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Slavery and Undergroung Railroad

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Essay title: Slavery and Undergroung Railroad

I know you're wondering, what railroad? Well the simple fact is

that everybody has heard of the Underground Railroad, but not everyone

knows just what it was. Firstly, it wasn't underground, and it wasn't

even a railroad. The term "Underground Railroad" actually comes from a

runaway slave, who while being chased swam across a creek and was out

of the owner's sight. The owner said "...must have gone off on an

underground railroad." That man was Tice Davids, a Kentucky slave who

decided to live in freedom in 1831. The primary importance of the

Underground Railroad was the on going fight to abolish slavery, the

start of the civil war, and it was being one of our nation's first

major anti-slavery movements.

The history of the railroad is quite varied according to whom

you are talking. Slavery in America thrived and continued to grow

because there was a scarcity of labor. Cultivation of crops on

plantations could be supervised while slaves used simple routines to

harvest them, the low price at which slaves could be bought, and

earning profits as a bonus for not having to pay hired work.

Slaves turned to freedom for more than one reason. Some were

obsessed with being free and living a life where they were not told

how to live. Others ran due to fear of being separted or sold from

friends and family. Then there were some who were treated so cruely,

that it forced them to run just to stay alive. Since coming to America

as slaves even back as far back as when the first colonies began,

slaves wanted to escape. They wanted to get away from the situation

they were forced into. Those who were free were the "whites" who were

somewhat separated in values. The North, was a more industrialized

area where jobs were filled by newly imported immigrants, making them

less dependent on slave labor. The South, however had rich fertile

land mostly used for farming. Huge plantations were cleared and needed

to be worked. The people of the area tended to be more genteal, and

seemed not quite adjusted to hard work, but more of giving orders. The

idea of telling people how to do their work just seemed to fit all too

well into this scenario.

The railroad didn't have a certain location. Slaves had been

running since the 1500's on their own. When the idea caught on among

brave slaves, was when it started. Slave owners in the South certainly

weren't happy about the loss of "property". It seemed like too much

money was being lost.This caused the South to pass the Fugitive Slave

Act of 1793. This titled slaves as property of their owners and gave

permission to the owners to retrieve runaways any where in the states,

even those states that were free. The North was angry about the

treatment of the slaves and was not happy about owners being allowed

to come into their states to take the slaves back. Finally, the North

decided to do something about it. To return the fire thrown at them by

the South, they would take away something that the North thought was

morally wrong,and the South's riches. They would help the slaves

escape to freedom.

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