The Economic Basis Of Slavery And Its Impact On The Emergence Of The United States

598 words - 2 pages

Slavery in Colonial America goes back to the initial settlement of Jamestown. Although slavery was practiced in numerous countries during this era, its impact was very unique in America. Originally men owed debts as a result of their trip to the new world and worked to pay off the debt. Eventually though this indentured servitude was greatly abused.There were several economic factors during this time that contributed to the growth of slavery in the United States. Generally speaking, during the colonial era the economic rise in American society led to increase in plantations and the growth of urban areas.In the southern states, the economy was centered on agriculture: cotton, sugar, tobacco, and other crops flourished in the south. Without the technology we have today these crops required tremendous labor and time to cultivate. The plantation owners, in their efforts to compete in the free economic system and to produce large amounts of good crops turned to buying slaves to increase their productivity. If they paid good wages to numerous workers the plantation owners would not be able to make money. Slaves were seen as dependable, very strong physically, and cheap.Along with the growth of plantations, the capitalistic frame of mind during the time and increased industrialization in Europe with its demand for products from the Americas were two other economic factors that proliferated slavery. The demand for more slaves on the plantations only increased the buying of slaves in Africa to bring to the Americas. Slave traders in their greed capitalized on the opportunity. The slave traders developed a trading system called the Triangle Trade system to help inflate their profits. Slaves were brought from Africa to the Americas and traded for the products of the cash crop economy (which was built on the backs of the slaves). These...

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