Slavery In 18Th Century Term Paper

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Despite the horror of the word slavery we have to admit that slaves have played a big role in rising big empires. For example the Egyptians used slaves to build their majestic pyramids, the Chinese and Indian used slaves for large-scale construction and agricultural and the Hebrews also used slaves. Slaves were brought from Africa to the British American colonies to work in agriculture and farming, which among other factors made the British colonies in America become so strong and prosperous.

The slaves of the British American colonies were mainly from African west coast. It is important to note that slavery was present in African communities long before white traders sent African slaves to Europe and America. Slaves in Africa were those tribal people captured in confrontations between tribes and sold to Arab traders.

The first traders to introduce slaves to the American colonies were the Portuguese who were later followed by the Spanish. Brought from Africa by way of different routes but in particular, the "Middle Passage" or directly from Africa to the Indies, slaves would travel in ships packed like sardines and under the most horrible conditions.

Perhaps the most logical reason to try to explain the boom of slavery in America and anywhere is it was a very profitable business. In the case of America, the first slave trades were done for mere profit but then it became a necessity because of the increasing demand for working hands in the colonies. The slavery population in the British American colonies rose rapidly during the 1700's due to the increasing demand for plantation workers, which became the main source of income for these colonies. By 1750, about 200,000 slaves lived in the colonies and most of them in the south, where the warm climate and good soil permitted the great development of plantations such as rice, tobacco, sugar cane and cotton among others. Slaves therefore played a big role in these plantations working directly in the fields, though some others worked as servants craft workers, etc. In the northern colonies, slaves worked in factories, homes, and shipyards.

Two important industries inspired the existence of black slaves in the British American colonies. These were the cotton and sugar cane plantations. Cotton case has its roots in the "cotton gin", a machine that removed seeds at an incredible rate of fifty people doing it by hand. Arose the need of more workers in the Southern to seed and collect cotton to meet the demand for this prosperous new industry in America. African slaves filled this necessity of cotton plantation labor.

In the case of sugar cane, the Louisiana's agricultural labor needs were just as important as the cotton producing colonies and slave numbers climbed to about 4 million in the south in order to fulfill the labor requirements of planting and harvesting the cane.

White colonizers also tried to enslave the American Indians but with very poor results. Partly due to the fact that many Indians died from diseases brought by their captors. Also, it was easy for the Indians to run away and go back with their people. This situation gave a big green light to bring even more black slaves from Africa. The colonizers did not encounter these same problems with the African slaves because the slaves did not have where to run and because they were healthier and stronger.

The Atlantic slave trade operated from the 1500's to the mid-1800's. No one knows exactly how many Africans were enslaved during this period. Some estimate around ten million. Of the total number of slaves brought to America only six percent were received by the British colonies and lived in the south although slavery existed in a lesser number everywhere else in the colonies.

A slave's life in America was a nightmare for the most part, since despite the existence of some laws to protect them from cruelty by whites and to give them limited rights, these laws were not always enforced. However in comparison to other countries, slaves in the British colonies ate better, lived longer, received better medical care, and had a more secure family life.

By the early 1800's more that 700,000 slaves lived in the south and constituted a third of the total population. This exponential growth reached around four million slaves by 1860 in the slave states. This produced a greater number of slaves over whites in the state of Carolina. In other states, like Virginia and Maryland, the black population made up more than half of the population. Thus, this shows the amazing boom of enslaved work and consequently, the wealth of these states due to their cultural development.

By the 1800's most of the slaves were born in America and they had lost all interest in going back to Africa and they were raised under western social and religious influences and despite being slaves they recognized America as their own home. They even took part in the American army when fighting against the British and in most cases looking for freedom and more rights for themselves once the war had ended. Luckily, there were also many slaves who ran away from their masters and formed hidden groups in the backcountry.

The existence and use of slave labor became an economic necessity for a landowner who needed workers, and these workers were predominantly Negro slaves brought and sold from Africa. For southern colonists, slavery was first an economic institution solely for the purpose of solving an economic problem but this problem was very costly therefore the colonists implemented forced labor for economic gain. So slavery provided the basis for economic and social life in the British American colonies and especially in the southern.

Word Count: 949

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