In America, we generally believe that our country’s political system is one of democracy, but there are various times we see that business and economics also play a huge part in our society.If we even go back to the beginnings of our country and look at England, which also had a huge impact in the development of our political system, we can see that the emergence of a very capitalist society. Through close analysis of the economics of early plantations and manufacturing work, one can go about understanding the mindset and conditions of those individuals who were apart of the creation of the economy we have today. Through the article “The Hoe, the Plow, and the Whip: Gang Labor-Agricultural Improvement in Plantation Economies” by Lorena …show more content…
During this time, the colonies built by Europeans in the Americas needed African slave labor to utilize and yield the most from the abundant land available (Dodson). Not only does Walsh explain the system used in North America (including the islands), but also the differences and similarities from the older British ways to the newer techniques used in North America. At the time, the agricultural systems put in place were used mainly on fields used to produced sugar, tobacco, and cotton (Walsh 1). Throughout the article the gang system and hoe culture , in particular, is described, with plantations relying heavily upon it. The ganging and hoeing were used for more efficiency in the production of crops and to yield the most results. It made workers seem machine like as they worked in a synchronized operation. Not only did this system work like an assembly line, but it ensured that an individual or group not working up to par with the rest could easily be spotted. One plantation worker, Landon Carter, in his diary, wrote of a situation in which one gang was not was slacking and he put them to …show more content…
He stated to these slaves “and every fellow that does not work as much as the Mangorike fellows..shall be whipt to it”(Walsh 9). From what I gathered while reading this piece, the British system was composed of both enslaved Africans and white indentured servants. But as the years went by, in the Americas many began to use fewer whites. It was easier for plantations to use Africans as they could be pushed and had no rights that had to be protected (Walsh 4-5). Plantations became so mechanical as work was done so fast and well paced that these people were seen as “human-hoeing machines”(Walsh 1). As a result of “highest gross returns (constant value) yet realized from major cash crops between 1790 and 1818” the slaves were directly impacted as “when high profits could be attained from regional staples bound labor was pushed harder”(Walsh 16). With this slaves were given fewer breaks and more work. As the years progress, some smaller plantations with a variety of crops decided to use ganging in some but not all aspects of their work. One reason is the
Click here to unlock this and over one million essaysShow More
It didn’t help that the slave duty was at a whopping twenty percent. This only brought the farmers into more debt with which their tobacco could not render enough profit to get them out of. According to William Allason, the poor farmers were dedicated to lowering the duty on slaves as low as possible as opposed to shutting down the slave trade altogether, for the farmers needed hands to cultivate their product. (Holton, 71) Britain sided with the gentry’s
These essential records will endeavor to indicate how critical bondage and the cotton business intended toward the south amid the common war period. The cotton business in the United States was conceivable in view of the cotton gin. The cotton
Most of the individuals in this society followed the group system. The Group system was a group of slaves would work together on one task. The group would work together on one common goal until that task was completed. The second deeply entrenched slave system, was the task system. The task system was each slave would be given a different task.
In 1619, shortly after the first settlers found success in planting crops, the first slaves were imported from West Africa; the expansion of slavery became a key feature of the southern lifestyle. However, the article goes on to say that “ . . . [b]ecause agriculture was so profitable, few Southerners saw a need for industrial development. Eighty percent of the labor force worked on a farm or plantation.” The South made money off of agriculture, and they never thought they would need to switch to an industrial-based economy.
In the days when slavery was booming and tobacco farming was at its peak, the foundations of America's economy was being built. tobacco farms were the number one producing product in America at the time, it was easy and with the help of the Native American Indians they had been taught to properly grow them. Next to tobacco sales the slave market was among the most frequent and requested transactions in the time period. These relations between purchased slaves and white colonial Americans consumed the trade market in the south. Pictured above is bread crumbs of a foundation being built for a developing economy, the many indentured/life long slaves working are accompanied by what appears to be the many owners and blooming businessmen of the
These colonies came across numerous hardships with war, famine, and political turmoil, in the 1600’s. These colonies worked for commercial purposes and neglected the need for relationship building with natives, safety, and resource gathering, so much so that they lost many early settlers. Working as an indentured servant was brutal in these colonies. Growing, storing, and packaging tobacco was very labor intensive work. Though indentured servants maintained contracts providing them with food, housing, and clothing, often times terms of service were lengthened.
The need for slaves would continue to rise as tobacco took time, hard work, and money to grow. It allowed economy for both parties, slaves and masters’, to flourish and thrive until the beginning of the 18th century. What tobacco farmers were not aware of was the soil and the land were effected negatively from growing too much of the same type of crop. Towards the beginning of the 18th century, Tobacco became one of the many crops that plantations grew.
The majority of slaves bought were used for labor in the owner’s plantation, only a selected few worked on the domestic duties of the household. The slave's job type determined their quality of food, clothing and shelter they would be provided. Domestic slaves worked in the house and their duties included: cleaning, cooking and tending to their owners demands. Working inside the house these slaves were usually better feed, given hand me down from their owners and living quarters were usually within the home and nicer than field slaves received. Field slaves would tend to the needs of the plantation which included harvesting crops, animal care and any outdoor chore that need to be completed.
Firstly, the owners of land ownership in the southern colonies rapidly pooled their land, forming a large-scale farms, which, respectively, required much more labor. Second, the price of tobacco, the main crop of the South, in the 1660s fell and remained at a low level, forcing all the planters to sell cheaper. Third, as population growth in England and at the same time reduced to improve living conditions, the number of people who wanted to go to America as indentured workers, reduced - thus the number Servent also declined. Fourth, the laws of Virginia and other colonies were aimed at the worsening situation of black workers and ultimately led to legitimize the system of slave labor. Although theoretically black workers were free men, in fact, they had to put up with infringement of their civil, legal and property rights.
By the early 1800’s, the vastly growing cotton industry soared as cotton became the nation’s most important and valuable export. The development of the cotton gin only further propelled the cotton industry into economic success. The cotton gin took care of the hard tedious work that slaves used to have to undertake and increased the pace and the quantities in which cotton bales were produced. Working among the cotton fields, slaves adopted the gang system. The gang system was most commonly used in the cotton industry; to speed up production but also formally used among tobacco and sugar production.
For example, small farmers depended on the local plantation aristocracy for access to cotton gins, markets for their modest crops and their livestock, and credit or other financial assistance in time of need. The great cotton economy allowed many small farmers to improve their economic fortunes. Some bought more land, some became slave owners, and some moved into the fringes of plantation society. A typical white southerner was a yeoman farmer, who was also known as “plain folk.” These farmers owned a few slaves, with whom they worked and lived more closely than the larger planters.
And you can’t just pull up a plantation from nowhere, you have to build many buildings, and pay for labor too. Many people didn 't want to labor at sugar plantations. Because of the hot temperature and the other dangerous things you would have to be around. And plantation owners didn’t want to pay a lot of money for laborers. The solution, slaves.
This made the price of slave extremely expensive, an average of a healthy men slave cost one thousand and eight hundred dollars which equivalent to forty-five thousand dollars in current money. This made slave-owners that did not grow much cotton to sell off their slaves and caused slaves to be separated from their family. (Berkin 255). As a matter of fact, slave owners not only caused dehumanization of the slaves, but mostly treated their slaves violently. Josiah Henson, in document six of “Agriculture Development and Slavery in the South”, describes the violence that had happened to his parents and other slaves.
The farmland was so large that they needed slaves and servants to work on the land. This need for labor brought about the slave trade in which African slaves were sold at high prices to rich plantation owners. In the Chesapeake region the ratio of indentured servants was above 40 percent. (Hawke, 120) SInce, more tobacco was cultivated the need for labor was high compared to the New England. The tobacco farming made Chesapeake different than the New England.