Nat Turner’s Rebellion
In the 19th century, Southern slave owners developed the “peculiar institution” of slavery as a benevolent system. They believed that the system was well-intentioned in teaching enslaved men and women how to be civilized. The idea of rebellion was farfetched because the slave owners believed that their enslaved Black men and women were happy. Nat Turner’s rebellion was a wakeup call.
The Number of Slaves You Owned Equaled Your Status
The planter class was made up of plantation owners and farmers who enslaved Black men and women. Slavery served as a means of “racial control.” It was believed that Blacks could not revolt because they were too busy serving their masters. The state of Virginia allowed schools and churches for enslaved men and women, but at the same time enforced the status quo with the military guard.
Influences for the Rebellion
In the 1790s, enslaved Africans rebelled in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, killing 60,000 people. In the U.S., Southerners began to realize that their own enslaved Black men and women might rise against them.
Revolts in Latin America caused worries. The 1816 Barbados rebellion destroyed a fourth of the sugar cane crop there. The 1823 revolt in Demerara, Guyana, involved about 10,000 Black men and women. The large number of enslaved Africans involved in these revolts caused Southerners in the United States to be alarmed, even though many of these uprisings failed.