Slave Trading Essay

Slave Trading Essay

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“African slavery is the corner-stone of the industrial, social, and political fabric of the South; and whatever wars against it, wars against her very existence. Strike down the institution of African slavery and you reduce the South to depopulation and barbarism.”
–Lawerence Keitt, South Carolina Congressman, 1860

Slave trading dates back to ancient times, but it did not become popular until the fifteenth century when the Portugese began engaging in slave trading for profit. The colonization of the Americas brought about a new wave of slave importation in the late seventeenth century. A large percentage of the indentured servants and Native Americans were dying from diseases bought to the land by Europeans, and the American colonists were forced to look elsewhere for laborers. They discovered that African Americans were virtually immune to tropical diseases, cheap to import, and were experienced agrarians, so they championed slavery under the premise that African Americans were inferior to their own race. Because slaves were cheap, it was much easier for a planter to work a slave to his death and replace him with another than to treat him well. By the end of the seventeenth century, African American were being imported to the Americas and sold to planters by the thousands. Slavery, indeed, became the “cornerstone” of America’s economic success. Without the grueling labor of the slaves, the booming sugar, rice, cotton, and tobacco industries would have ceased to exist in the New World. As the Americas evolved from a simple farming society into an agricultural stronghold, settlers became more and more dependent on slavery. By the mid-eighteenth century, slaves vastly outnumbered colonists. During the seventeenth, eight...


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...audah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Written by Himself, volume 1, 70-88.
Thomas Clarkson, The History of the Rise, Progress, and Accomplishments of the African Slave Trade by the British Parliament.
Ibid.
Ibid.
Equiano, 70-88.
Ibid.
Solomon Northup, Twelve Years A Slave, 78-82.
Equanio, 70-88.
Ibid.
“Management of Slaves, &c,” The Farmer’s Register: A Monthly Publication Devoted to the Improvement of the Practice and Support of the Interests of Agriculture 5, 10 May 1837, 32-33.
Ibid.
Samuel G. Howe, in John W. Blassingame, Slave Testimony, American Freedmen’s Inquiry Commission Interviews, 386.
Ibid.
Howe, 385.
Ibid.
Howe, 386.
Joint Select Committee Chairman, Testimony Taken by the Joint Select Committee to Inquire Into the Condition of Affairs in the Late Insurrectionary States, volume 1, 1862, 411-412.
Ibid.
Ibid.

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