The second stage commonly referred to as the middle passage, involved shipment of slaves to America, and the final stage was the return of the slave traders to Europe with produce from the plantations in America. At first most of forced laborers in the plantations were whites, indentured servants, but as blacks started coming in, the whites were left out and this is where the notion of miscegenation propped up.
This is basically race mixing, which was initially seen when white slave master had children with the female slaves as a way of increasing their labor force. But with time opposition to this become obvious and as a result anti-miscegenation laws were set up baring whites and blacks from marrying or even having sex Evans, There was also the issue of slave codes which were enacted to deny the Africans their rights.
The English colonists categorized Africans as their cultural inferiors, human chattels who had no civil rights. For example, the southern colonies relied mostly on the slaves for their labor in cultivating the cash crops in the large plantations. This was mostly in Southern Carolina. To gain authority over the slaves, they came up with the Southern Carolina Slave Code which among other things, authorized whites to detain and examine any slave that was found not accompanied by a white outside a house or plantation, prohibited the leaving of plantations by the blacks, prohibited blacks from being taught how to read and write, called for severe punishment for blacks who engaged in criminal behavior especially against the whites and many other restrictions Slave Code, n.
For many years slavery existed to satisfy the greed for wealth and power of the colonists and the slave masters. People especially the blacks were stripped off their human dignity. But with time it becomes known that it was just a social sin. Its impacts were felt both from where the slaves were fetched to the slave masters abode. In America, racism emerged, miscegenation leading to anti-miscegenation laws was also seen, and the formation of the royal African company to fight for the rights of Africans was set up and many other initiatives.
The colonists had figured out a way to make money and improve the economy, but they could not turn the opportunity into a profitable reality for two major reasons.
First, by there was an increasing reduction in the numbers of indentured servants due to deaths because of disease. Secondly, the contracts were expiring for those who had been indentured before tobacco began to boom for the colony. These former servants were becoming freemen, able to have their own land to grow the new economic opportunity. The colonists had to find another way to achieve the success they felt they deserved and they began looking to the African slave trade as an answer to their dilemma.
The speed at which African slavery developed was tied to the economy and who was benefiting from the slave trade itself. Plantation owners, slave brokers, ship builders, and those who were operating the ports were all profiting. Between and the colony began to divide, not along class lines as before, but by skin color. An important turning point, according to Jordan, is John Punch, an African indentured servant. This is a complicated period because while some Africans were being enslaved for life, others were able to purchase land and remain free.
By the time Antonio and Mary were freed from their servitude in , Antonio had taken the name Anthony Johnson. Within nine years, he had purchased acres of land and a head of cattle. The fact that Johnson and other free Africans were able to own land does not mean that whites thought of them as equal.
Actually, a belief that Africans were inferior to whites was intensifying. The legal decisions and laws restricting Africans within society made whites believe Africans should be feared. That which is feared must be controlled. Slavery would eventually become a system of control over slaves by the use of horrific violence. Although changes in the treatment of Africans based on race was occurring, the need for labor remained a persistent issue.
At this point, the explosion of the tobacco economy and the increase in the slave trade became interdependent. It is reasonable to assume that the loss of labor due to indentured contract expirations, caused landowners to seek new sources of labor. Servitude for life would serve their purposes. Laws creating a slavery system began to appear for Africans.
In , the first law was passed changing servitude into slavery for life. One year later the law changed to include children born to slave mothers, making them slaves for life as well. While the laws were changing, Anthony Johnson was still living as a free man. He was living his life as a successful farmer and community member, proving that up until laws began to tighten, race was not the driving force in the progression of slavery. He sold all but fifty acres, which his son Richard lived on and farmed.
The rest of the Johnson family moved to Maryland to try to make a go of new opportunities to buy land. Anthony Johnson was unable to purchase property, but he did find a way to rent three hundred acres of land and farmed it until his death soon after.
While the Johnsons were making their way in Maryland, the laws in Virginia continued to change. In , laws ensured that Christian baptism could not free a person from slavery. Laws were passed which prohibited land ownership for slaves, established curfews for free Africans and slaves alike, and restricted public assembly among blacks.
The laws were strategically put in place to ensure that at no time would any free African or slave be truly free. Appearing before an all-white jury, Richard found the law forbidding an African to own land enforced by the court.
The jury took his land from him, land that had been in his family for more than thirty years, and then began selling it, in sections, to white men. The first blacks arrived in the British colonies almost years before Douglass was born. In August , twenty blacks arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, not as slaves but as indentured servants.
These workers were freed after an indentured period of servitude, often seven years. Poor whites from Europe also came to the colonies as indentured servants. Their indentured service was regarded as payment for their voyage across the Atlantic. But while these whites chose to be indentured workers, the Africans were forcibly brought here. However, the number of Africans in the colonies was relatively small throughout the seventeenth century.
Toward the end of that century, Africans were brought to North America as slaves in larger numbers. The establishment of large plantations in the South encouraged the import of African slaves who were deemed more cost effective than indentured servants, and more hardy and able to resist European diseases than Native Americans.
Although African slaves were sent mainly to the South, some ended up in the North, as well. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut were the leading Northern slave colonies. At the beginning of the American Revolution, there were an estimated 16, slaves in New England. In all the colonies, there were probably about a half-million slaves at that time. The weather and soil conditions in the North prevented plantation-oriented agriculture.
Northern slaves in the pre-Revolutionary era were employed as skilled and unskilled workers on farms and ships and in factories and shipyards.
Agriculture was the predominant industry in the South, and slaves were deemed the cheapest, reliable labor for working the land. Two types of work plan were imposed on slaves:
- In my essay, “The Evolution of Slavery in Colonial America” author Jon Butler explains the reasons of the traces of the evolution of slavery. Butler describes the differences of the African experience in America and the European experience in America in detail.
Slavery in America. Custom Slavery in America Essay Writing Service || Slavery in America Essay samples, help Slavery appeared not only as a moral issue, but also affected the nation on an economic, social and legal level.
Unlike most editing & proofreading services, we edit for everything: grammar, spelling, punctuation, idea flow, sentence structure, & more. Get started now! Slavery in America Essay Thesis. Introduction. Slavery is a topic that has dominated the history of America throughout its first years. The landowners believed to have been from the South subjected to servitude more than four million individuals shipped from the African continent to work in their farmlands.
Critical Essays Slavery in the United States Bookmark this page Manage My Reading List The first African to arrive in the New World is believed to have accompanied Christopher Columbus on one of his voyages to the Americas; African slaves began arriving shortly after Early records of slavery were traced to the Hammurabi Code of BC, and also the bible which shows that slavery was an established institution. Many ancient .