The Origins of Chattel Slavery in Colonial North America

Powerful Essays
The Origins of Chattel Slavery in Colonial North America

There have been many illuminating studies in the field of the origins of chattel slavery in Colonial North America. Alpert, 1970; Edmondson, 1976; Jordan, 1962: Ruchames, 1967; Starr, 1973, wrote seminal studies that did much to bring insight to the subject. Goetz, 2009; Mason, 2006; Smaje, 2002; Neeganagwedgin, 2012, presented evidence that have either reexamined old questions or used new methods and approaches to ask news questions to add insight to this topic. However, little has been written about indeginous slavery and its pycho-social impacts that still influence North American people today, or the political considerations that led to black society becoming chattel slaves. These topics have been under scutinized and their study would add insight and new perspective to this body of literature.

In looking at the body of discourse the recurring themes of what came first; prejudice or slavery first is the most contested. Logically in order to enslave the master must find a means to establish the enslaved “otherness” and it seems that a primary means of doing so was and is ethnocentric superiority and religion. It doesn’t seem that one could justify morally, subjugating another without “knowing” that you were culturally, socially and morally superior to those you wanted to subjugate. In the majority of the studies, the idea that imposing values and religion on the subjugated as beneficial to the subjugated, was a primary theme, yet if there was no financial benefit it is doubtful that the slave system in the United States would have developed or had the impact that it has. Because of this reasoning, I believe that Jordan’s model is probably the closest to accurat...

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