African American Slavery Impact

1588 Words7 Pages
Slavery has existed since the early 1600s in America. It was around for over 200 years in the colonies, before it was abolished completely. During this time period, approximately 10 million African Americans were enslaved. By definition, a slave is when one human, in this case an African American, is owned by another human, a colonist, who are deemed to be more power than the slave. They were forced to do work for no pay, receiving only a minimal amount of food and shelter given to them by their masters. All slaves could be bought or sold like property. Slavery's role in the United States has undoubtedly had one of the largest impacts on the nation because of the Triangular Trade, slavery in the North, slavery in the South, slavery's political…show more content…
The Triangular Trade was a trade system between England, parts of Europe, Africa, the West Indies, and the Americas. Between these countries slaves, cash crops, and manufactured goods were traded among each other. One of the biggest influences from the Triangular Trade was the huge economic growth. Since the American colonies were a part of this trading system, there was increased trade throughout the nation. Things would be sold for money, or traded for other products at an equal sum of money. The colonies could produce things for very cheap, and then sell or manufacture certain things to be worth more than they originally were, which boosted the economy. Certain crops such as tobacco, sugar, and cotton were grown in the colonies and sold in mass amounts, for lots of money. In Europe, these crops were in high demand and paid a lot of money for them. These certain crops were called cash crops. Cash crops are crops that are grown and used for commercial use, rather than by the grower. They are grown in mass amounts so they can be sold in bulk in return for a large sum of money. Not only did the Triangular Trade boost the economy, they had increased their trading with other countries, which improved their relations with other countries. The main thing the colonists gained from the trade was slaves, molasses, and fruits. The other countries, especially Europe were getting many raw materials,…show more content…
There wasn't such a diversity of slaves in the South, most slaves worked on large plantations. Other slaves were maids, cooks, valets, coachmen, carpenters, and blacksmiths (Pinney). Although, these slaves did not have such a huge impact on the economy as the slaves that worked on the plantations. This was called productive slavery, which was when slaves did hard physical labor, such as working on plantations (“Slavery”). Two thirds of slaves ended up being bought in Southern colonies where they worked on sugarcane plantations. Sugarcane requires extremely hard labor, especially when harvesting it. To harvest sugar cane you need to cut it and then for a few hours grind it in a mill. Since sugarcane took such demanding work and hard labor, slaves were used to plant and harvest sugar cane. This was a major reason why the slave population in the south was so large. Slaves in the south also had a tremendous impact on the economy. Cash crops helped the southern economy flourish. Most slaves worked on large plantations, which grew cash crops. Cash crops helps the southern economy prosper, and since most of the slaves worked on plantations, many cash crops were produced and then sold. Along with that, slavery was free labor. This means that their owners did not pay their slaves. Slave owners could have other people do work for them, without
Open Document