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Slavery In American Society: Impact And Evolution

1659 words - 7 pages

Slavery in American Society: Impact and evolution

Slavery in American Society
The controversies surrounding slavery have been established in many societies worldwide for centuries. In past generations, although slavery did exists and was tolerated, it was certainly very questionable,” ethically“. Today, the morality of such an act would not only be unimaginable, but would also be morally wrong. As things change over the course of history we seek to not only explain why things happen, but as well to understand why they do. For this reason, we will look further into how slavery has evolved throughout History in American society, as well as the impacts that it has had.
Some of the earliest records of slavery date back to 1760 BC; Within such societies, slavery worked in a system of social stratification (Slavery in the United States, 2011), meaning inequality among different groups of people in a population (Sajjadi, 2008). After the establishment of Jamestown in 1607 as the first permanent English Chesapeake colony in the New World that was agriculturally-based; Tobacco became the colonies chief crop, requiring time consuming and intensive labor (Slavery in colonial America, 2011). Due to the headlight system established in Maryland in 1640, tobacco farmers looked for laborers primarily in England, as each farmer could obtain workers as well as land from importing English laborers. The farmers could then use such profits to purchase the passage of more laborers, thus gaining more land. Indentured servants, mostly male laborers and a few women immigrated to Colonial America and contracted to work from four to seven years in exchange for their passage (Norton, 41). Once services ended after the allotted amount of time, the Indentured Servant could remain in Jamestown as a regular citizen.
Colonist thought of Indentured Servants as being too costly(Slavery in colonial America, 2011), although the actual cost of a slave was two and a half times more than that of an indentured servant. Each slave also supplied a lifetime of service if they would survived the voyage and the numerous possible diseases(Norton, 69). In 1619, when English pirate ships, White Lion and the Treasurer arrived in the British colony of Jamestown Virginia carrying with it, twenty enslaved Africans, colonist traded food and services in exchange for human cargo. Once traded, the Africans were entered into limited periods of indentured servitude and joined the colonies workforce, which had roughly one thousand English indentured servants (Slavery in the United States, 2011).
By the 1670’s prices for tobacco entered a fifty-year period of inactivity and decline, as land became limited and costly. Thereafter, in 1681, Maryland abandoned its requirement for servants to obtain land with their freedom dues. This made the Chesapeake land less of an opportunity for immigrants (Norton, 42). Furthermore, the restoration of the colonies provided mirgrants other settlement...

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