Slavery In North America

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Economic factors were paramount in the introduction and consolidation of slavery in North America, between the 16th and 19th centuries. As an emerging capitalist nation, North America was driven by profit and hence needed cheap labour. Africans were easily accessible, had experience in the terrain and with insufficient laws to protect them, slavery could be seen as inevitable. Slavery was fortified by secondary factors, such as racial and social ideologies and political considerations. The invention of the cotton gin further consolidated slavery and slave-produced cotton became vital to the American economy, not only in the Southern agricultural areas but also in the North, where industrialisation was taking place. The abolition of the Transatlantic …show more content…
Racial ideology played a major role in the consolidation of slavery, but not in introduction as evidenced by the fact indentured servitude involved both blacks and whites, showing no racial prejudice originally. Europeans quickly began associating blackness with the devil, immortality and dirt, labelling Africans as ‘unintelligent savages’ and ‘inferior beings’ and used their non-Christian status to defend their actions. Social ideologies were also used as justification of slavery. The South thrived off money earned by slave-produced agricultural crops and attempted to convince North Americans, slavery was beneficial for the whole society, as it gave slaves a purpose and supported the ‘Southern way of life’, which would quickly collapse if slaves were freed. Political aspects also came into play in the reinforcement of slavery; according to US constitution, for tax purposes slaves were regarded as 3/5ths of a person, this was passed onto slave-owners themselves, meaning Southern states held a greater representation in US Congress and therefore a greater balance of power (Dodson, 2003). Although economic factors were of chief importance in the introduction of slavery in North America, other factors such as racial and social ideologies and politics were important in the consolidation of …show more content…
Africans were targeted because of their experience and accessibility. Racial and social ideologies and politics also played a role in the consolidation of slavery, as owning slaves allowed a larger political representation and racial and social ideology allowed Southerners to rationalise their actions. Economic factors continued to be a major influence in the consolidation of slavery, with the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 and rise of the Domestic Slave Trade in 1808, slavery became a major commodity and was essential to the American economy. Economic factors were of supreme importance in the introduction and were critical in consolidation of slavery, although factors such as racial and social ideologies and politics played a notable

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