Edward E. Baptist states, “The idea that the commodification and suffering and forced labor of African Americans is what made the United States powerful and rich is not an idea that people necessarily are happy to hear. Yet it is the truth”. In the beginning, the colonies profited off of the slaves that worked tobacco plantations along the eastern coast of the United States. As land was taken from the Native Americans, it was the productivity of the people who inhabited the land that brought wealth to the country, not the land itself. Leading up to the American Revolution, the United States increased cotton production, calling for more slaves, “By 1775, 500,000 of the thirteen colonies’ 2.5 million inhabitants were slaves, about the same as the number of slaves then alive in the British Caribbean colonies.
Plantation owners loved having indentured servants because it really helped them save every bit of money they could. Indentured servants did suffer a lot especially with their working schedules but, with the laws that were later passed in Virginia throughout the years and any few freedoms black had were taken away making them feel hopeless at times because of the racial diversity in the America’s at the time. Servants were being optimistic at the time, they were hoping the laws being passed would not affect their rewards for all the hard work they had endeavored throughout the four to seven year long contracts. There was many uncertainty especially with how society would treat them because of their skin color. With all these new laws being passed, most plantation owners feared for their land, indentured servants were not needed as much anymore, plantation owners turned to slavery were they had more power of the individuals and were guaranteed no profit
Contrary to popular belief, slavery was a prominent labor system in the world for much of time. Before slavery really started to take hold in the Americas, typically plantations hired servants rather than slaves. This was because slaves were more expensive than servants and neither lived long, so it was smarter at the time for planters to pay for servants. After death rates started to drop, it was more logical for planters to invest in slaves. Even though they were more expensive than servants, they could work for years.
Except this time it was through the crop of sugarcane. Slaves just like in the Southern colonies as well were the basis of these sugar fortunes. All colonial regions in the New World run by the British had a great economy which flourished not just only in their own part of the hemisphere but around the world. The colonies were a global economic factory, as they pumped out so much produce. The one thing all of these regions shared was fishing because of the close interaction with the Atlantic Ocean.
Cotton was not a commodity as it later became due to its difficulty as well as high cost in refining it. Typically in the South, crops, such as indigo, tobacco, and rice, were cultivated largely by hand by small groups of slaves. Slavery had already been quite popular among planters in the South due to its historical tendency for agriculture, but slavery had been on the decrease mostly due to the rising cost of maintaining slaves. Slavery had originally been on the decline and was planned to be abolished by many Southern legislative leaders ("Pre-Cotton Gin America." Web). Though little did they know, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin would answer their questions in regards to the struggle of cotton harvesting.
In the 1800s the need for cotton rapidly increased as the textile industry was on the rise in the North and even in Europe. As the need for cotton increased, the need for labor increased as well. “American cotton production soared from 156,000 bales in 1800 to more than 4,000,000 bales in 1860.”(Dattel, 2006) Southerners believed that slavery was the answer to all of their problems. The South
As the agriculture production was in great demand in America, white men used indentured servant to cheaply produce the products they needed. However, during this time, slaves started to become more common than indentured servants because, “As Africans, they could not claim the protections of English common law. Slaves’ terms of service never expired…” (Foner, p. 80). This made white men desire to have slaves who they could control and treat however they pleased for however long they wanted.
The manufacturers were faced with maintaining a high crop yield, but luckily the Caribbean islands provided an ideal location for growing cane sugar. Once plantations were constructed yet another issue confronted the owners, cheap labor. For the plantations to produce large enough quantities of sugar to fulfill the demand, many slaves were necessary; thus, a successful slave industry arose with the aid of these wealthy entrepreneurs who hoped to own successful plantations. The absentee owners in England, Spain, and France became increasingly wealthy as the demand and industry for sugar
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.
Slavery was different for America then it was for the rest of the world. For the rest of the world, it wasn’t a race thing they just enslaved the people that they had conquered. They did not care what the color of their skin was it was just about the need for labor. In the article “New of New World Slavery” it explains how slavery was different in America than in Europe. “Slavery in the classical and the early medieval worlds was not based on racial distinctions”.
The people from Africa were generally part of early American history; however, Africans had experience slavery under better conditions compared to the conditions imposed by other civilized society. From the Egyptian Empire to the Empire of Songhai, slavery was practice for the betterment of their society, however, foreigners invaded these regions and took their slave, their ports and impose these people to a life of servitude in the Caribbean islands and in the English’s colonies. Furthermore, the African American slaves were an active agent of society in the earliest period of American history; they have brought new religious practices to their community; for instance, they constructed networks of communities; they had fought in war alongside
Slavery began long before the colonization of North America. This was an issue in ancient Egypt, as well as other times and places throughout history. In discussing the evolution of African slavery from its origins, the resistance and abolitionist efforts through the start of the Civil War, it is found to have resulted in many conflicts within our nation. In 1619, the first Africans in America arrived in Jamestown on a Dutch ship.
In order to meet the growing demands of sugar and cotton, slavery was the best means for the Southern agricultural owners. Slavery was a cheap and fast way to produce raw materials that could be transported to England. The only expenses of the slaves were meager meals that were necessary to
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.