Long before the world became full of civilized people, slavery was a common practice. However, the practice came to an end as a result of missionaries. Slavery was meant mostly for the Africans hence served the whites in various ways. In the past, the end of slavery was initiated by the British. Furthermore, the missionaries intersected the slave trade by way of coming up with various means to abolish that type of business. As per Cooper et.al, the missionaries, mainly of British origin, their main aim involved spreading the virtues of Christianity.
In a bid to gain ground and control of their operations, missionaries had agents. Agents were used as a medium to fulfill the various duties of the ministers. As per the context of this paper, the different agents had roles and were instructed on how to deal with slaves. Missionaries were in one way or another sympathetic. Consequently, they were lenient on slaves hence ignited various actions such as incorporating the theme of the supplicant slave (Titus 27). The theme was designed by Josiah Wedgwood hence incorporating a theme commonly known as am I not a man and a brother. The theme involves a kneeling figure with hands tied in chains pleading for help hence enough proof that slavery was against the peoples wish. However, the Bible in some instances can be cited to support the art of slavery. As a result, missionaries dating back to the 17th century when Quakers faced various punishments due to their different beliefs emphasized that every human was equal before the eyes of the Lord regardless of the skin tone and origin (Titus 33). As a result, agents were asked to treat the slaves equally hence saw various revolutions such as Quakers located in Pennsylvania fought for the deportation of the many slaves found in North America (Drake 61).
In the Caribbean, the history of religion dates back to 1989 where there were various activities by missionaries from the Catholic Church. Their main aim was to convert the natives of the Caribbean to Catholicism as well as demolish the culture of the existing population. In the push to bring about Christianity in the Caribbean, Scholars such as Christopher Columbus shared their views towards the spreading of Christianity. He went on to suggest that the natives located in San Salvador were bound to be converted to Christians easily in light of the fact that they barely had a religion (Bisnauth 11). Moreover, he went on to say that the Island of Hispaniola was infested with idolaters who would be easily converted due to lack of their religion. Convincing natives to join Christianity as their religion was one of the duties of the missionaries in line with their agents. In a bid to convince them, the agents were friendly to them hence specially treated the slaves by use of various gifts and teaching. Bisnauth hence concluded that the different hostile environments led to the breeding of hostile type of spirits hence the existence of the Island-Carib religion (Bisnauth 16).
Agents as far as they are concerned followed the various instructions to the latter. They were out to infest areas of the Caribbean that observed no religion. The agents were used as a medium to lure the slaves and inhabitants of the Caribbean. Among them include residents from Jamaica and Haiti. They were poor hence agents lured them into joining Christianity by way of presents such as clothes and food (Drake 33). The strategy of giving out material things for free was the missionarys detailed instructions. In the long run, Christianity in the Caribbean became widespread with other inhabitants joining the same hence defining the role of the agents.
Missionaries worked towards reforming a volatile society in the sense that they adhered to the teachings of the bible. The agents were used to spread the word further hence attracting multitudes. Their primary goal was to introduce the religion fully in the society. Inhabitants were hence attracted to t as it condemned the act of slavery. Slaves were overworked, and a number of them went without pay and food. They worked for the white people in their various plantations as they were colonized and governed by the white government (Cooper et.al. 115). However, the entry of missionaries saw countries such as Britain work towards doing away with the slave trade. British came up with the drawing of a slave ship in the year 1788. The slave ship was embedded with rows of figures, black and tiny in nature. The features in the drawing were used to show the state of the slave as well as their lives under slavery by being stuck in one boat despite their gender and age differences.
In relation to the abolishing of the slave trade, missionaries worked through agents by way of educating people. The same individuals educated by the missionaries gained the zeal to fight for their rights which included stopping the slave trade. In South Africa during the ear of colonialism in missionaries went ahead to defy the government. Therefore, they educated the students from the black community (Bisnauth 24). Though the then current administration strongly condemned such practices, some missionaries were more than ready to help. In turn, they constructed clinics as well as offered medication which in the long run contributed to improving the rate of infant mortality. Besides immunizations were administered hence saving some black lives.
The use of agents to counter slavery by the missionaries can be dated back in the 17th century. During this time, the Catholic missionaries accompanied French colonial ventures in the Antilles. The missionaries were since then disgusted by the treatment received by the slaves. Working on extremely big plantations with poor pay was so dejected (Peabody 115). The Catholic missionaries now had a grasp of what it meant to be a slave. They sought a religious way of declaring slavery inhuman. They were, however, wise enough not to call for its abolishment at once. Acquiring agents at this time was better yet, not easy. The missionaries, therefore, insisted that the slaves could be Whitened and treated better if they joined the Catholic Church from where they acquired agents who were anti-slavery in Antilles (Peabody 122). The impact of this move is that many slaves joined the church and by doing so, some were treated in a better way.
The services offered by missionaries were used to spread the various virtues of Christianity among them being willing to give and help. All the services despite the world location were done for free. Agents were then used by the same missionaries to spread the word to the people of their various services (Cooper et.al. 118). At first, communication had proved to be a barrier since non-English speaking countries were still confined to their cultural beliefs. As a result, this saw the need for the missionaries to introduce education which was administered under trees or small structures such as tents.
However, it has been noted that not all missionaries aimed for the same goal. Missionaries and their agents such as David Livingstone and Fabri belonging to the German Missionary Society located in Namibia had different views (Peabody 115). They firmly believed that in the event Africans countries were under control to be colonized by European countries they would draw to practicing a number of western ways and culture. Some of these cultures narrow down to dressing models as well as Western Education and Christianity. All these activities and entities were large which the missionaries controlled. The missionaries had sacrificed to do anything just to convert Africans who in their eyes appeared as uncivilized and barbaric. Besides, some missionaries often failed the test of distinguishing between the different principles of the Christian foundation and those of the colonialists. In relation, biblical messages were misinterpreted juts to lure the African sin the hands of the colonial governments.
As explained above some missionaries viewed slavery as the only means to get the black people integrate with the western culture by use of the respective territorial governments. It was then their work to offer and give their agents instructions on how to deal with slaves. In the case of resistance which came up on the regular, missionaries sought help from the colonial soldiers who would, in turn, punish the Africans severely for acts of disobedience (Goveia 53).
The sermons and messages relayed by missionaries as well as their agents encouraged Africans to rebel and shun their culture. They were to rebel against pillars as well as virtues that made up the integral part as well as the foundation of African family and society. The agents were instructed to convene subliminal messages (Goveia 62). They categorically stated that that salvation was only obtained by way formal work. Therefore they this meant that every individual was bound to earn a paycheck.
A vital lesson learned from the abolishment of slavery is that Christian values are against abuse of fundamental human rights. The missionaries efforts in the fight against slavery can be noted centuries before the African slavery. In the very onset, missionaries were opposed to the American Negro slavery (Drake 60). This, however, became a controversy because the rest of the European society argued to the inclination that slavery did not hurt as much. This group based their reasoning on the fact that it would have been hard to win the war (while struggling for independence) without making use of slaves. The intensified wars in America made Americans conduct slave raids in West Africa, a practice that almost drained males in the west coast. Missionaries in America, however, faced this in a strategic manner by first approaching the administration while at the same time spreading awareness among the black population (Drake 60). The strength in the antislavery struggle can, therefore, be only attributed to the Christian values that inspired the missionaries.
In conclusion, it is evident that the agents who are both of the white and black origins followed the instructions to lure people into Christianity. As the context of this paper discusses, the missionaries did everything in their power to reach the Africans. The use of agents is highly recognized and it bore fruits towards their course. Slowly by slowly, the missionaries exerted an irresistible force on the colonialists by having a huge representation of agents thereby leading to the abolishment of slavery across the Caribbean, the whole of Europe and the world at large.
Bisnauth, Dale A. History of Religions in the Caribbean. Africa World Pr, 1996.
Cooper, Frederick, Thomas Cleveland Holt, and Rebecca J. Scott. Beyond slavery: Explorations of race, labor, and citizenship in postemancipation societies. UNC Press Books, 2014.
Drake, Thomas E. "Am I Not a Man and a Brother: The Antislavery Crusade of Revolutionary America, 1688-1788." (1978): 60-62.
Goveia, Elsa V. Slave society in the British Leeward Islands 1780-1800. Diss. University College London (University of London), 1952.
Peabody, Sue. "" A nation born to slavery": missionaries and racial discourse in seventeenth-century French Antilles." journal of social history 38.1 (2004): 113-126.
Titus, Noel F. Conflicts and Contradictions: The Introduction of Christianity to the Sixteenth-century Caribbean. Minerva, 1998.
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