Causes And Effects Of Racism

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Almost every society in history enslaved people to work for them, yet none developed institutionalized racism as America did. Racism, defined as institutional oppression of a group of people based on their race, did not develop in all slave-owning societies, and did not lead to the enslavement of peoples. Europeans had European slaves, Africans had African slaves, groups of people had slaves that were part of their group as well. Before a system known as the Atlantic World System emerged, African slavery was not widely practiced by Europeans and confined only to Africa. This Atlantic World System (AWS) emerged when Europeans first came into contact with Africa and the civilizations present within it. As Henry Gates Jr. describes, these African civilizations desired to trade with Europeans, who wanted slave in return for their products. These civilizations already contained a prosperous slave trade, so they allowed Europeans to buy slaves from them(Gates, Africa’s Great Civilizations). Europeans then used these slaves to create a massively profitable system, the AWS. This system globalized, and soon the entire world was dependent on its products and success. At this time, while slave-owners prejudiced their slaves, racism did not exist. Racism grew out of prejudice derived from slavery, and synthesized from a global economy dependent on cheap slave labour, when white people justified why Africans slaves were unequal to them. To justify enslavement of Africans and later to

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