Slavery: The Peculiar Institution Essay

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Slavery: “The Peculiar Institution” Slaves were brought to the colonies first as indentured servants then slave traders started capturing slaves from Africa and bring them to the Caribbean. The colonist found slave labor cheap compared to indentured slaves who eventually ended their service. Slavery began in the United States about the 1630’s. During this time the colonial courts and legislatures made Africans property and enslaved to their masters for a life time. The legislature also ruled that slave status would be inherited by their children. So slavery was a lifetime sentence. Slavery ended in the United States in 1865; but first there were efforts before this time to end it. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President…show more content…
They depended on slave labor for economic stability. Without the slaves many whites believed they were not able or should be doing the backbreaking labor. The plantation owners also needed the support of the slaves in all areas of their lives such as: cooks, housecleaners, nannies and chauffeurs. The possibility of life without the slaves was devastating. Slaves were the support system of their owners. Some believe the evolution of slavery in the US was divided into three stages: development, high profit, and decadent. In the developmental stage the slaves cleared the land for planting and built the roads and dams essential for plantations. In the second, high profit stage, slaves were driven to plant, cultivate and harvest for market. The plantations masters thought it was “cheaper to buy than to breed” meaning it was cheaper to buy a new slave and work him to death than it was to allow a slave to live long enough and bear children to increase numbers. The life span for a slave was seven years from purchase to death. The last stage, decadent, was reached when the land had become depleted. There were no longer nutrients in the soil so they turned to less labor intensive produces such as, grains, fruits and vegetables. In turn the need for slave labor was

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