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civir Roghts

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Introduction

Slavery is the social or de-facto status of specific persons, known as slaves, who have been stripped of individual rights, and are the property of another person or household. Slaves are people who are being held against their will since either their capture, their purchase, or their birth, and are deprived of their individual freedom for the purpose of exploitation of their labour and in some cases their sexual abuse. Historically, slavery has generally occurred as a means of securing the labour of the slave, without the right of the slave to refuse, leave or receive anything in return for his labour. As such slavery is one form of unfree labour. Chattel slavery is the absolute legal ownership of a person or persons, including the legal right to buy and sell them. While slavery has been a prominent feature of many civilizations throughout human history, it has over the past few centuries gained a repugnant aura. Slavery existed for centuries before the first slaves came to America. Old Egyptian, Greeks, and Romans owned the slaves. In Africa there were many kingdoms and slavery was legal. When Europeans came to Africa, slavery there already existed. The first European slave traders were from Portugal. The little country of Portugal built the first European fort in Africa in 1481. It was called Fort Elmina. Soon, people from other countries found out about the slave trade. Spain was one of the biggest slave trading nations. They needed African slaves to work on their plantations in South America and Caribbean. This is where most of the slaves were taken during the first few centuries of the Atlantic slave trade. England was one of the latest countries to start slave trade. Soon England became on of the biggest slave trading nations. They began to bring slaves to the Caribbean. They formed the Royal African Company in 1672. This allowed English colonies in America to easily buy slaves from English traders. ...read more.

Middle

Even moderate anti-slavery leaders such as Arthur Tappan declared he was now willing to disobey the law and as a result helped fund the Underground Railroad. In 1854 Stephen A. Douglas introduced his Kansas-Nebraska bill to the Senate. These states could now enter the Union with or without slavery. Frederick Douglass warned that the bill was "an open invitation to a fierce and bitter strife". The result of this legislation was to open the territory to organized migrations of pro-slave and anti-slave groups. Southerners now entered the area with their slaves while active members of the Antislavery Society also arrived. Henry Ward Beecher, condemned the bill from his pulpit and helped to raise funds to supply weapons to those willing to oppose slavery in these territories. Kansas elected its first legislature in March, 1855. Although less than 2,000 people were qualified to take part in these elections, over 6,000 people voted. These were mainly Missouri slave-owners who had crossed the border to make sure pro-slavery candidates were elected. The new legislature passed laws that imposed the death penalty for anyone helping a slave to escape and two years in jail for possessing abolitionist literature. In 1856 Abraham Lincoln joined the Republican Party and unsuccessfully challenged Stephen A. Douglas for his seat in the Senate. Lincoln was opposed to Douglas's proposal that the people living in the Louisiana Purchase (Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, the Dakotas, Montana, and parts of Minnesota, Colorado and Wyoming) should be allowed to own slaves. Lincoln argued that the territories must be kept free for "poor people to go and better their condition". Abraham Lincoln raised the issue of slavery again in 1858 when he made a speech at Quincy, Illinois. Lincoln argued: "We have in this nation the element of domestic slavery. The Republican Party think it wrong - we think it is a moral, a social, and a political wrong. ...read more.

Conclusion

After tinkering with the sound for a while, group settled on the "Ku Klux Klan." The selection of the name, chance though it was, had a great deal to do with the Klan's early success. Something about the sound aroused curiosity and gave the fledgling club an immediate air of mystery, as did the initials K.K.K., which were soon to take on such terrifying significance. Soon after the founders named the Klan, they decided to a bit of showing off and so disguised themselves in sheets and galloped their horses through the quiet streets of little Pulaski. Their ride created such a stir that the men decided to adopt the sheets as the official regalia of the Ku Klux Klan, and they added to the effect by making grotesque masks and tall pointed hats. The founders also performed elaborate initiation ceremonies for new members. Their ceremony was similar to the hazing popular in college fraternities and consisted of blindfolding the candidate, subject him to a series of silly oaths and rough handling, and finally bringing him before a "royal alter" where he was to be invested with "royal crown." The altar turned out to be a mirror and the crown two large donkey's ears. Ridiculous though it sounds today, that was the high point of the earliest activities of the Ku Klux Klan. Had that been all there was to the Ku Klux Klan, it probably would have disappeared as quietly as it was born. But at some point in early 1866 the Club, enlarged with new members from nearby towns, began to have a chilling effect on local blacks. The intimidating night rides were soon the centrepiece of the hooded order: bands of white-sheeted ghouls paid late night visits to black homes, admonishing the terrified occupants to behave themselves and threatening more visits if they didn't. It didn't take long for the threats to be converted into violence against blacks who insisted on exercising their new rights and freedom. Before its six founders realized what had happened, the Ku Klux Klan had become something they may not have originally intended--something deadly serious. ...read more.

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