Causality In Slavery

830 Words4 Pages
People often like clear answers and direct lines of causality. However, the real world is much more complex and exists in an evolving fashion. One isolated event typically will not directly cause another. Rather, causality exists in a circular pattern. Multiple factors interact and depend on each other to create the overall outcome of an event. The beginning of slavery can be thought to have started with an already prejudice mindset toward Africans. On the other hand, slavery can be viewed as an economic decision with consequential racial prejudices. Alternatively, in British and Latin American colonies, racial slavery was a result of the co-existence of both economic greed and racial prejudice working in a circular relation. The need for labor is a clear economic decision that propelled slavery into full augmentation. In British and Latin American colonies, large scale agriculture dominated the economy. In John Rolfe’s record of the arrival of African slaves, he displays this economic motive. John Rolfe boasted, “may well tend foure akers of Corne, and 1000 plants of Tobacco; and…show more content…
If racial prejudice followed the economic decision to have slavery then racial prejudice can be viewed as a “historical accident.” It was only a matter of the specific time and place that Africans were enslaved and racism did not always exist. In this case, prejudice can be thought of as being “undone” because we were not inherently racist. Until slavery, racism was simply an ideology. The need for labor and indentured servants could only work for a limited amount of time. For economic reasons, this ideology became necessary in order to justify slavery. On the other hand, if Africans were enslaved because they were already racially prejudiced, then prejudice cannot be simply “undone.” In this case, then the laws reflected the attitudes of the
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