Data Visualization
For my data analysis I decided to do slaves vs freed slaves throughout the U.S. between 1790 and 1860. My data is a primary source and has structured data. The data I collected was a form of received data and was the actual slave population mixed with the freed slaves. With this data I wanted to show how fast people became slaves and how slow they were freed. The slave count grew exponentially while the freed slave count grew very slow. Seeing this data really made me wonder how bad did white Americans force black Americans to become slaves? How did no one see how wrong it was? Questions like this can’t be answered by the data presented but it still crosses my mind. Another question that can go unanswered was how did freed slaves become freed and why couldn’t more become free?

My research question I wanted to do is why did the slave population grow so rapidly? The easy answer was the demand for cotton, but I went further and found that the increase was also due to religious factors, military factors, and simply the racial attitude toward African American people. Building the data above it actually made me feel disgusted on how people treated other people. No human should ever be treated they way white Americans treated the African American community. I did a simple bar graph so you could easily see the difference between the number of slaves and freed slaves throughout the years. I do think a line graph or another kind of bar graph could work with the data because either way it will show the drastic increase in slaves compared to the increase of freed slaves.

One thought on “Data Visualization

  1. This is an excellent data visualization, and I really appreciate the extra work you put in to find your own data to build this graph. I was having issues with the lack of full population numbers (especially of enslaved people) in the census data I received from NHGIS, but your graph more accurately reflects true population numbers and visualizes trends that are expected. I agree that the sharp increase of enslaved numbers is striking, however, as you suggested, this is probably the result of increased protections of slavery and the deepening connection between race and slavery. I am glad that you found this process to be informative and useful, excellent work!

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