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Slavery: Fugitive Slave Act, Slave Status, and Ancestry

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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-19-07 09:47 PM
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Slavery: Fugitive Slave Act, Slave Status, and Ancestry
Why in the United States of America was there ever a time when a child of a slave was automatically a slave and remained a slave not just as a child, but upon reaching adulthood, and throughout adulthood?

There have been times in history when people in debt sold themselves into slavery to pay off their debts. In seems unfair that the default legal status of all their descendants would be bondage.
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Lithos Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 09:00 AM
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1. Was?
Some say that the cycle of systemic poverty, deliberate educational disparities, and prosecutorial bias amount to generational bondage that is pretty equivalent.

L-

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HamdenRice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 05:26 PM
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2. It took some time for this to develop
Edited on Tue Aug-21-07 05:29 PM by HamdenRice
In the early 1600s, African and European indentured servants were treated similarly. The servitude was for a limited time, after which, the person became free. As a result of Bacon's Rebellion by black and white servants in the 1675 in Virginia, the upper classes decided to divide the servant classes by separating the status of African and European servants. African indentures grew longer, then to lifetime servitude, and then to perpetual, inter-generational servitude.

Your overall point is right -- namely that American slavery was unusual because slavery in most societies was for the life of the slave. On the other hand, slavery in some societies also foreclosed the slave marrying and having a family.
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Boojatta Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-21-07 09:44 PM
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3. Thanks!
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