Slavery In The New England Colonies

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The basis of slavery was economic. Settlers in the New England colonies needed help tending the farms and plantations. Previously the work force came from English settlers arriving as indentured servants or from Native Americans. However, many Native Americans died from diseases and harsh labor conditions (Franklin and Higginbotham 25). Instead the colonists saw the benefits of using Africans as their labor force. It was beneficial to them because they were cheaper to buy than hiring workers and it also stabilized labor supply. Also because of their skin color it easier to recognize and apprehend them (Franklin and Higginbotham 27). Slaves were obtained through negotiation with African officials or slave raids initiated by the Europeans. These people would be shipped off and forced to go to the Americas. During the Middle Passage, a series of trade routes which slave ships used to transport slaves from West Africa to the New World, many slaves died on the voyage. Ships were overcrowded and disease was rampant. There were cases of revolts happening on the ship and of people jumping off the boat committing suicide (Franklin and Higginbotham 33). Many of…show more content…
Later starting in the 1660s, slave codes initiate restrictions of Africans’ freedoms reducing them to the legal status of property (Franklin and Higginbotham 54). Statutes and laws were enforced to make the status of slavery permanent and to divide slavery lines on a racial basis. Furthermore, law officials passing laws stating slave status as hereditary. For example, the 1662 Virginia law issuing that a child born to a slave mother is also a slave (Franklin and Higginbotham 55). Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676 caused the enactment of stricter slave laws in many colonies. Laws were enacted prohibiting the freedom of assembly, the right to bear arms, and the freedom of movement without a certificate from their master (Franklin and Higginbotham
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