Slavery In The Southern Colonies Essay
Beginning in the 1680s, planters in the southern colonies began to shift from servants to slaves. Economic, geographic, and social factors encouraged the growth of slavery as an important part of the economy of the southern colonies between the years of 1607 and 1775.
Colonial employers had a major problem on their hands, the scarcity and high cost of labor, thus, leading some to turn to enslaved Africans from the West Indies as a solution. This change was unusual as servants were cheap, available, and familiar. Slaves were expensive, difficult to obtain, and exotic. Indentured English and Irish servants outnumbered enslaved Africans until the 1690s. But, white indentured servants became harder to …show more content…
African slaves came from a variety of nations and spoke many different languages. Thus, making it hard to communicate in order to organize and rebel against their masters. Hence, making it a profitable labor system used by colonists. But, many of the Africans kept many of their customs and beliefs from their homelands during their enslaved lives. These kinship customs then led to the basis of African-American family culture. This created a source of strength for separated families, but, it also led in a way to the growth of slavery. Enslaved men and women would later be able to be married and have children, unfortunately, the slave codes said that slave status passed from slave mothers to their children. To such a degree, buying both men and women would give planters a self-reproducing labor force, just like that, there was a increase of slaves in the Southern colonies. The reason that slavery developed was because of social racism. Blacks and all people from Africa were considered to be socially inferior by whites. They claimed biological differences existed between races and thought that they are just another piece of property. Slaves were initially prevented from marrying or forming families on plantations in America. Then, many plantation owners discovered that they would not have to import more slaves from overseas. This is because slaves would reproduce and those children would be slaves too. Over time, there was a definitive link between slave status and black skin was forged in American minds. By late seventeenth-century, close to two hundred fifty thousand enslaved Africans in America; about eighty-five percent lived in the Southern Colonies and made up forty percent of the population of the South. Thus, slavery grew due to social factors such as superiority because in this period it was socially acceptable in the southern