The Role Of Slavery In Meso-America

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The end of the fifteenth century is attributed as the time period in which Christopher Colombus “discovered” the Americas. Although he was allegedly the first European to have reached these unknown lands at the time, many sought to reach the new world, for a variety of reasons. Most of those people could be divided in two: the settlers and the conquerors. In North America, there were more of the former, people looking for a new home where they could rebuild their families and lives. In Meso-America, however, the goal was to exploit the lands in order to produce and extract new goods which they could trade. Despite the different outcomes they were trying to reach, both held a common truth: natives and African slaves were both lesser than Europeans,…show more content…
At the beginning, most of the slaves were indentured servants, who chose free labour in the colonies for several years over a death penalty. Those were mostly European, but in the seventeenth century, Africans were sent to Virginia to work as indentured servants. While some were able to gain freedom, others fell into permanent servitude, and by 1661, all black people in Virginia were considered slaves, and their numbers raised significantly. Nonetheless, slavery started as early as the 1530s in Meso-American colonies, as their aims with agriculture were much larger, and they had difficulty employing natives outside the areas where there had been large empires, such as Peru and Mexico. It can be argued that slavery in Latin America was not only more common; but also more brutal. Their lives were short and they were expected to live from five to six years, which was considered a large profit to the slave owners, as they were able to purchase new and healthier slaves with no financial loss. They were also heavily mistreated; being forced to work for hours under the scorching sun, with terrible living conditions and poor nutrition. Slaves were seen as barely human, and the loss of one only meant the loss of the slave owner’s financial gain. Sugar was produced by the masses, but it cost thousands of human lives. Overall, although both colonies benefited and profited from slavery, the numbers and the demand in Meso-America greatly surpassed those from North America’s, and resulted in slave trade being banned much later in those

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