The Economics of Slavery in America
The first slave workers arrived in Virginia in 1619 to work in the tobacco plantations owned by the British colonialists then. From then through the 17th and 18th centuries, slave trade became a booming business in America. The slaves work in tobacco and cotton plantations as they provided cheap labor. The beginning of slave trade was the influx of the British into Virginia. The British first came to Virginia followed by Carolina and other areas and engaged in cotton and tobacco plantation arming. With low availability of manual labor, there was need to find a cheap source of manual labor. The increasing demand for tobacco and cotton back in England led to the need for more land and more labor which could not be available from the British workers or from the Native Americans, which initiated the slavery of workers. Eventually, immigrants from Africa with no place to turn to were sold as slaves to the British farmers (Wood 4).
Slave trade further escalated due to the lack of constitutional prohibitions as most of those who drafted the American constitution were slave owners. The growth of America was therefore driven by slaves, who worked in plantations in Virginia, Carolina and later on in other areas such as Maryland and the Mississippi Valley (Hammond 182). The production of cotton and tobacco led to industrial developments such as the cotton gin in the 18th Century. This further increased the demand for slaves. Through the years, slaves began to be used in other industries as well as other forms of work such as domestic servants. Slave owners considered the slaves part of their private property and could use them as property to secure loans for purchasing more land and more slaves. In addition to this, the slaves did all the work leading to high death rates.
Hammond, John Craig. “Slavery, Settlement, and Empire.” Journal Of The Early Republic 32.2 (2012): 175-206. Academic Search Premier. Web. 15 Nov. 2013.
Wood, Betty. Slavery in Colonial America, 1696-1776. Lanham, Md. [u.a.: Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. Print.
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