Slavery existed long before colonial times. Beginning in the 15 century, Portuguese slave traders adopted the slavery and plantation system, followed by the Spanish who virtually developed and perfected the two (Johnson 14). In 1452, the Portuguese colony of Madeira became the biggest exporter and supplier of sugar for Europe in the west (Johnson 14). Ultimately, the wealth they had made attracted thousands to the industry. For this reason, servants and slaves existed before Europeans came to North America. However, the difference between servants and slaves was based on economical and social factors. Between 1619 and 1750, racism and immeasurable profit from agricultural commerce together, became an incentive for the enslavement of millions of Africans.
The assumption that all colored people were inferior to Europeans, helped slavery develop and grow in colonial America. The English deemed Africans barbaric people fit to work as slaves. Social interaction between the two further allowed Europeans to assume their culture was greater than all others. Such reasoning, became a social cause for enslavement. Long before the forced arrival of Africans, Europeans considered themselves superior to the Irish and Native Americans (Txbk). They reasoned that if some didn’t conform to their English laws, customs, and culture, they were uncivilized. Since Africans had fought, dressed, and lived differently, settlers placed themselves on a higher pedestal, perhaps even feeling they have the right to enslave them due to the cultural difference (Zinn). In the long run, the English saw colored people as “savages.” One slave trader, John Newton described Africans in Sierra Leone as “wild barbarous people” ...
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...onies let go of there’s. Although the “next step” became freedom, long lasting hatred between whites and those who were enslaved persisted. Ultimately, racism helped contribute to the development of slavery, but it continued to grow stronger like never before even without the system.
Davidson, James West., and Mark H. Lytle. "Serving Time in Virginia." After the Fact: The Art of Historical Detection. New York: Knopf, 1982. N. 63-74. Print.
Zinn, Howard. "Drawing the Color Line." A People 's History of the United States. 1st ed. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. N. pag. Print.
Johnson, Paul. "Review: HISTORY OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE." The Journal of Education 106.6 (1927): 148. Web. Print.
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