Slave Rice Cultivation

668 Words3 Pages
The African cultivation of rice in the Americas especially in South Carolina, the Amazon, Brazil, as well as other areas where rice was heavily exported is a strongly debated topic. Both Judith A. Carney and David Eltis et al made compelling arguments on both sides of the debate. When shaping research on a topic like this there is a way for each side to shape its argument and give facts that discredits and pokes holes in the other sides overall thesis. It would obviously be easy to tell which side is more credible if we were presented with some primary source or first-hand account of a rice plantation owner telling us who attributed for the mass amount and skillful cultivation of the rice, but we do not have that opportune information. Even though both arguments are very strong in their own right, I feel that from what I already know about the slave trade and Carney’s evidence I am going to have to side with her in the argument on the African roots of American rice. We all already know that slaves were sold and purchased in different regions of the Americas for their different skills. On the sugar plantations in the West Indies, the plantation owners wanted strong fit young men who could work long hours and do heavy manual labor. It did not matter where they were from, as long as they could work long and hard. When it came to places such as Charlestown, South Carolina it did not matter how big or how strong a slave looked, all that mattered is where he or she came from. Slavers in South Carolina paid a much higher price for slavers from places in Africa where rice was cultivated (Gambia, Windward Coast, and Sierra-Leon). These slaves were purchased because they had a strong background in rice cultivation and they would be able to use the skills that they learned from home (Africa) to better the production of rice on plantations in the Americas. Eltis
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