Effects Of Slavery On The Economy

802 Words 4 Pages
Economics and Slavery: The Perfect Pair? Slavery and the slave trade in general have been a prominent aspect in history for centuries. Morally, slavery is wrong because of the act of taking human beings and placing them in a position in which they are forced to work beneath others. But is it possible for slavery to have had a positive effect somewhere? Economics benefited from slavery because it provided a larger working class to maintain the plantation complexes and meet consumer demands. These benefits arose from owner preferences, the general availability of slaves, and the fluctuation of costs. Preferences among consumers and owners affected the economy. Namely, prisoners were sold into slavery at the convenience of those who captured …show more content…
For example, criminals were sold to the slave trade as a means of avoiding the costs associated with prisons. Such an action increased state revenues. Even more so, Equiano entails how captains would throw sick slaves overboard their ships. This signifies how abundant slaves were because hundreds of slaves could be drowned overboard ships, yet there would still be plenty of slaves left to incorporate into the slave trade. Also, this was their simple way of preventing the entire hoard of slaves from getting sick. There was a general need of slaves, especially in South America, because the natives were dying of European diseases. Having an import of slaves meant that there could be a steady population of labor to keep plantations running and fuel the economy. Famines lowering the price of slaves made an impact because the lower prices meant that slaves were easier to …show more content…
Cavalry horses had cost three times as much as a slave, which meant that although the slaves were recognized as being human, they were treated as much less than others. However, these low prices meant that slaves who died from diseases, accidents, suicides, and those who were killed off could be easily replaced. Though morbid and immoral in thought, the ability to replace workers so easily meant that there was less of a negative effect on the economy. Equiano’s kidnapping, along with his sister, shows that many slaves were chosen in their adolescence because these slaves would be able to work longer than older slaves. Such an aspect meant that there was an efficiency in these facilities that kept the economy steadily flourishing. Additionally, kidnapping cut corners to having to pay or trade others in order to obtain the slaves by purchase. The overall value of these slaves relied on how much it cost the sellers to transport them because travelling from Africa’s interior toward the coast required the payment of tolls as well as the general means of transporting them. Slaves sold closer to the coast cost the sellers more because of these, so their prices rose to compensate in order for profit to be possible. All of the expenses along the way supported the economy because more money was spent to fuel

Related Documents