White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery in Colonial America

1001 Words 5 Pages
Journal Article Review

White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery in Colonial America

Dr. West
History 7A

Martin Valdez
January 24, 2011

From “The Journal of Economical History”, Vol. 41, No. 1, author David W. Galenson provides a nine-page article published in March 1981 entitled “White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery” which I thoroughly read and will present my own analysis.
In a unique approach author David Galenson examines the transition of servants to slaves during the 17th and 18th century of British America. He successfully covers the importance of slavery and the reason for its high demand. Galenson takes into consideration the demographic conditions and its differences throughout the West Indies,
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It makes perfect sense to why planters would choose slaves over servants however this led America into more problems down the road. Having got rid of most servants all that were left were slaves, which happen to be primarily of African descent. Slaves were acknowledged as property and thought less of. It was not until 1808 that congress banned importation of slaves from Africa. Slaves were not always deemed as property it was the result of numerous feuds over slaves and owners engaging in sexual activities. One must wonder why the slaves allow themselves to be treated this way and the reason behind that would be lack of education. Some slave owners even prohibited the slaves from ever reading. Uproar did occur with those who were fortunately educated and stir up rebellions and or fled. David Galenson did touch upon some key elements of slavery and its evolution but I feel he should have expressed more of its history to give his audience a well-rounded understanding.
Having read “White Servitude and the Growth of Black Slavery” I have made connections to our course texts book “Visions of America” since it ties together with our current readings. Galenson effectively provides facts with supported evidence allowing his readers to have a well understanding of our history in slavery. What I found most convincing from his articles were the documents he provided. One of the records was literally an inventory of the servants and the

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