These fears were well-founded, as the South had experienced a number of slave revolts. The first imposed a fine for masters who ordered their slaves to kill deer out of season. However, this law meant that the masters of white female servants could avoid the tax by keeping them out of the fields. There were, therefore, no specific English legal precedents for slavery in the colonies. The Code Noir also set acceptable forms of punishment for slaves, as well as for masters who did not adhere to these regulations.
Arrests and trial of slaves and free persons of color. When punished by death, or at discretion of the court. Congress passed Civil Rights legislation ensuring equal rights for all citizens. Many Northern abolitionists viewed the enforcement of these federal acts as an extension of the slave codes into the Northern states. Slave Codes determined all the rules concerning slaves; the rights and responsibilities of the slave owners. Second, the state of enslavement resulted from a variety of universal causes, including capture during wartime, satisfaction of debt, and punishment for a crime.
As indicated by the passage of the black codes, however, white southerners showed a steadfast commitment to ensuring their supremacy and the survival of plantation agriculture in the postwar years. The law accompanied the , which dealt with the admission of to the Union and the territories in the Southwest that were newly annexed from Mexico in the , 1846 —48. The state of Pennsylvania did not actually emancipate slaves until 1948, even though the Pennsylvania emancipation law was passed in 1820. The needs of the locals usually held in favor of any outside laws. This example illustrates the persistent confusion over laws involving slavery in the colonial period. The white legislators saw little reason not to continue the tradition of unequal treatment of black persons.
The initial laws were partly designed to set limits upon slave owners and convey certain responsibilities to the masters regarding their slaves, including setting minimal standards for food, clothing and shelter, long-term care of sick or elderly slaves, and rules for converting slaves to Catholicism. Do you agree or disagree? This code was eminently practical. Group members should first read Section 1 of the 14th Amendment. Tribunal for the trial of free persons of color. Slaves had to be controlled, and the slave code attempted to achieve that goal by providing a set of restrictions and punishments for slaves and those in contact with slaves. By law, a slave was technically categorized as personal property. It gave positive encouragement to manumission.
Some slaves married in secret. Slaves had none of the rights guaranteed any person under English common law. Slavery developed in the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland first as a socioeconomic practice and only afterward as a legal institution. But a social system like slavery needed legal support in order to survive. In Learning to read and write in colonial America pp.
The courts customarily waived such punishment for white vagrants, allowing them to take an oath of poverty instead. The William and Mary Quarterly. Jurors, how drawn and summoned. Challenging jurors; number allowed state and defendant. Over the next three decades the legislature passed laws regulating slavery and race on a piecemeal basis. These protective measures did not stem from humanitarian concerns. These laws made it illegal for blacks and whites to share public facilities.
For crossing a bridge, the punishment was a beating or imprisonment, but for crossing state lines, the fate was often death. For Further Information Black Codes from the World African Network Online includes a section on the Black Codes. Parmnparsley- I agree with you wholeheartedly, but what I want to know is if the south was the only area of the country that enacted slave codes. To make it illegal for someone to defend his or her life is inhuman and unconstitutional. The first of these slave codes was enacted in Barbados in 1661; the most complete was adopted in in 1740. The net result of these early laws was to slowly stigmatize blacks to the point where all whites would begin to view them as different and inferior.
It has been widely disseminated by mainly white historians in the United States, as well as by a few scholars in Latin America. As such, there was a real monetary loss if a slave ran away. An example of one of the more cruel punishments in this code, directed toward slaves who attempted to run away from their owners, was branding with a fleur-de-lis on the shoulder and cutting off the ears. Spanish law in the Americas focused on protection of Indians, not blacks. Philadelphia: The Philadelphia Female Anti-Slavery Society, 1845. Without it, the free blacks could legally be captured by over-zealous slave-hunters and sold into slavery. As the population of enslaved people of African descent grew in America, individual colonies and states began to pass and enforce statutes and other laws that severely restricted black slaves from enjoying even the most basic of , like the right to marry and to keep one's family intact.
GlassAxe- The history of slavery in the North is well documented through census counts and various colonial and state slave codes. The slaveholders feared not only the possibility of slave insurrections and collaboration between slaves and white indentured servants; more generally, they feared that the mixing of the races would lead to the deterioration of the political, socioeconomic, and legal power of those white Americans who controlled American society. Muslims were not to be enslaved. In some places, slave tags were required to be worn by enslaved people to prove that they were allowed to participate in certain types of work. The Spanish had some laws regarding slavery in , a far older law that was not designed for the slave societies of the Americas.