slavery essay intro essay
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Through the century and a half between the introduction of 20 blacks in Jamestown in 1619 and the beginning of the American Revolution in 1776, slavery—something that had never existed in England itself—spread over the English colonies, from Va it would escape south in to the Carolinas and then out to the frontier, and it would as well make its way north into the midAtlantic states and into the furthest reaches of New England. This grew gradually, almost gradually, until it came into existence so stuck into the American way of life and commerce that colonists eager for wealth imported hundreds of thousands of Africans to work in their particular fields.
During the eighteenth century, slavery became an entrenched and for many colonies, central component of society. But slaves were brought to America to work. Above all, it was a process of labor.
Colonial America was overwhelmingly agricultural. A large number of early English colonists had hoped to become fabulously riches without having to work—much like the The spanish language conquistadors who came a hundred years before them, they’d great desires of finding precious metal, or if perhaps not that, then probably they would discover the Northwest Passage to the Gulf of mexico, thereby attaining access to the riches from the East Indies.
It soon started to be quite clear that forget about prosperity, survival alone was going to be a challenge, and was going to be based upon working the land. The brand new World might not have held the abundant riches colonist dreamed of, but one thing was abundant: land. For the first technology of settlers, feeding themselves took up almost all of their energy, but in 1617, it was learned that tobacco seeds, transported from the West Indies, thrived in the soil of the Chesapeake area. (Incidentally, it had been Pocahontas’ husband, John Rolfe who successfully planted the first cigarette crop. ) Over the course of the seventeenth century, tobacco started to be a major item fad, and would opponent tea and alcohol in popularity throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth generations. Initial filled with air prices for the cigarette would support fuel the development of Virginia. But first, the settlers faced a problem: they had a crop (tobacco), and there is plenty of area to increase it, but you may be wondering what was absent? Labor. Labor is THE problem of imp�rialiste America. Who the labor? Conditions had been so dismal in the colony that planters realized in order to they could easily get people to work for them would be to push them.
That may seem like a less than obvious choice. But these colonists originated in a culture in England that was highly stratified—the wealthy and strong took it as their right to exploit poor people and incapable. In many ways, the early colonists came from a world that was pre-modern—without concepts of cruel and unusual treatment, equal rights, exploitation. In fact , it was a world that had taken inequality for granted. So there was nothing particularly problematic regarding the idea of forced labor. Plus the colonists did not particularly care what this forced labor looked like. They needed labor, period. A few seventeenth 100 years colonists had been willing to pay freely hired employees, but they also experimented with two sources of unfree labor: Indians and Europeans, before it happened to them to import Africans on a common scale.