(pg.83) The traders expected to generate “a profit of 58 percent” from selling slaves so this gave the motivation to take risks. (pg.40) They understood that sugar, cotton, cacao, and tobacco production relied on the slave trade so they had many incentives to engage in slave trade. Furthermore, “death rate among slaves exceeded the birth rate, creating a continuous, but relatively stable, demand for new laborers” (pg.343) The slaves had high mortality rates so farmers would often have to replace them. In addition, the heavy labor that the slaves were forced to do as... ... middle of paper ... ...se crops. For example, sugar became a very popular commodity in Europe and it created “sugar economies that survived by devouring African slave labor.” (pg.)
The idea of utilizing slave labor in plantation agriculture came forth in the continent of Europe. European merchants began the early slave trade by transporting slaves to work on different plantations located in the Portuguese island colonies. Significant amounts of profits were made especially from the sugar plantation lands on the island of Sao Tome, with the demanding and rigorous work schedules of slaves. When the Triangular Trade emerged, with the demand for work sources in the western hemisphere, European merchants were able to increase their profit even more by selling slaves for double the amount with posted advertisements (Bentley, 1769). Europe most certainly gained an economic advantage with the event of the Atlantic Slave Trade, as well as a lead in their progress in industrialization.
From the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century from across the Atlantic came the largest forced migration in the world's history. This became known as the Atlantic slave trade or transatlantic slave trade. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade truly began when the Portuguese interests in Africa moved away from their cherished and beloved deposits of gold and moved towards something they found much more readily available than minerals, slaves. Europeans saw Africans as a source of inexpensive labor for their American colonies. European planters established large farms and plantations in the America's to grow tobacco, sugar and many other cash crops.
Due to this growing demand for tobacco in Europe, Early American settlers discontinued all other economic activities and started tobacco cultivation. As a result, tobacco became the principal and dominant cash crop of Southern colonies such as Virginia, Chesapeake, and Maryland. Now growing tobacco was very labor- intensive, as it required a large amount of work force. For the plantation and processing of tobacco, thousands of indentured servants and slaves worked at farms. An example of American tobacco plantation is shown in document seven, “Illustration of Slaves Cultivating Tobacco, 1738.” As tobacco plantation grew in importance in the southern economy, the demand for more workers grew as well.
The different forms of slavery in the North American colonies greatly depended on the economy of that colony and the type of commodity that it was capable of producing. In the British Chesapeakean colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts, tobacco was the main cash crop. Since it required extensive hand labor and skill, slaves were needed for it's development and that meant slaves had to work the harsh conditions of the tobacco plantations. In the Georgia and South Carolina colonies, slaves were used for indigo and rice cultivation. Slave labor was preferred over Indian labor in this colony because slaves were thought to be better rice workers due to their agricultural experience in Africa (Out of Many, 90).
The development of early colonial America used slaves for labor because labor was scarce. Slaves played a growing role in creating the necessary labor force needed to provide economic development of the New World. While Spanish and Portuguese slavery existed, the British found it more profitable using Africans to work on plantations in agriculture and farming. They worked in fields producing bulk crops such as tobacco, sugar, cocoa, cotton, and coffee. By the latter half of the 17th century, the demand for agricultural slaves increased to keep up with market demands.
As a result of this, land owners were now able to have large cotton plantations across the south (How the Cotton Gin). Southerners were becoming wealthy very fast because of the cotton gin. Eli Whitney’s invention of the Cotton Gin made cotton the South’s main crop making more slave labor needed and political tensions rise. Harvesting cotton needed a lot of hard labor. When the cotton farms got bigger, the need for slaves increased.
In America in the 1650s, the population of Chesapeake was increasing by the birthrate. To make profit, Chesapeake produced large quality of tobacco. Colonial masters first adopted the institution of indentured servitude rather than slavery for labor; African slaves were very expensive and indentured servants needed employment. African slavery soon replaced indentured servants from Bacon’s rebellion and less trouble that they caused. Tobacco was very important to the economy; Europeans would buy slaves to work the fields.
Brendan McCormack 4/28/14 Mrs. Walsh Period 1 US History 1 Why was Cotton King Throughout the 1700s, cotton was a very big part of the economy for The United States. It brought in much of he income for farmers I the southern US, and for the country in general. Cotton wasn’t always the leading crop in the southern United States. In colonial times, tobacco, indigo, and rice were the leading cash crops in Virginia, Georgia, and South Carolina. Tobacco was beginning to have its downsides, as it took crucial nutrients out of the soil.
Tobacco production in the Chesapeake was growing due to an enormous demand for the product in England. The demand for tobacco in England had grown during the eighteenth century over ten times what it had been originally. With so mu... ... middle of paper ... ...many slave merchants and shipping services. These port cities became exceedingly important in expanding the trade network between the southern plantations and the Atlantic markets. This is how slavery in the south contributed indirectly to the growth and economic status of the northern colonies.