Nat Turner And Slavery In America

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Slavery in the United States marked the nation’s history over the years since many people have different opinions about it adding or offsetting the value of human beings. Slavery was a legal economic system where people were treated as property mainly with the practice of inhumane and disrespectful treatments towards them. In the United States, the law and systems vary and property to sold and bought slaves according to individual affairs. In the nation, it was a legal institution in the 18th and 19th centuries after the American Civil War. Slavery was practiced by from early colonial days and known as a normal practice in the thirteen colonies stated in the Declaration of Independence in 1776. One of the few slaves that rebelled against the white people was Nat Turner.

Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800, he was born as an African American slave who led a slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia. The rebellion took place on August 21, 1831. Turner created one of America’s largest slave uprisings strikes, fear in the south and prompts some to call for an institution of slavery spreading terror through the white population killing many children women and men. Nat turner became a famous influence in worldwide slavery because of his attributions and efforts combating slavery oppression and unfair treatment toward people especially people of color or as they were called black. He was responsible for one of the bloodiest slave revolts in America, this caused the emancipation movement to end in that area and harsher laws against slaves were created. Turner was part of a black power movement, but many people do not like the way he approached things with violence.

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Nat Turner was born in Southampton County, Virginia on the plantation of Benjamin Turner. His owner allowed him to be instructed in reading, religion, and writing. As a small child, Turner was thought to have some special talent because he could describe things that happened before he was even born. His special talent gave him the idea that he was destined for some great purpose. During his lifetime, Turner was sold three times. When he was 21, he escaped from his owner Samuel Turner, but after a month he returned to his owner. He was hiding in the woods and said that God sent him a sign that he needed to return to his master. When Samuel died, he became the property of Thomas Moore, and then became the property of John Travis in 1820. Turner spent his time writing praying and reading the Bible, clinging to religion stating it was the major guidance to strengthen his thinking. At the age of 29, he became a preacher and a leader of the black American slaves in the county believing he was chosen by God with the responsibility to release the rights and freedoms of the slaves. Turner is a dominant figure among other people who fought for the rights of slaves some of those people the fight for the freedom of slaves were Gabriel Prosser and Denmark Vesey. Turner was known for his passion for freedom always dreaming to accomplish his major yearning “liberty for all” giving an outstanding example for future generations.

Turner obtains help from his followers which started with a few trusted slaves that found ways to communicate their intentions into the neighborhood without giving away any other plot. The use of particular songs helped turner and someone fellow conspirators as a signal. The Revels included more than 70 enslaved or free blacks. Turner took a solar eclipse that occurred in 1831 as a signal that the time to rise had come. Turner recruited several other slaves to join him in his cause. Later he planned a rebellion for July 4, But he postponed it for more deliberation between him and his followers, and due to illness. Finally, on August 13, there was another solar eclipse intentionally Nat Turner took this occasion as the final signal and about a week later on August 21, he began the rising. Turner and his supporters began to revolt against white slave owners with the killing of the Travis family. Turner and six other slaves killed the family. Travis, his wife, nine-year-old son were killed while they slept. After leaving they realized that they did not kill one member of the family, so they returned to killed an infant in his crib. As he and his men continue the murder spree through the county they were able to secure arms and horses from those they killed. They also freed slaves which up to 75 of them joined them in the killing that lasted two days. The rebels travel house to house killing about 60 white people including children, women, and men. Initially, turner had the plan to reach the county seat of Jerusalem but he and his men had to face off against a group of on Whiteman at a plantation near Jerusalem. The conflict soon dissolved into chaos. Turner himself fled into the woods and hid for two months, but most of his followers were captured.

According to Turner’s point of view, slavery should not even exist because even people that are not white are humans and deserve to be treated like normal human beings, not like animals or a piece of property. His goal was to lead slaves from bondage because he believed that was God’s plan for him to do. On October 30, 1831, Benjamin Phipps found Turner and he surrender. Nat Turner was hanged on November 11, 1831, but he was also cut into pieces and his followers also share the same fate. White people were pissed because they never thought a slave could mean such a threat to them so they took revenge on black people killing around 100 to 200 slaves. They also passed harsher laws against slaves to be beaten if the owner saw any signs of disobedience from the slaves. Also, some states made it illegal to teach African Americans how to write or read. Nats Rebellion gave slaves the strength and confidence to rebel against their owners and also give them hope that one day slavery will come to an end. They also believed that people like Nat Turner could bring a change to slaves’ lives and make a big impact in America for a change. Slaves were told they were property, they were made to believe that they will never have the opportunity to be free since they were slaves from the day they were born. This idea that white people could treat black people is a piece of property that could be sold, cause Black slaves like Nat Turner to rebel. When slaves saw the Nat rebellion or heard about it, it gave them hope and made them stronger to fight against slavery. And give courage for slaves to rebel against their owners and they saw Nat as a hero and wanted to support him and even wanted to join him because they believed in the opportunity to be free.

Slavery was a big issue in America, the country was divided between people who were against it or in favor of it. Slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, with the 13th amendment in the US Constitution. Nat Turner and other people that fought for slaves’ rights, risk their lives knowing that they could get killed for standing up and trying to make a change in America. They knew that they were risking their lives but they did it anyway because they had a goal, and thought that if they fought for this and still died they will still be making an impact in history. They wanted other generations to have more rights and freedom than they did. Not all white people were in favor of slavery, one example is Abraham Lincoln who opposed slavery and didn’t want it to expand. If it wasn’t for people like Nat Turner that fought for slaves, maybe there would not be laws or amendments that would protect African Americans from being slaves. Till today some people believe that African-Americans or other non-white people should be considered as less than humans because of their skin color. And there’s nothing that will change their point of view. There are still people fighting today for equal rights and we have made small changes and allowed people of color to have a better life than they did before. None of this would have been possible if there weren’t brave people who risk lives to make a change, but we still have a long way to go.   


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