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Synopsis

Seminar paper from the year 2005 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7, University of Potsdam (Institut für Anglistik/Amerikanistik), course: Text and Context: Important Documents in American History, language: English, abstract: When in 1619 the first 20 blacks arrived in Virginia, nobody could even guess what consequences would arise from this arrival. This event should be the beginning of a yoke of suppression of blacks lasting nearly 250 years in order to work for the 'white man's' fortune in the newly founded colonies in North America and the West Indies. In this 'dark chapter' of history many of the slaves were driven to death by starving, exhaustion, beating or diseases. Legally they were not even considered as humans, but as mere properties. Regarding the American and Caribbean Colonies, certain differences occurred in economies, life conditions and social structure of slaves. Consequently my research will deal with the description and the comparison of 'black history' from the beginnings (early 17th century) until the end of slavery in America and the West Indies. After having a look at the historical background, I intend to examine some crucial questions, for instance: Why did slavery in America develop in a different way than in the Caribbean? Or: Why did so many elements of the African culture survive until today on the West Indies, whereas an 'African-American Culture' developed in North America?

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