For example, the raw material used in production of textiles, which led the Industrial Revolution in Britain, was slave-produced. Robinson (1984:46) argues that the economic footing of slave labour and slavery formed the economic basis of the political ideologies that emerged from the French Revolution, i.e. liberty, equality and fraternity – thus the economy and politics are inseparable. One may thus argue that when colonialism (politics) was established, then capitalism (economy) was expanded, for example, the more colonies Britain had, the more capitalism grew. Slavery, says W.E.B du Bois, was a significant subsystem of capitalism and that at the centre of the economics of slavery was the idea of the racial superiority of non-black people (Robinson, 1984: 61).
They wanted to seek better life in North American, but they were sold to colonial rulers as slaves. We all know that selling black slaves was the most vicious dealing in human history. However, the huge quantity of profits of selling black slaves became the main source of capital accumulation for Americans. In 18th century, black slaves had decisive influences on development of south plantation. Since the products of south plantation were sold in world market, so the plantation economy was the commercial production of capitalism.
Even though Amistad and A Respectable Trade vary in their depiction of the economic system of slavery (domestic servitude versus plantation labor), they share commonalities in their depiction of the overwhelmind grip that slavery had on societies. Slavery was as much a cultural system as it was an economic system, because it shaped all who participated in the system; the Africans forced into the system, the masters that owned people as chattel, and even those who opposed the system altogether. Slavery is an economic system that involves decisions of the conscience and the fundamentals of human nature, possibly more so tah any other economic system.
African Americans are susceptible to racial discrimination, a reality that ultimately shapes the way of life for African Americans (Hine, et. al., 2012). To many people, the term slavery suggests the enslavement of African people that were transported by the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. But to Karenga, the term slave means much more. Karenga defines the Trans-Atlantic slave trade as the “Holocaust of Enslavement,” which is a much more powerful designation of slavery.
As slavery continued to develop, and many countries, such as the emerging United States in the late 18th century, had slaves as a major part of their economic model. Then, especially in slave ships and markets, there was a process of dehumanization that made the white sailors disengage themselves from the misery and brutality they were inflicting on people. It could be argued that violence was a necessity from Europeans’ perspectives, to try to keep enslaved people from revolting, and disrupting the flow of wealth they had obtained from the cruelty of slavery. Their wealth, was dependent on the continuation of slavery, which was why this system was so brutal by nature. The people in
), (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001) - Poe, E.A., The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) - Rudoff, S., ‘Written in Stone: Slavery and Authority in The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym’, In ATQ, Vol. 14 No.1, (March 2000) - Whalen, T., ‘Average Racism; Poe, Slavery, and the Wages of Literary Nationalism’, In Romancing the Shadow; Poe and Race, Kennedy, J.G. and Weissberg, L. (eds. ), (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001)
The formation of the Atlantic slave trade did distinguish the difference between the societies’ of slaves. Berlin quotes, “In societies with slaves, slavery was just one form of labor among many” as well as “these societies were built on labor and how one should live”. The sellers or the businessmen of the trade made slaves work harder, driving their proprietors to new, already unheard of the status of wealth and power to gain financial
The balance of power was beginning to shift as the antebellum South’s dependence on free labor economically tied their existence to the heinous practice of owning slaves. Slavery was in many ways a dream come true for southern culture in its ability to relieve the issue of finding labor and keeping costs low, but this inhumane practice became the downfall of the antebellum South in how its practice became so common in its culture that it became more of an economic addiction. Their entire economy was seemingly tied to this need for free labor under the impression that slavery was there to stay, shamefully allowing the gruesome, inhumane, nature of slavery to transcend societal values to the point of widespread acceptance. This accepting culture marked the downfall of the antebellum South.
The triangular trade emerged, allowing Europe and the American colonies to benefit, while exploiting blacks even further (to gain economically in Africa, one would have to take part in the trade by providing the laborers). The textile industry’s success was based on the use of slave labor, and without it, it’s questionable whether the U.S. would have become a major industrial power. Sons and grandsons of the earlier traders in slaves and slave-produced products benefited both directly (by becoming captains of the industries fueled by the slave trade) and indirectly (by the intergenerational transference of wealth). Americans not only gained economically, but also in terms of living conditions and life expectancies. Even the educational system (i.e.
In order to understand slavery it is imperative to recognize that it’s introduction to the Caribbean was driven by colonizers need for economic expansion and development. The growth of the sugar industry throughout the region during the seventeenth century was intimately connected with the enslavement of Africans. The slaves were the means for extracting agricultural resources which could then be sold at a profit in Europe. The leaders in colonization during this period were the French, Dutch, English, and Spanish and initially slaves were simply an input for their final product. Thus slaves were not seen as human but part of a larger machine that was being profited by colonizers.