Geographic and Social Factors Encourage the Growth of Slavery

June 28, 2018 Law

Slavery has been around for a long time, even before the New World was discovered. The Africans were being traded to owners in the Mediterranean looking for workers. However, the usage was minimal at this time. Between 1607 and 1775, the slave trade had a huge boom. Slaves were sent to the New World to work, and they made up over 50 % of the population in colonies. Many factors contributed to this, economically, geographically, and socially.

The colonies in the New World often focused on raising crops for export to build their economy. At first, farmers experimented with tobacco and cotton. These farmers were unsuccessful and looked for a new crop to grow. Sugar soon became one the most popular crops and it was generated a great amount of wealth. Sugar is substantial and the market was growing in Europe every day. If sugar were to not sell, it could be distilled into rum which was also a booming market upon the Europeans.

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Either way, there was no was loss in changing to sugar farms. Sugar cultivating took over the plantations in the New World; farmers began to convert most of their lands to sugar cane. This meant more workers were needed to work on these fields. These jobs were very labor-intensive so they first brought in the indentured servants. These servants were unable to adapt to the harsh tropical climate and the hard work discouraged them. It wasn’t much later when they decided to bring in the African slaves.

As these slaves were owned by them, they forced them to do these vigorous jobs. African slaves were sold very cheap by the slave traders. They were also in a great abundance, making work even easier. The best part is however, that there was little in the law protecting the slaves nor controlling the price of the slaves. The slave owners worked their slaves to death as it was cheaper for them to purchase new slaves than to keep their current ones healthy. Rarely did these African slaves live pass forty.

These slaves were merely property to the slave owners, rarely were they helped by the slave owners or kept healthy. Slavery grew massively through 1607 to 1775. It was effected by economic, social, and geographic factors. It was highly beneficial for the slave owners and they need not to pay for indentured servants any longer or take care of them. These slaves could also be forced to work under any conditions, whether it was raining or not. They were even treated poorly, and little was done to protect them in the laws.


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