A Brief History of Slavery and the Origins of American Policing
Written by Victor E. Kappeler, Ph.D., Eastern Kentucky University
The birth and development of the American police can be traced to a multitude of historical, legal and political-economic conditions. The institution of slavery and the control of minorities, however, were two of the more formidable historic features of American society shaping early policing. Slave patrols and Night Watches, which later became modern police departments, were both designed to control the behaviors of minorities. For example, New England settlers appointed Indian Constables to police Native Americans (National Constable Association, 1995), the St. Louis police were founded to protect residents from Native Americans in that frontier city, and many southern police departments began as slave patrols.
In 1704, the colony of Carolina developed the nation’s first slave patrol. Slave patrols helped to maintain the economic order and to assist the wealthy landowners in recovering and punishing slaves who essentially were considered property. Continue reading →
I can conceive of no greater calamity than the assimilation of the Negro into our social and political life as our equal.
Attributed to ABRAHAM LINCOLN.
Before the American Civil War and even on the war’s early stages Lincoln said that the Constitution prohibited the federal government from abolishing slavery in states where it already existed. His position and the position of the Republican Party in 1860 was that slavery should not be allowed to expand into any more territories, and thus all future states admitted to the Union would be free states.
SECTION II: Alexander Pires, David Horowitz, and Karl Rahner
Guilt is one of the greatest issues at play in the debate over reparations for slavery and is a strong force on both sides of the argument. Those in favor of reparations proclaim that the United States, and essentially the descendents of slave owners, should feel guilty for the years of kidnapping, bondage, and oppression they forced upon the slaves. To make amends for these acts, the proponents of reparations believe reparations of some monetary sort should be paid to African-Americans today. Those who oppose reparations recognize the guilt in the same way that their opponents do but believe, among other things, that reparations is an attempt to absolve the guilt. Reparations might do more harm than good in terms of helping African-Americans and improving race relations, because it would likely put an end to building the bridges burned by slavery. Continue reading →
40 Acres and a Mule: The Reparations for Slavery Debate Griffin Coop, Nori Henk, Cory Phillips, Theological Analysis Project STH TT 810, 2001
INTRODUCTION: Historical Background and Description
Slavery as a legal institution lasted for about 250 years up until the Emancipation Proclamation of 1865 and for another 100 years, African Americans were subjected to Jim Crow laws of which they were not seen as legally equal until 1965. Initially, reparations were to be paid by giving freed slaves 40 acres of land and a mule, but the bill was vetoed by President Andrew Johnson in 1869 after having passed in Congress. However, the issue was far from being put to rest.
One hundred years later in 1969, the Black Manifesto was published, demanding monetary compensation equaling $3 billion dollars from predominantly white places of worship (Catholic, Protestant and [other] Jews) depending on the predetermined amount that the National Black Economic Development Conference calculated. This request stemmed out of the Civil Rights Continue reading →
(The Root) — Amazing Fact About the Negro No. 13: What happened to the “40 acres and a mule” that former slaves were promised?
We’ve all heard the story of the “40 acres and a mule” promise to former slaves. It’s a staple of black history lessons, and it’s the name of Spike Lee’s film company. The promise was the first systematic attempt to provide a form of reparations to newly freed slaves, and it was astonishingly radical for its time, proto-socialist in its implications. In fact, such a policy would be radical in any country today: the federal government’s massive confiscation of private property — some 400,000 acres — formerly owned by Confederate land owners, and its methodical redistribution to former black slaves. What most of us haven’t heard is that the idea really was generated by black leaders themselves.
I am a grateful slave.
My master is a good man.
He gives me food, shelter, work and other things.
All he requires in return is that I obey him.
I am told he has the power to control my life.
I look up to him, and wish that I were so powerful.