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Explain the economic basis of African Slavery and its impact on the emerging nation - Essay Example

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Some might question why slavery lasted so long. The economic basis of slavery holds the answer. Three primary economic reasons for the long duration of slavery were cheap labor, slave value, and the perceived cost of either…
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Explain the economic basis of African Slavery and its impact on the emerging nation
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Economic Basis of Slavery Slavery was reprehensible time in American history. Some might question why slavery lasted so long. The economic basis of slavery holds the answer. Three primary economic reasons for the long duration of slavery were cheap labor, slave value, and the perceived cost of either the integration of slaves into society as free men or the cost of sending them back to Africa. These reasons were the basis of why slavery lasted in America.
The first economic reason slavery lasted so long is cheap labor. The South was a big agriculture producer. On of the biggest exports to the North and Europe was cotton. At the time of slavery, cotton from the South comprised the majority of all cotton grown world wide. With the invention of the cotton gin, cotton could not be grown fast enough to meet the demand. Without slaves cotton production would have dramatically decreased, effecting not only the slave owners, but the pious abolitionists and everyone that wore cotton harvested by the slaves. This is just one example of slaves being cheap labor. Many other professions in the South were based on this cheap labor, such as housekeepers, ironsmiths, and various other jobs slaves worked at for fee.
The second economic reason slavery lasted so long was the monetary value of each slave. Each slave cost from two hundred to two thousand dollars depending on gender and age. These prices are an example, different sales had different prices, but slaves had monetary value. Southern slave owners would complain that the government was taking valuable property if slaves were freed. Slave owners did not see slaves as humans with souls, but as property.
The monetary value of a slave leads to the third economic reason slavery lasted so long. If slaves were freed, could the government afford it? Questions were raised such as who would pay slave owners for their loss? And who would give slaves money to start their new life as free in America? And lastly who would pay to have the slaves returned to Africa? Would slaves take jobs from whites? The North and the South were at loss concerning what to do once slaves were free. No one took into account that once the slaves were free that they would work for wages to be integrated into American society.
The North and the South were overly concerned with the economic issues of slavery. Although the North had many people against slavery, many looked the other way because of the imported goods from the South because of the cheap labor of slaves. The United States government did not want to buy slaves or reimburse slave owners for their loss. But the most important reason slavery lasted so long was the indecision about the fate of freed slaves. Because the North and the South could not agree upon the freed slaves fate, slavery lasted a least a century, if not longer, than it should have. War became the only option to free slaves. After the devastating war, freed slaves helped rebuild the nation. If the slaves would have been freed in peacetime, the economy would have collapsed. Economics played a big part in slavery. Read More
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