Slavery in Colonial America
As the colonies of America developed, the slave trade also flourished. Unknown at the time, the colonist involvement in this trade would have monumental effects on America. First, slavery increased American participation in the triangular trade, but also stunted Southern industry. Second, slavery led to an ultimate feeling of white supremacy and plantations that defined life in the South. The slave trade had vast consequences on the economy and society of Colonial America.
To begin with, the use of slaves greatly impacted the economy of the colonies. Southern colonies thrived from crops such as tobacco and rice that were physically demanding and tough to grow. However, African workers seemed to be able to handle the conditions and even had experience with the crops. This caused an increase in Southern production of cash crops and ultimately led to a lack of industry. The triangular trade was also a worldwide phenomenon as a part of slavery. As demand for slaves grew, Americans increased trade with the West Indies. This established more markets for colonial goods to be exported to as well as an increase in trading and merchants. The economic situation of the colonies resulted significantly from slavery.
On the other hand, the society of Colonial America was also directly affected by slavery. At first, the status of Africans was not clear. By the eighteenth century, however, whites assumed blacks were to work for life, and they began passing slave codes to limit their rights. This allowed Europeans to define themselves as a superior race, not only to Africans, but also in issues involving Natives or other races of color. The organization of slave labor also resulted in the rise of plantations in the South. These plantations led to self-contained communities that often grew to include schools and chapels. This created a stratified society where the white plantation owners controlled the livelihood of slaves and even small farmers in...
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