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Start Of Slavery Essay

524 words - 3 pages

The onset of race slavery in the American colonies had begun as early as the 17th century. Slavery then became a dominant institution in the mainland colonies, and had caused terrible changes in the way Americans lived. Slavery became institutionalized because more slaves were needed to meet a high demand for labor.
African slavery was not a sure thing for the North American colonies. At the end of the 17th century there were some Africans in the north settlements, but they were few, and they weren't slaves. They were more level with European servants bound by an indenture as indentured servants. Early Puritan settlers while searching for sources of labor and for markets started exchanging goods for slaves in the Caribbean, but in ...view middle of the document...

Two years later in a reversal of precedent, Virginia's General Assembly made slavery a hereditary condition by ruling that children will now inherit their mother's status instead of their father's. African Americans had lost the most of their rights.(Jones, 88) Bacon's Rebellion was an uprising led by Nathaniel Bacon in the Chesapeake region in 1676. Bacon's followers were diverse slaves and even free men. After Bacon died, the fight continued and they eventually lost when military reinforcements arrived from England.(Jones, 89) England had taken a small role in the Atlantic slave trade until Charles II chartered the Royal African Company or RAC. This company sent merchant ships on a triangular trade route from West Africa to the West Indies and then back to England. In the 1730's British ships controlled the Atlantic slave trade for 70 years.(Jones, 91) In the 18th century British ships transported 6.6 million Africans, out of these 12 percent died, and only 9 percent were sent to North America. After 1730, rebellions broke out around the colonies, similar to Bacon's Rebellion.(Jones, 100-101) After so much trouble, some wanted to end slavery, but supporters of the institution wouldn't give it up easily and suggested some modifications. Wanting to increase the whites to slaves ratio in lower colonies, they imposed an import duty on new African arrivals. They wanted to minimize the threat of another rebellion.(Jones, 101)
A lot of information was covered in the two chapters, and it's very easy to understand. The way things happened, it all seems to be easily said. It's a fun read, and very good at explaining why things happened the way they did.

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