Religion contributed significantly to various rebellions against slavery. Revolt leaders were majorly inspired by religious beliefs and teachings. Also the slave owners were also encouraged to counter the slave revolutions.
Denmark Vesey, like Prosser, was greatly inspired by Christianity. This was particularly the Old Testament. An essential feature of slave and free Christianity was its weight on the liberation of the children of Israel from Egypt slavery. This tale was probably the most influential religious and cultural authority on the humankind outlook of nineteenth century Americans. So Vesey went on ahead citing biblical contents to slaves to urge them to revolt. He particularly loved to cite Yahweh's orders to Joshua when he stresses that Joshua kill every resident of the towns of Canaan including women and children. This made him successful in bringing in the slave revolt.
His major task was to incite slaves into revolt as inspired by the biblical readings. However in 1821, that view changed dramatically and he started to put in order his own revolt. He arranged an operational set of lieutenants that incorporated Gullah Jack. Gullah was a sorcerer regarded totally untouchable. Also there was Peter Poyas who was amongst the greatest military and organizational masterminds of the start of nineteenth century. Poyas prearranged the revolt into detached cells under independent leaders. He only kept the organizations secretly known to the leaders. He also gave restrictions that if a slave betrayed the arrangement, he would only be disloyal to their cell. So in 1822 nearly all the slaves in the cultivated areas near Charleston had cooperated in the revolt. Vesey and Poyas's plot was pretty simple. They organized the rebels to position themselves at the entrances of European-Americans and, later at darkness, a crowd or insurgents would light a big fire. When the residents came outside, the insurgents would slaughter them with crude weapons or guns. They would then proceed to the houses and kill those who are there. The revolt was almost successful. They were let down early in the quest, but the cell design distracted authorities from finding out the scheme itself or singling out any of the organizers. It was only one slave who knew the whole scheme betrayed Vesey. He was hanged alongside other leaders.
Vesey managed to combine many factors to bring about the revolt. He utilized good leaders and organized them into a revolt. He also got inspiration from his religious study of the bible. In this we are able to depict the impact of religion factor in causing slave rebellion. Vesey was inspired by Haitian revolution. The slaves were greatly inspired by the biblical citation into joining the Vesey revolt. To strengthen this factor and built on it, Vesey managed to bring together other best military schemers. Vesey's revolt was enormously scary to slave proprietors. The reality that thousands of slaves took part in, it was not easy to crack the scheme. The complete neatness of the revolt organized froze the hearts of even the strongest European-Americans. The fact that thousands of slaves were ready to demise any and all European Americans in spite of gender or age dawned on the slave owners. They deeply felt the resistance and anger amongst the slaves.
On the other hand, slave owners despite the fact that they were afraid, they believed that God would protect them in the end. So slave owners were also religious. So religion factor was in play to bring about the revolt and inspired the slave owners to hang on despite fear of the slaves. In this it did not work fully in favor of the slaves, but it did in favor of the European Americans. After the rebellion, legislature took tremendous steps to ban the church completely. This shows the fact that the religion was regarded as the main factor in slave rebellions.
Nat Turner was a slave cleric and he had an idea that God had sent him to save his people. He came to this idea through various hallucinations of black and white angels clashing. Several ciphers convinced him that it was for his aggressive revolt. The belief of God's protection of the European Americans did not work in the time of Nat turner. Turner was regarded by slaves as the Prophet. He led a brief slave revolt in which God did not give a helping hand to the slave owners. Turner, like Vesey, was in the upper class group of slaves. He had been brought up extremely hating slavery. His mother also hated slavery that she even tried to kill him when he was born just to protect him from slavery. Turner was a very spiritual leader more than Vesey. His Christianity was a belief of dreams and spiritual knowledge. When he was a young he had become informally a great spiritual leader in Southampton region in Virginia. Unlike Vesey, his Christianity focused not on Israelite liberation, but the last days of Christ in the town of Jerusalem. He also emphasized on the apocalyptic pledge of a New Jerusalem. His public speaking had a hold as well as religious sense: Jerusalem and Virginia which lay nearby (Thompson 195).
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Turner also had followers, where seven of them, were excited by rage and spiritual enthusiasm. One of the slaves who had been tortured by his master was covered with scars. On the revolt night they left Turner's residence and got into the slave's master's house and killed everybody there including two teens. They then proceeded from house to house all night long and killed each and every European American slave owners they came across. They only left a white family which had no slaves.
Turner and the slaves were religiously inspired and believed that God was on their side. They marched on as they gathered more slaves and weapons and by Monday they approached Jerusalem. They forced to retreat by a group of European-American regiment. Turner, however, was finally detained and hung. Many slaves fled the region and hundreds left the state for forever. This was the threshold. From this time onwards, every European Americans lived with great fear of slavery. This is because they felt the rage, the confrontation and the revenge that fumed under the weight of slavery (Dennis 200).
Not only did Turner organized and carried a slave revolt, his inspiration carried on to be felt among the coming generations. His passion and victories gave rise to struggles between the states over slavery. Some white considered Turner as a brutal and misleading man who employed religion as to convince fellow slaves to carry out a terrible felony. Others regarded him as a sincere religious activist and a man of God who acted purely against injustice. After his revolt, all blacks whether slaves or free were banned from practice of spiritual prayers without their white folks. Spiritual practices were abolished to try and suppress the insurgents (Rucker 133).
Racism also was a major factor in bringing about the Net Turner and Denmark Vesey revolt. Although racism has not been major considered in slavery, it was more pronounced in the times of Turner and Vesey. The slaves were majorly Africans and the owners were largely Europeans and Americans. This brought common groupings of slaves and their owners. Slavery has been there for a long time even when Europeans had not taken interest in Africa. Nat Turner and Vesey both felt that the European-American communities were out to deny their black slaves some of their privileges. They felt that they were denied a fair share of society's wealth and surpluses. They were not comfortable with discriminatory deeds that deny power, rights and status in ethnic groups.
Denmark Vesey was particularly angered by the situations of black slaves. He was so full of rage that his friends say that he could not even stay in the company of a white people. So he spent most of his time to plan and thought about releasing fellow slaves. They both felt that their fellow black slaves were being unfairly suppressed. The black education was restricted. The whites believed that learned slaves were more probable to form a revolt or encourage others to come up with a rebellious group. These measures worked against the whites wishes. It resulted in more tension between the two racial groups. Laws were even made to ban black slaves from learning to read and anyone caught educating the blacks skills could be disciplined. The blacks grew frustrated with these conditions and subsequently wanted their freedom. This led them to rebel.
We can conclude that religion was the main factor in the slavery revolts. Due to the set up of the black slaves, they were more religious. Viewed the racial injustices they received in the hands of the white slave-owners as cruel and unacceptable in the human race. They believed that God made all people equal and no one was superior to the other. Also racial groupings made the black slaves to easily organize the revolts. However, the slave owners also were religious. This made courageous enough to face the rebellion and managed to stop the revolts (Volo and Volo 28).
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