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Essay On Slavery


Slavery was caused by economic factors of the English
settlers in the late 17th century. Colonists continually
tried to allure laborers to the colony. The headright
system was to give the indentured servant, a method of
becoming independent after a number of years of service.
Slavery was caused by economic reasons. Colonists chiefly
relied on Indentured Servitude, inorder to facilitate their
need for labor. The decreasing population combined with a
need for a labor force, led colonists to believe that
African slaves were the most efficient way to acquire a
labor force that would satisfy their needs.
Before the 1680's, Indentured Servitude was the primary
source of labor in the newly developed colonies. After the
1680's, the population of the Indentured Servants
decreased, exponentially. Their were a number of different
reasons why the population of Indentured Servents had
decreased. The indentured servents were running away from
their temporary masters, to find a job where he could
become more independent. Indentured servents were also
dying of many diseases, which was caused by harsh
conditions. The immigration of servents thus declined,
becuase of the people in England being informed of the
harsh treatment in the colonies. The society was where the
land was easy to find, while the labor was most scarce.
Indentured servitude, was a form of labor which was
declining, and the need for labor increased rapidly.
In the 1600's, when tobacco was founded by John Rolfe,
tobacco became the main source of income for most of the
colonists. The economic prosperity of the colonies was
primarily dependent on the amount of tobacco produced. The
growing of tobacco, needed a large amount of land, with a
large stable work force. The increased demand for a large,
stable work force combined with the availability of African
slaves, led to the use of slavery in the colonies. During
the late 17th century, the indentured servants were running
away from their masters farms, if a slave had run away from
their master's farms, then the slave would be easier to
discern because of the color of his skin. To the planter,
slavery was the ideal form of labor that would be most
beneficial to productivity of his crop.
Planters had an abundance of land and a shortage of labor.
This relationship, made the amount of tobacco directly
proportional to the number of slaves that the planter
owned. Slavery was the backbone of the prosperity of the
colonies. A major factor in the consideration of slaves on
plantation, is the flux of the land. Tobacco was the major
crop of the 17th century, and tobacco is a plant that
exhausts nutrients from the soil, which led to the rotation
of crops, inorder to replenish the crops. The planter
needed to educate his workers on certain agricultural
techniques inorder to know how to make the land most
productive. With a permanent work force, such as slaves,
the slaves would only require to be educated once, instead
of the planters having to re-educate indentured servants
every X number of years. The African slaves also had other
characteristics that enticed colonists to use them as a
labor force. The African slaves were immune to malaria,
which resisted them from disease. The africans also were
subsistence farmers in africa, thus, they had a tradition
of farming, and essential agricultural skills.
Slavery was a course in history, where it was opportune for
the colonists to use slavery as a labor force. The decline
in population of indentured servants exacerbated the
situation, as time progressed, slavery became more and more
imminent. Morality was not taken into consideration,
because of the settlers were only viewing slavery from a
economic view, rather than a humanitarian point of view.
The introduction of slavery into the colonies can be
summarize with a cliche of the settlers being "at the right
place at the right time". 


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