Slavery In America

768 Words4 Pages
There were probably ten million Africans captured and taken to the New World over a long period of time. Most of the slaves went down to South America or the West Indies, where there were vast amounts of sugar cane to harvest. Africans had been brought to Jamestown as early as 1619. Some white colonists could not afford slaves, because there was a high chance of them dying when they arrived. White servants were cheaper, but they would not work as hard as slaves would have to end up working in the future. People in England were starting to get paid well, due to higher wages. This meant that less people were poor, and less people would go to America to work as servants. For the first time, black slaves outnumbered white servants among the plantation…show more content…
They originally captured African coastal tribes, who traded them in crude markets to European merchants. The captives were herded aboard sweltering ships for the gruesome “middle passage,” on which death rates ran as high as twenty percent. Survivors were eventually shoved onto auction blocks in New World ports, where a giant slave market was opened for people to buy slaves. A few of the earliest African immigrants gained their freedom, and some even became slave-owners themselves. But as the number of Africans increased dramatically toward the end of the seventeenth century, white colonists saw an impending racial threat. Earlier in the century, the legal difference between a slave and a servant was unclear. But now the law began to make sharp distinctions between the two, which was dependent on race. New slave codes put all African Americans in poverty. Some colonies made it a crime to teach a slave to read or write. Not even conversion to Christianity could qualify a slave for freedom. Slavery might have begun in America for economic reasons, but by the end of the seventeenth century, it was clear that racial discrimination also powerfully molded the American slave…show more content…
A few became skilled artisans, carpenters, bricklayers, and tanners, but most slaves wee mainly involved with horrible tasks that the owner came up with. After strict centuries of working and working, the slaves knew that some day they would have to revolt someday for their freedom. A slave revolt erupted in New York City in 1712 that cost the lives of a dozen whites and caused the execution of twenty-one blacks. More than fifty resentful South Carolina blacks along the Stono River exploded in revolt in 1739 and tried to march to Spanish Florida, only to be stopped by the local militia. But in the end, the slaves in the South proved to be a more manageable labor force than the white indentured servants they gradually

More about Slavery In America

Open Document