Labor System In Colonial America

804 Words4 Pages
The labor system in the newly established European colonies of North America was initially very diverse but changed to more African slave oriented over time. From the north colonies to the middle and south, one can see a big variation in relationships, cultures, and lifestyles of slaves in each area. The labor requirements of each region shaped the relationships the slaves had with their masters and resulted in a big variation in slavery in each area of the colonies.
The northern blacks were incorporated more into the new European American culture even though they were not fully accepted. Northern and middle colonies were comprised of blacks as a very small percentage of the population as opposed to the higher populations in the south.
…show more content…
From early on a white soft slavery workforce of indentured servants did most of the labor due to poor life expectancy, making it not worth the money investing in a slave and importing them if they were likely going to die. The colonists in Virginia had something that was very unique when it comes to the conversation of African slavery in America. Evidence exists to suggest than Virginia was even a multiracial society as there were some freed slaves from the south that moved to the region, owned property, and even sued other whites in court. But over time living conditions improved and the survival rate reached a point satisfactory enough for the elites to justify the importation of slaves more than indentured servants. Around the same time the first slave codes were established in the colony carving a lasting racial divide. This resulted in a big change in the labor system that was currently in place and evolved the colony to more slave reliant while increasing the population of…show more content…
Most slaves were on small farms and there was a form of sawbuck equality as they worked hand in hand with the whites. Blacks even fought as soldiers in the Yamasee war and defended the southern colonies. The beginning of the 1700s brought on a new desire to export staple crops from the southern region which caused an unprecedented upswing in the importation of the African slaves. Small farms were transformed into large plantations full of swamps and malaria. The vast majority of Africans in the American south became physically and psychologically separated from the European Americans unlike in the north where they were much closer. Because of this separation they were much closer to African culture than any other blacks in the colonies. These changes to the slavery system in the south transformed this section of the colonies to a place where slave labor was the primary workforce unlike to the north.
In conclusion, slave labor within the American British Colonies was very diverse and different throughout each region. The difference between these regions came about as a result of the agricultural and industrial needs. Within the northern colonies existed a society that incorporated black slaves into the new European American culture, Virginia had a mixed labor system focusing primarily on indentured servants that eventually transformed to black slave based, and the Carolinas had society in which
Open Document