Colonial Slavery

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From the beginning of settlement in colonial America, there was a demand for instant wealth resulting in the need of a labor force able to sustain the labor-intensive crop cultivation such as tobacco or rice. The settlers turn to Africa, where they transport thousands of Africans to the New World as indentured servants. By the early eighteenth century, there was a firm distinction developed between white colonists and Africans, who was given little to no rights. Slavery in the English colonies went from being a few thousand enslaved Africans in 1670 to being an entrenched economic and social institution by the early 1700s as Africans were gradually viewed as a commercial gain and inferior to the colonists. In a couple of years after settlements …show more content…
However, temporary, Africans and whites were working together with similar equality. Africans were treated somewhat like indentured servants, freed after a few years of service. Some eventually became landowners, themselves. By the 1700s, the system shifted. Whites realized there was not a need to free blacks from service and the idea of keeping Africans in service permanently slowly spread throughout the colonies. There was also the fact that whites defined themselves as the superior race and Africans as inferior. This also justified white merchants importing Africans slaves to the Americas. They implied that Africans were uncivilized savages, when in fact, African civilizations were very complex and highly developed. Many Africans were also targeted for not being Christians and whites used that as reasoning to take them to America to be converted in order to be more “civilized”. As the number of slaves increased, slave codes were established, controlling every aspect of the slaves’ lives. They limited the rights of blacks and ensured complete authority to the white masters. The colonies implemented laws that place slaves at a disadvantage. One could not possessed a firearm or formally marry. Slaves had virtually no access to education. The laws and codes gave rights to masters to abused their slaves. There were also fear of resistance from the African slaves, which justified the reasons for these slave codes, ensuring slave stability. These laws guaranteed total control over the slaves and dehumanized them. It was easy to defend the oppression of blacks with harsh laws stating they were merely property. Gradually, the slaves had been reduced from a human being to being property in society and the

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