Slavery in the United States: Unjustified on Economic Grounds

analytical Essay
1339 words
1339 words

Slavery has existed in numerous forms throughout the world for as long as there has been recorded history. Although slavery continues to exist on a smaller scale modernly, the mass enslavements seen across the globe have been eradicated, such as the ending of the enslavement of Africans in the United States in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For many countries, these slave-holding pasts are a source of shame and embarrassment in that such actions could occur by their ancestors, as the modern world now accepts that slavery is a horribly unethical and immoral institution. In addition to slavery being unjustified on these grounds, the practice of slavery in the United States, particularly in the South, can furthermore be unjustified due to the economic damage it caused to the region. The forced maritime diaspora of individuals from Africa to the Untied States as slaves was not only unjustified ethically and morally, it was also unjustified economically in its fostering of agricultural dependence, industrial retardation, and ultimate economic crippling of the American South. The transatlantic slave trade resulted in the collection and distribution of a huge quantity of individuals from Africa to various other places around the world, especially to the Americas, Europe, and European-controlled lands. To the Americas alone, nearly eleven million slaves were delivered in total from Africa (Eltis, 2008). Of these nearly eleven million, the thirteen colonies of the United States received between three and six percent of the slaves, which was at most, 600,000 imported persons (Eltis, 2008). However, these figured do not represent the total number of persons enslaved due to the reproduction of slaves after arrival (Ulrich, 1... ... middle of paper ... ...urnal of Political Economy, 66(2), 95-130. Eltis, D. (2008). The U.S. transatlantic slave trade, 1644-1867: An assessment. Civil War History, 54(4), 347-378. Engerman, S. L. (1982). Economic adjustments to emancipation in the United States and British West Indies. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History, 13(2), 191-220. Fogel, R.W., & Engerman, S. L. (1971). The relative efficiency of slavery: A comparison of Northern and Southern agriculture. Explorations in Economic History. 8(3), 353-367. Genovese, E. D. (1962). The significance of the slave plantation for southern economic development. The Journal of Southern History, 28(4), 422-437. Phillips, U. B. (1905). The economic cost of slaveholding in the Cotton Belt. Political Science Quarterly, 20(2), 257-275. Slavin, S. L. (2001). A brief economic history of the United States. In Economics (1-4).

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the south relied on the exporting of cash crops as an economic mainstay, owing to the need for a larger, more powerful labor force.
  • Explains that the south devoted many resources to the building up of the slave population. the average cost to purchase a field slave in america peaked between 1,100 and 1,200 dollars of currency.
  • Analyzes how the south experienced economic woes after president lincoln declared slaves free in his emancipation proclamation in 1863.
  • Argues that even if slavery had not been called to an end by lincoln in 1863, the slave system of the south would not have been able to last much longer past this point.
  • Explains that the south was the poorest region of the united states until as recently as the 1960’s. the cruel slave owning system resulted in the region's economic downfall.
  • Explains that slavery has existed in numerous forms throughout the world for as long as there has been recorded history.
  • Analyzes cairnes, meyer, eltis, and engerman's work on the u.s. transatlantic slave trade.
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