Marielle Apronti Prof. Oscar Williams AAFS 311 4 March 2018 The Trans-Atlantic slave trade was the most important factor when considering the early development of European capitalism. The arrival of the Portuguese to the West African Coast and their establishment of trading and slave ports throughout the continent set in stone a trend of exploitation of Africa 's labor and human resources. Europeans greatly benefited from the Trans-Atlantic trade, as it allowed them to aggregate raw materials such as sugar and cotton to manufacture products that funded the Industrial Revolution. In the book “Capitalism and Slavery” by Eric Williams he addresses the origin of “Negro” history, the economic and political impact of slavery in Great Britain, the role of the American Revolution and the decline of slavery in Great Britain. William’s main argument in this book is that the rise of industrial capitalism in Europe would not have been possible without the profits derived from African slave labor.
1. Slave Society is any society where slavery was practiced. It is a society where slavery affects everything, which means it stood at the center of the economic production, and the master- slave relationship provided a model for all social relations. The south benefits from being a slave society because it boosted its economy. This can be seen where the idea of more slaves was equivalent to an increase in cotton production and their prices rose accordingly.
The decreasing population confederated with a necessity for a labor might, led colonists to expect that buying African slaves was the most material passage to acquire a drudgery might. The sully was perfect for this browse and tobacco became the main source of proceeds for most of the colonists. To the planter, slavery was the ideal form of labor. The African slaves also had other characteristics that coax colonists to application them as an industry stuff. Tobacco was the major crop of the 17th century in the English colonies.
The introduction of slavery to the New World was an important aspect that shaped and influenced American culture to what it is today. The introduction of slaves set up the scene for white superiority and domination amongst American society. Slavery started in 1619, when Africans were brought from Africa over to the New World, through a transport system called the “Middle Passage”, to serve as free labor for tobacco production. African slaves became essential to tobacco production and the economy, as the Native Americans that were previously used as slaves, died off from smallpox and other European diseases. With no other option for free laborers, they looked to Africans.
Although both authors seemed to have similar concepts of the organization of slavery, what they did both strongly acknowledge was that slavery made the majority of the economic output from the Atlantic Trade System, which helped develop colonies that desperately needed a steady supply of ready made products and natural resources. Without that mass amount of imported slaves and their labor, America would not have developed at the pace it did. (Klein, 104) Colonization: When discussing the colonization of the Atlantic Slave Trade, Klein first points out that Africa was a relatively modest source of slaves until the 16th century when the Americas began to experience large influxes of European colonization which ultimately led to the need for
Colonization in the Americas was greatly beneficial for Europeans economically, it allowed the nation to turn natives into slaves and force them to work on plantations. Sense Europeans brought all kinds of nasty diseases to the Americas the natives began to die. So the Europeans would import West African slaves to replace the dying natives. The colonies then sent goods back to the homeland, this method allowed for a steady life line of goods for the homeland securing an economic foothold. In conclusion the age of exploration jump started the European economy with the introduction of capitalism, market economy, and colonization.
While the upper class of Africa benefited from this for a short term, the rest of Africa had a domino effect falling after the slave trade began. In a Letter to the Kings of Portugal, Nzinga Mbemba wrote: “the excessive freedom given by your agents and officials to the men and merchants who are allowed to come to this Kingdom to set up shops with goods and many things which have been prohibited by us, and which they spread throughout our Kingdoms and Domains”(Doc 1). This letter was written in 1526, only a little over 20 years after the slave trade began. At first thought the slave trade seemed like it was mutually beneficial to both Europe and Africa, but was only realized later that it would cause a ripple on the rest of Africa. The Europeans first thought that Africans will “always be tending the fire, for it is the one thing you especially looked after”(Doc 7).
To the masses, slavery was a social defining stance; the “peculiar institution” to some and a defining moral line to others, American life was changed depending on what view you took of slavery. No matter your stance at the time, one thing became clear: socially, politically and economically, slavery was the fabric of American success and gave birth to the Old South as we know it today. At the center of the entire institution of slavery, and central to its defense, was the economic domination it provided a young country in international markets. In the early 19th century, cotton was a popular commodity and overtook sugar as the main crop produced by slave labor. The production of cotton became the nation’s top priority; America supplied ¾ of the cotton supply to the entire world.
From the very beginning of the seventeenth century, America depended on slaves for free labor in order to make a considerable profit. These slaves were not treated as normal people though; they were sold into a life of no rights, cruel punishment, and rigorous work schedules. In his autobiography, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, freed slave Frederick Douglass shares his personal accounts with slavery in order to reveal the harsh truth slavery hides to the public. Throughout his narrative, Douglass uses specific maritime allusions as well as vivid diction, oxymorons and anaphora to persuade the reader to think more philosophically about oppression and in turn ask the question, ‘what does it truly take to be free?’. Throughout the
One argument for reparations is that it would allow the United States to address a major racial issue. Paying reparations recognizes the wrongdoings of the United States and it would be a form of apology. By acknowledging the harmful effects of slavery on the Black community, the US is holding itself accountable for its role in facilitating slavery. The United States’ economy was largely build by slave labor and some companies that used slave labor still exist today. The US greatly benefitted from slavery and the US economy depended on slave labor.