Creative Juices, Sol Magazine,
Trellis Magazine, Foliate Oak Literary Journal, New Delta Review, Poetry Quarterly, and Scarlet Leaf Review.
He has a bachelor's degree in statistics with a minor in mathematics from SUNY at Buffalo (UB).
Slavery was a main part of United States history. Slavery, by definition, is the social institution defined by law and custom as the most absolute and involuntary form of human servitude. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 16)
The pronounced characteristics of slaves are as follows: Their labor or services are obtained through force; their physical beings are regarded as the property of another person, their master; they are entirely subject to their master’s or owner’s will. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 16) Since earliest times slaves have been legally defined as things; therefore, they could, among other possibilities, be bought, sold, traded, given as a gift, or pledged for a debt by their master, usually without any resource to personal or legal objection or restraint.
The practice of slavery is prehistoric, although its institutionalization probably first occurred in early prehistoric times. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 17) Slaves were needed for various specialized functions in these societies and were obtained either through raids or conquests of other peoples or within society itself, when some people sold themselves or their family members to pay debts or were enslaved as punishment for their crimes. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 17)
Slavery happened in the United States in the early nineteenth century. In 1800 the population of the United States included nearly 900,000 slaves, or which only just over 36,000 were in the northern states. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 18)
Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey provided for the emancipation of their slaves before 1804, most of them by gradual measures. The nearly 4,000,000 slaves at the census of 1860 were in the southern states. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 18)
Eminent statesmen from the earliest period of the national existence, for example, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton, regarded slavery as evil and inconsistent with the principles of the Declaration of Independence. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 18)
The Society of Friends uniformly opposed slavery and agitated against it. The Presbyterian Church made several formal declarations against it between 1787 and 1836. (Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia, page 18)
Individuals and groups of persons of almost all sects defended slavery. This concept of belief occurred with the southeastern United States. On the whole in the South, antislavery views grew steadily; but many who personally held strong antislavery opinions hesitated to join actively in abolitionist agitation, unwilling to dispute what many citizens held to be their rights.
As you can see during the 1800’s slavery had many beliefs and points of view. The South predominantly used slavery as a form of control and for financial purposes. Today, in the twenty-first century it is very different. Segregation does exist, but freedom is applied to all citizens. One should keep an open mind about today’s views. Viewpoints do vary and the world continues to evolve into a more conscious and safe nation.