Explain the economic basis of African slavery and its impact on the emerging nation. Included the following please: 1 – Discuss the economic basis of slavery by identifying three or more economic factors that contributed to African slavery in the US. 2 – Explain the impact slavery had on the United States as an emerging nation.
Slavery plays a very important role in the history of America. Between 1619 and 1865, the economy of the American continent depended hugely on slavery, and it developed as a flourishing trade. Africa seemed to be a very good hunting ground for slaves. During the search for slaves, many brutal incidents were being encountered. At first, Native Indians were being harnessed as slaves, but because they resisted, revolted or escaped, the interest slowly began shifting to the Africans.
The African slaves seemed to be very useful in plantation in the West Indies and also for doing labor in the American mainland. Initially, it began as indentured servitude (providing bonded labor for a certain time period) in Virginia (an English Colony in 1619), but slowly it was converted to racial slavery. No laws for slavery existed at that time in Virginia, but following introduction of indentured servitude, lifetime slavery was being recognized under the local law by the 1640’s. Slaves helped in cultivating several crops such as coffee, rice, sugarcane, tobacco, rice, cotton, etc.
Slavery also helped the British, as they gained significantly from the utilization of slaves in America. Often British ships left British ports to the West coast of Africa to hunt for slaves. They even exchanged goods in return for slaves. These were then being carried over to the West Indies or Mainland America to be traded for agricultural produce. These products were then being utilized in Britain.
The landowners seemed to rely more on slave practices. The law-makers also ensured that the interests of the landowners were being maintained by providing legislations that were favorable to employ slaves. These slaves seemed to be very useful in plantations and estates.
Slavery had a great impact on the history of the US. In between 1776 and 1850, dealing with slaves was done on the basis of their skin color. The dark-skinned slaves worked in the fields, whereas the light-skinned ones worked inside homes.
During the 18th century democratic and humanitarian ideas began to develop in America. It emerged from the serious malpractices committed against the slaves. The French Revolution had given ideas of the importance of human rights and the need for revolt in order to secure these rights. The Quaker movement also began to discourage slavery and pronounce it as a social evil. Many Northern states in the US began to adopt anti-slavery laws in the late 18th century and the early 19th century. In Massachusetts, following the Quork Walker slave case (in 1780), slavery was abolished in the state, and the saying ‘all men born free and equal’, was derived. Slavery was considered as a sin by religious leaders. People who engaged slaves had to repent for their sins and had to free them from captivity. However, the Southern United States was not freed of slavery until the 19th century.
One of the reasons for the American Civil war was the conflicting ideas regarding slavery. The North considered free labor to exist, whereas the South believed in slavery. A majority of the politicians of the South owned slaves. These politicians needed support in order to keep their plantations prosperous. After, the American Civil War in the early 1860’s, slavery was abolished in the US. Abraham Lincoln promised freedom to all slaves in 1863. During the late 19th century, efforts were being made to free all slaves held in captivity.