[Company name] [Document title] [Document subtitle] Shannay Francis [Year] Thesis Statement
On an 18th century plantation, the enslaved women were the ones who prepared the land for cane cultivation and they also harvested the crop, so the plantation masters had to rely on them making them the backbone of the 18th century plantation economy.
This topic was selected by the researcher because it is a prominent part of her history. Even after slavery has been abolished for almost 200 years, people of her skin tone have always been oppressed even up to today in some parts of the world, especially black women.
This specific topic will be beneficial to others because it is a vital part of our history. People in the world today still think that women are weak and that they can’t do the things that men do. This research will bring to light that the females were the ones to do the hardest part of sugar cultivation on the plantations, even if they were pregnant they still had to work and still experienced some inhumane treatment. This research will entail that and more and will give the reader a renewed and stronger respect for black women around the world.
Slavery began in the 12th century when Italians planted cane fields on the islands of Cyprus. They were sold African slaves by Arab suppliers, who told them that they were skilled in cane cultivation. By the 14th century, sugar cultivation had spread westward to southern Spain and Portugal. In the 15th century these captive’s descendants were shipped off to work the cane fields in the colonies of Spain and Portugal, Madeira and the Canary Islands. By the ending of the century, Portuguese traders shipped slaves there directly from their new forts along the West African coast. In the 16th century, the slaves were brought further to the west to new colonies in the Americas.
In the Americas, sugar planters remained the greatest users of slaves. By the 1700s, sugar and slavery had moved across the Caribbean from the Barbados and the Leeward to Jamaica and St. Domonique. A century later the cattle ranches in Puerto Rico and Cuba were changed by African slave gangs into cane fields.
Before the African became slaves, they went through a process, they had to go through a number of stages before they got to the Caribbean and became fully seasoned slaves. They were first taken as captive, most times by other Africans; this was done in a number of ways either by raids, kidnapping or ethnic wars. After being captured they had to endure the journey to the coast; the traders would place them in pairs and fasten chains around their legs and secured again in groups of four where a yoke was placed around their necks. The journey can take up to 3 months and this depended on how far inland the captives were from, on this journey the weak and the sick would be let free and left to die on the way. When they arrived at the coast the captives were divided in two groups the accepted and the rejected(mackrons). The accepted were then branded with a hot iron this was meant to identify their traders and to keep them form getting mixed with the mackrons.
The middle passage was the next part of the journey and was the worst, this was where most of the Africans died on the journey to the Caribbean. The slaves were placed under the deck the men were placed in iron shackles around their ankles and joined to the person beside then via chains, women and children were crowded below decks in the fore section. This would last up to 6 to 10 weeks depending on the weather and destination. The main slave markets in Caribbean at Barbados, Martinique, Jamaica, and Hispaniola, and this leads to the last part of the journey before reaching the plantation. The slave sales/auctions when the slaves arrived at the pot this is where they were prepared for sale; this was don in two ways either by scramble (slaves were placed in groups with fixed prices, planters would rush onboard at a signal and grabbed who they wanted), some of the slaves were terrified they would jump over board. The other way of purchase was by auction (the planters would bid, and the highest bidder got the slave). After being bought the slave were then branded again with their new master’s mark, and after being issued a set of Osnaburg clothes (a pants and hat for men and a scarf and petticoat for women) they were taken to the plantation where the process of being a seasoned slave began. Women on the slave plantations were subjected to several different tasks. Most of the field workers were women they also had other tasks to do such as; stockwomen, gardeners, midwives, cooks, house maids and nannies. These are the factors that will be brought out trough further research to prove the thesis. The researcher intends to collect data by using books, the National library, National Archives and by the internet.
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