Why Were Africans Used As The Primary Source For Slave Labor? Essay

Why Were Africans Used As The Primary Source For Slave Labor? Essay

Length: 1545 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Why were Africans used as the primary source for slave labor? The choice to make West Africans the primary source for slave labor was not at first based on race rather it was because of economic reasons and a series of circumstances happening at the same time making the conditions just right for the subjection of the African race.
Roots of Slavery on the Sugar Plantation
Two things that can be linked to the roots of slavery are the Mediterranean region and sugar. It wasn’t until the time of the Crusades that Europeans even knew about sugars existence, they had previously depended on fruits and honey to amplify the taste in their dull diets. Europeans learned about sugarcane and the labor intensive processes for making consumable sugar from the Arabs. Armed with tremendous amounts of capital investment, technology, and a disciplined work force, Europeans started building sugar plantations around the Mediterranean and several islands off the West African coast. Hardships and hazards of the work as well as limitations fastened to serf labor, and the overall lack of wage workers altogether, pointed to slavery as a foundation for labor on the sugar plantation. (Strayer 2013) So why Africans? Through a process of elimination, we can deduce why they were chosen as the primary source for slave labor instead of the plentiful and readily available native Indians (who were already in the Americas); poor whites and indentured servants.
Why Not Native Indians?
The native Indians were a poor choice to use as the source for slave labor because in addition to their unwillingness to conform to the new way of life, they rapidly died from European diseases such as smallpox and malaria, and harsh labor demands. The Indians, being native, had a ...


... middle of paper ...


...re not part of the common creation, that they were not human?” (Wood)
Depictions of black demons, devils and torturers gave the implication that the color black was evil in nature and reinforced the idea that blacks were the ultimate outsiders. (Northrup 2011)
Xenophobia
Sixteenth century English people regarded themselves, their nation, as they very personification of civilization; they were the hub. The outer rings of the wheel of civilization were represented, in order of their divergence from the English model. The English who viewed both Native Americans and West Africans as strangers, uncivilized and dark skinned, used them as “social mirrors.” That is to say, they set both groups against themselves to emphasize what they conceived of as being completely different qualities of religious, social, political organization, sexual behavior, and skin color. (Wood)

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Primary Source Evaluation

- Title of Primary Source: ACCOUNT OF THE SLAVE TRADE ON THE COAST OF AFRICA by ALEXANDER FALCONBRIDGE The book was published in 1788 -- substantially after the events described took place. The time gap did not seriously affect the main content of the material because the events he describes were very serious and unforgettable ones. He wrote the material at the time he had already been a member of the Anti- Slavery Society leaving room for a little suspicion of his tendency to exaggerate some descriptions in his narrative....   [tags: Source Evaluation]

Better Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)

The Documents Of The Slave Trade Essay

- Armand Martin LSP – 200 02/14/2016 Slave Trade Case Study Paper The documents of the slave trade case study contains documents, which were authored by individuals closely connected to the slave trade. Gomes Eannes de Azurara was a Portuguese chronicler who provided details about the early voyages on the west coast of Africa and the capture of Africans in the slave trade. The primary source that Azurara wrote was titled The Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea written in 1450. The second primary source titled Practices and Contracts of Merchants was written by Fray Tomas De Mercado in 1587....   [tags: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery, African slave trade]

Better Essays
1037 words (3 pages)

Essay on Atlantic Slave Trade : The Middle Passage

- Atlantic Slave Trade Since the 15th Century, advances in navigation, cartography, and military technology allowed Europeans to establish overseas colonies and empires. The Europeans had hoped the New World was brimming with opportunities to become rich. Gold, silver, and other minerals could be mined, and sugar, tobacco, and other crops could be grown on plantations. In order to make use of these resources, there would have to be a steady supply of workers to do the work. Europeans were able to access a cheap labor market that pre-existed, the African Slave Trade....   [tags: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery]

Better Essays
1065 words (3 pages)

Slavery And The Slave Trade Essay

- Slavery is as old as civilization itself, it is an economic system and concept where human beings are deprived of their personal rights and are treated as property for the benefits of their master. Slavery systems had occurred in many civilizations throughout the world but one institution is well known for its global scale and lasting legacy. The Atlantic slave trade was a period of time during the late 14th to the early 19th century, where more than 12 millions of African slaves were forcibly brought to the Americas to supply the high demand of slave labor in the new world....   [tags: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Africa, Caribbean]

Better Essays
1525 words (4.4 pages)

A Cultural, Identity And, An Atlantic Slave Trade By Walter Hawthorne Essay

- From Africa to Brazil is a cultural, identity and, an Atlantic slave Trade article written by Walter Hawthorne with its focus on tracing back the African Slaves in Amazonia, Brazil to their origins or ethnic group in Africa. And how the Slaves of upper Guinea contributed to the Atlantic trade exchange i.e. through the ignored fact that Africans in the trade transferred architectural aesthetic and rice-growing techniques to the new world. In this article, Hawthorne argued for the thesis question....   [tags: Atlantic slave trade, Slavery]

Better Essays
732 words (2.1 pages)

Olaudah Equiano And The Slave Of The Kingdom Of Benin Essay

- “As I stare through the floor of an unknown vessel into an everlasting sea of clouds I ponder on what I had did to be in this situation or would I ever reunite with my family or will the gentleman beside me make it through the night.” The realization that slavery caused many families, lives, and individuals to be destroyed is gruesome. Through the memoir of Olaudah Equiano, the first-person accounts of the treatment of enslaved and free Africans is revealed, which helps him in the battle against African enslavement....   [tags: Atlantic slave trade, Africa, Slavery, Caribbean]

Better Essays
713 words (2 pages)

Effects Of The Slave Trade During The Middle Age Essay

- Since the middle Age the Europeans always wondered what was around the world. Through their curiosity the Europeans decided to go east. Some of the motives that they had to move east were economic, increase faith of Jesus Christ. Also the Europeans wanted to expand their territory .While exploring they came across the Africans, Muslims, China and the Japanese. The Africans had many different reactions about the Europeans coming over to their country. In week three we were ask what effects the slave trade had on the Africans As the the slave trade increased during the sixteen, seventeenth and eighteen centuries thousand and millions of man and woman and even children were removed from th...   [tags: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Islam]

Better Essays
1189 words (3.4 pages)

Historical Backgroud of Africans Becoming Slaves Essay

- Plan of the Investigation How did the Black African indentured servants transition into slaves and how did this radical shift lay the ground work for slavery as the how the outlook on black Africans within the pioneer society change starting from 1661, is the central question this internal assessment will focus on. Historical backgrounds of indenture servants, first slavery laws of 1661, slave trade, Nathanial’s rebellion, and slave act of 1705, slave code are few of the main central points that will be mentioned within the internal assessment....   [tags: indentured servants, jamestown, bacon's rebellion]

Better Essays
1014 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on Slave Narratives : African American Slaves

- Slave Narratives Introduction Slave narratives are artistic pieces of writing that were written by ex-slaves to narrate the severe conditions that the then slaves went through. The first piece of writing was written in the year 1760, most of these writings have been done by various writers, and it now totals an estimated 2,300 pieces. All these pieces of writings have been grafted to explore the inhuman endurance that the African-American slaves were subjected to by the whites, the intense labor that they were exposed to without any payment or even adequate food that they were given to redeem their energy loss....   [tags: Slavery in the United States, Slavery]

Better Essays
2300 words (6.6 pages)

Essay about African Slave Trade in American History

- “African Slave Trade in American History” Slavery has taken place throughout the world since before ancient times, and the act of trading slaves was a common act throughout the world for centuries. Slavery previously existed in certain parts of Africa, Europe, Asia, and also in America before the beginning of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. What initially started out as an enormous search for trade in gold, spices, and etc., ended up turning into an callous human trading system of exporting African slaves, which would continue for well over 400 years....   [tags: trading slavery, union, civil war]

Better Essays
1709 words (4.9 pages)