Effects Of Slavery In America

1924 Words 8 Pages
Shortly after the creation of the colonies, slavery was introduced and the colonial economy’s dependence upon it grew exponentially. The slave labor force increased southern economic prosperity, causing the growth of expansive plantations that enslaved hundreds of Africans. Virginia, one of the largest slave states, had a population of 747,610 in 1790, of which 292,627 were slaves. Due to Virginia’s heavy influence on Kentucky that was prompted by a majority of first settlers having Virginian roots, many expected Kentucky to follow suit in establishing harsh slave laws. However, Kentucky was open to influence from both its Virginian roots and expansionist Northerners attempt to establish a free state, causing many to wonder how the state would …show more content…
The south required slaves to harvest hundreds of acres of the cash crop that was important to their state, usually tobacco and cotton. As the population of slaves continued to grow, even outnumbering whites in some areas, laws were enacted in every state to ensure white dominance. Racism was strongly present in the south where legislatures enacted these slave codes to ensure every sense of humanity was stripped away from these slaves. The enactment of such harsh laws showed how slaves were seen as only labor source. These laws and regulations were inhumane, treating slaves as if they were chattel. States with harsh slave laws often experienced large numbers of slaves attempting to run away, leaving family behind and risking severe punishments if caught, to reach a state where they could achieve more lenient laws. Some states that either depended less upon slavery for labor or had less racist ideals allowed for slaves to remain in the state free. This practice made certain states appealing to slaves throughout the south. Some historians have argued that Kentucky was seen as one of those …show more content…
With this knowledge they decided to establish an economy characterized by diversity instead of a cash-crop economy as seen in Virginia. While the gradual implementation caused economic hardship for the settlers at the beginning, it compelled them to look for new opportunities, such as a hiring-out system as well as to teach the slaves different skills. In addition, the production of small crops, such as corn and grains, and agricultural diversity made small farming the greater part of Kentucky allowing owners to work closely with the few slaves they owned. The influence of personal relationships between owners and slaves created an understanding attitude towards slavery and eventually lenient slave

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