Slavery During The 19th Century Essay

1783 Words Nov 28th, 2015 8 Pages
Slavery in colonial America began in the early 1600s, with the first Africans being brought to Jamestown in 1619. However, slaves only made up a small percentage of the population until around 1680, when the Royal African Company lost its monopoly on carrying slaves to the colonies, and ambitious Americans hurried to cash in on the profitable slave trade. From here, the supply and importance of slaves in the colonies grew increasingly larger. From the 1500s-1800s, approximately 400,000 slaves were brought from Africa to colonial America, and this only includes slaves directly from Africa, not counting the slaves born in America (Cohen and Kennedy 59).
This powerful institution of slavery in America initially began for economic purposes (primarily plantation work), however, by the end of the seventeenth century, slavery’s importance and wealth rose incredibly, it was obviously motivated and influenced by racial discrimination. (Cohen and Kennedy 62). So from the beginning, blacks (as well as other people of color) were seen as less than and inferior to whites. As slavery and the success and wealth of America grew, so did these prejudices, racism, and white privilege. Unfortunately, 51 years after the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, all of these racial aspects still exist in America today. And while this is a major crisis in society today, people tend to think of it as an independent and isolated issue, when in reality, white privilege and racism are like an umbrella…

Related Documents