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Slave Trade to America. Effects on Economies, Societies, and People - Research Paper Example

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During the 16th century all through up to the 19th century, slave trade had been legalized in Africa and in the European countries. All this started when the Europeans established their first colonial settlement in North America in conjunction with the Virginia Company…
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Slave Trade to America. Effects on Economies, Societies, and People
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Download file to see previous pages Thus, by 1610, very few colonialists were remaining due to the shortage of food and water. Precisely, only 60 of the first 214 were alive. (Littlejohn, 2003, P. 5) Despite this setback, the English colonialists were still convinced they could make Virginia prosperous. And thus the group of colonialists that followed was certain that there were unexplored metals and precious stones in the land. They therefore, aimed at identifying these precious minerals in Virginia. However, with time it became clear that Virginia did not have any minerals or metals. And therefore, the settlers had to identify some other means of survival. With other parts of America successfully dealing in Agricultural crops, the English colonialists also sought to try the same in Virginia. Tobacco farming was then started in the land and indeed it became a success to the Virginia Company. With the activity being so labor intensive, there was hence the need for more workers in the farms. The Englishmen offered to work as indentured servants for a period of four to seven years in exchange for food, clothing and shipment to the New World. (Littlejohn, 2003, P. 6) Though the system of indentured servitude clearly exploited the workers, the white servants still accepted it in the hope for freedom and citizenship on completion of their contracts. With time, the system was not only being used in the farms, but also in construction, clearing of roads and timber cutting. Women could also secure jobs in households as domestic servants, but still under the same system. According to Rodriguez, (2007, P.87), the system of indentured servitude in America was to some extent a kind of slavery. This is because the servants were exploited by their masters and also faced many hardships during the contract period. Most of them were physically and sexually abused until they opted to run away. Running away would however, lead to severe consequences once captured. They would be beaten, branded and even jailed. Start of Slave trade in America Then, in the year 1619 slave trade began in Virginia when a Dutch slave trader exchanged twenty African slaves for food. The Africans were taken as indentured servants at first but would later become slaves since even after the end of the contract they could not return to their home in Africa. By the 1920s, it became clear that the slave trade would be only option for the English tobacco farmers due to the high labor demand. (Wood, 2005, P. 4) This was due to the fact that the African slaves were much cheaper and easy to acquire as compared to the indentured servants. The slaves would only be provided with food water and shelter with no freedom promised as was the case in the indentured servitude. (Rodriguez, 2007, P.87) By this time, the transatlantic trade, which had started early in the century was booming, and thus English colonies did not have to suffer in search of a market for slaves. The demand for more slaves thus acted as a fuel to the slave trade. The factors that promoted the slave trade of Africans in Virginia included: Availability or ready market: as mentioned above, the farmers did not have to travel all the way to Africa to purchase slaves; they could get them at the transatlantic slave trade. Racial differences also made the Africans more ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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