What were slaves used for

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In the antebellum American South, by law slaves had no say in what task they were required to do, as by legal definition they were considered property and afforded none of the constitution, civil, or criminal legal protections afforded to any citizen of the United States.

They also had no control over the length of their working day, which was usually from sun-up in the morning to sunset in the evening (“can see to can’t see” in the slaves’ language). As such, slaves work was whatever their owner required of them. They labored mostly in menial agricultural work, but really in whatever task that was not so totally unnecessary that a machine could not do it for a fraction of the price. Since the South was lightly industrialized at this time, few tasks fit this criteria.

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Although slaves were used in the northern states in factories to produce manufactured goods, at least prior to those states abolishing slavery, most slaves worked on plantations in the southern states.

Slaves were used on plantations for a variety of tasks:

 

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"Slaves Work and Work Done By Slaves" History on the Net
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January 30, 2020 <https://www.historyonthenet.com/slaves-work-and-work-done-by-slaves>
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