The Origins Of Race Based Slavery Essay

1223 Words Sep 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
The Origins of Race-based Slavery in the Chesapeake
During the 17th and 18th centuries the Chesapeake finally had been able to create lasting settlements after the two failures of New Foundland and Roanoke Island. Tobacco had just been introduced into Europe, causing strong demand for a larger supply, with indentured servitude being the usual answer for the labor. But, in 1619 a ship carrying 20 African slaves arrived in Jamestown, would mark the start of using African slaves for labor in the New World. The Chesapeake’s society with slaves would soon transform into a slave society, with a racial divide separating whites from blacks. Although some historians argue that the role of existing white racism was the cause of race-based slavery forming in the Chesapeake, the slave society was created by white landowners searching to secure their profits and statuses through a cheap and stable workforce, decreasing the likelihood of class conflicts, and finally being able to assert their control by abusing a dehumanized, black workforce. The fact that rich landowners contrived racism to suit their purposes means that today’s racial divides have the possibility of someday being mended. As the tobacco industry swept across Europe, black slaves provided white landowners with a sustainable supply of labor. The Chesapeake had ideal land for growing the profitable crop of tobacco, and during the 18th, “the European demand for tobacco increased more than tenfold, and it was supplied…

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