Southern plantation with slaves (USA, 19th century)
Before the American Civil war the use of slaves on plantations was typical in the Southern states.
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Soon after the discovery of America and its colonization by European countries, a mass transport of slaves began from Africa to the New World. When the U.S. gained independence, the agriculture of the Southern states was based on plantations.
Wealthy white landowners bought slaves, as ‘talking tools,’ to cultivate their lands while they enjoyed their comfortable homes. These plantations usually produced cotton, sugar cane or tobacco. Slaves were forced to work from dawn till dusk with their work supervised by armed guards, slave drivers, who severely punished even the smallest disobedience.
After a long day of hard physical labor, slaves rested in poorly furnished huts, in inhuman conditions.
Their situation only improved after the victory of the Northern states in the American Civil War, due to the efforts of President Lincoln. Although slavery was abolished in the U.S. 150 years ago, racial discrimination against African Americans remains a major issue.
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