Evolution of Slavery

700 Words3 Pages
The account of African people in America starts with, and still conveys the legacy of, one of the most inhumane oppressions throughout US history, the establishment of slavery. African people were brought to America initially in 1619 (A History Of Slavery: 1619-1865. (n.d.)). At that time, slavery had not yet formed; the first Africans who were in America through the 1680s are believed to have been indentured servants. The earliest Africans were seen in the same light as indentured servants from Europe. According to Hine D., Hine W., & Harrold S. (2014), they (Africans) interacted culturally and physically with the white indentured servants and with American Indians. This cordiality, however, did not last. By the latter half of the 17th century, obvious differences existed in the treatment of black and white servants. Slave codes were soon approved – in Massachusetts in 1641 and Virginia in 1661 –and any minor liberties that might have existed for African American were taken away (Feature Indentured Servants In The U.S , n.p.). The early colonizers soon understood that they had lots of land to settle, but no one to actually do the work. This necessity for cheap labor created indentured servitude. Indentured servants were important to the colonial growth. But as demands for labor grew, so did the cost of paying indentured servants. Numerous plantation owners and white colonists also felt threatened by newly freed servants demand for land (Feature Indentured Servants In The U.S., (n.d.)) The colonial elite understood the “problems” of indentured servitude and agreed with property-owners and turned to slavery as a more profitable and renewable source of cheap labor. The change from indentured servants to racial slavery had initiated. A 1662 Virginia law dictated Africans would remain servants for life, and a 1667 act stated that "Baptisme doth not alter the
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