The development of slavery in the Americas began as early as 1500, after the arrival of the Spanish, and first centered around the Caribbean. However, a lucrative triangle trading system between England, Africa and North America greatly increased the slave trade during the 1600’s (Foner, 38). At the time, slavery was driven by market forces, and largely defined by geographical necessity. Landowners had large plantations, located in areas with small populations and did not have access to the cheap labor necessary to cultivate lucrative crops like tobacco and sugar. They needed slaves to economically survive and prosper. Later, in the American colonies of the south, the entire economic and social structure
Slavery allowed the American economy to flourish for over 300 years. It allowed many Southern states to grow at a furious pace without significantly diversifying their economy. The South relied on the harvesting of cash crops such as tobacco and cotton, which were very labor intensive. Without much cheap labor, slaves were relied on to harvest the crops; this provided enormous value to farmers and plantation owners in the region. However, the institution of slavery was challenged in the 18th century by decades of Enlightenment thought, newfound religious ideals, and larger abolitionist groups. After the American Revolution many states would ban the practice of slavery completely and only a few would maintain the “peculiar institution”.
Slavery became of fundamental importance in the early modern Atlantic world when Europeans decided to transport thousands of Africans to the Western Hemisphere to provide labor in place of indentured servants and with the rapid expansion of new lands in the mid-west there was increasing need for more laborers. The first Africans to have been imported as laborers to the first thirteen colonies were purchased by English settlers in Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 from a Dutch warship. Later in 1624, the Dutch East India Company brought the first enslaved Africans in Dutch New Amsterdam.
“These men rose to power in a region embedded in a capitalist country, and their social system emerged as part of a capitalist world.” However, that does not indicate that the South was capitalist. Genovese argues the opposite that the Antebellum South was rather pre-capitalist. “Their society, in its spirit and fundamental direction, represented the antithesis of capitalism”. Slavery inhibited the economic development of the South and endangered the social stability of the South due to their irrational tendencies. These irrational tendencies allowed them to maintain the master-slave relationship but allowed the South to fall behind the North. Genovese states that “the capital outlay is much greater and riskier for slave labor than for free” and “the sources of cheap labor usually dry up rather quickly, and beyond a certain point costs become excessively burdensome”. Why maintain a labor system that is unstable? With the increase of production and slaves results in a labor system that the South cannot sustain. The slaves’ production was also inefficient. However, Slaves were found to be efficient “in hemp, tobacco, iron, and cotton factories” and “received a wide variety of privileges and approached an elite status.” The South could have industrialized and expanded the economy with these factories but the master-slave relationship if disturbed can lead to a power shift in the South. If the blacks approached
After living in years of peace, one event changed American history. The Americans were living a glorious life, but as arguments started to arise, the country began to split apart. Since the beginning of country, slave labor has been of important use. Many states in the North slowly started to abolish slavery, but the South did not want to end slavery. As more states joined the United States, debates grew if they should be free states or slave states. Many Southern states argued for the balance of slave and free states. Many people tried to compromise, but nothing would satisfy both the North and South. In the end it was brother against brother, in the fight for freedom!
Slavery existed long before colonial times. Beginning in the 15 century, Portuguese slave traders adopted the slavery and plantation system, followed by the Spanish who virtually developed and perfected the two (Johnson 14). In 1452, the Portuguese colony of Madeira became the biggest exporter and supplier of sugar for Europe in the west (Johnson 14). Ultimately, the wealth they had made attracted thousands to the industry. For this reason, servants and slaves existed before Europeans came to North America. However, the difference between servants and slaves was based on economical and social factors. Between 1619 and 1750, racism and immeasurable profit from agricultural commerce together, became an incentive
At the one of the earliest points in American history, the roots of slavery began to take hold in Jamestown, Virginia in the year 1619 (“Slavery in America”). The reasoning behind owning slaves was selfish, and simple; slavery provided cheap, dispensable laborers that could survive tremendous amounts of abuse, and needed very little to survive. Before the use of slaves, Europeans relied heavily on indentured servants, individuals who owed a debt and thus traveled to the new world to work off the debt for a certain number of years until they would be freed. This left wealthy individuals who held the servants in a constant struggle of bringing in more workers, but slavery provided a remedy for this issue. For decades, slavery spread and grew throughout the...
Between 1800 and 1860 slavery in the American South had become a ‘peculiar institution’ during these times. Although it may have seemed that the worst was over when it came to slavery, it had just begun. The time gap within 1800 and 1860 had slavery at an all time high from what it looks like. As soon as the cotton production had become a long staple trade source it gave more reason for slavery to exist. Varieties of slavery were instituted as well, especially once international slave trading was banned in America after 1808, they had to think of a way to keep it going – which they did. Nonetheless, slavery in the American South had never declined; it may have just come to a halt for a long while, but during this time between 1800 and 1860, it shows it could have been at an all time high.
The use of labor came in two forms; indenture servitude and Slavery used on plantations in the south particularly in Virginia. The southern colonies such as Virginia were based on a plantation economy due to factors such as fertile soil and arable land that can be used to grow important crops, the plantations in the south demanded rigorous amounts of labor and required large amounts of time, the plantation owners had to employ laborers in order to grow crops and sell them to make a profit. Labor had become needed on the plantation system and in order to extract cheap labor slaves were brought to the south in order to work on the plantations. The shift from indentured servitude to slavery was an important time as well as the factors that contributed to that shift, this shift affected the future generations of African American descent. The history of colonial settlements involved altercations and many compromises, such as Bacons Rebellion, and slavery one of the most debated topics in the history of the United States of America. The different problems that occurred in the past has molded into what is the United States of America, the reflection in the past provides the vast amount of effort made by the settlers to make a place that was worth living on and worth exploring.
Before the American Revolution, slavery existed in every one of the colonies. But by the last quarter of the 18th century, slavery was eventually abandoned in the North mainly because it was not as profitable as it was to the South (where it was becoming even more prevalent). Slavery was an extremely important element in America's economy because of the expanding tobacco and cotton plantations in the Southern states that were in need of more and more cheap labor. At one point America was a land of 113, 000 slaveholders controlling twenty million slaves.
Slavery was the main resource used in the Chesapeake tobacco plantations. The conditions in the Chesapeake region were difficult, which lead to malnutrition, disease, and even death. Slaves were a cheap and an abundant resource, which could be easily replaced at any time. The Chesapeake region’s tobacco industries grew and flourished on the intolerable and inhumane acts of slavery.
Slavery was created in pre-revolutionary America at the start of the seventeenth century. By the time of the Revolution, slavery had undergone drastic changes and was nothing at all what it was like when it was started. In fact the beginning of slavery did not even start with the enslavement of African Americans. Not only did the people who were enslaved change, but the treatment of slaves and the culture that each generation lived in, changed as well.