History Of Slavery In The New World

From the sixteenth century to the nineteenth century, in the new settlement of Jamestown, many of the colonists in the New World were living in prosperity for the first time. Many people in the New World had seized opportunities in farming and agriculture. The leading prospect being tobacco farming, which was starting to get big. As tobacco trading grew at an alarming rate, so did the workforce needed. The colonists didn’t even consider paying employees. That would be too expensive. Ideas were thrown around the table. Many of these ideas were unethical, but unethical practically didn’t exist then, so many of the easiest but most wrong ideas continued being used. It was clear that the colonists couldn’t use the Indians because they were too powerful, too close to their homes and could easily escape and live off the land. So the colonists decided on the next best thing (to them): Indentured Slaves. 

Indentured Slaves were workers on a contract to eventually get released. During their time on contract they would be fed and taken care of. These people were often criminals or poor people without families trying to find opportunity in the New World. These people were powerless in the New World away from everything they had, therefore making them good workers. The Indentured Slave agreed to work for a certain amount of time and in exchange get a free boat ride to the New World. There are many arguments about whether this is right or wrong, but it was still better and by far much more universally acceptable than what happened next… 

As the tobacco farms grew and began needing more and more workers, and not just a few helping hands, it became more clear that many new colonists had the goal to provide themselves free labor. This way, they would have more power over the workers. Soon after writing out their constitutions and rules, the colonists decided to break them and do what is universally wrong. They started supplying themselves slaves. Most of these slaves were shipped away from their homes in Africa, and would never see their homeland again.

Only half of the colonies in the New World agreed to the idea of slavery and used it, this was later the cause of the Civil War. For many years, the colonies argued over slavery and this fight continued growing even after the colonies broke away from Great Britain. The southern side wanted slavery, as the south still benefited a lot from tobacco farming and other agriculture. Getting rid of slavery would leave the south with practically nothing, and they held onto their beliefs in slavery. The north on the other hand accepted what we now consider to be ethical. 

In conclusion, at the start, nobody even considered paying workers. To the colonists, it seemed too expensive for a growing economy, but it seemed too wrong to the north for them to use. The indigenous people ended up not becoming slaves because it would be too difficult. So African slaves were the only option. Later on, conflicts started between the north and the south because of slavery. The south wanted to break up from the United States and continue using slavery, but the north wanted to stay united and abolish slavery. This was the Civil War. Eventually, the north won, and slavery was abolished.

Categories History, People

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