What Was The Role Of Slavery In Colonial America

1526 Words7 Pages
SLAVERY The practice of slavery has been in existence since prehistoric times, although advancements in agriculture made it an institution in early historical times. Slaves were needed for “various specialized functions (Nettels 98)” in these societies and were obtained through raids or “conquests of other people or within the society itself, when some people sold themselves or their family members to pay debts or were enslaved as punishment for crimes (Nettels 98)." The first African slaves that came to America landed at Jamestown, Virginia, In 1619. The number of slaves imported to the colonies was relatively small at first. Not until the development of the “plantation system” in the southern colonies in the later half of the seventeenth century, did the importation of African slaves greatly increase.With the success of tobacco planting, African Slavery was legalized in Virginia and Maryland, becoming the foundation of the Southern agrarian economy . By the time of the American Revolution, about 22 percent of the total population were African slaves, amounting to about 500,000 people. The transportation of slaves from Africa to America was known as the Middle Passage. because it was the second, or middle, leg in the triangular trading routes linking Europe, Africa,…show more content…
But by the nineteenth century, slaves no longer identified themselves as Ibo, Ashanti, Yoruba, and so on, but as African-Americans. Slave culture drew on the African heritage. African influences were evident in the slaves’ music and dances, style of religious worship, and the use of herbs by slave healers to combat disease. Unlike the plantation regions of the Caribbean and Brazil, where the African slave trade continued into the nineteenth century and the black population far outnumbered the white, most slaves in the United States were American-born and lived amidst a white majority. Slave culture was a new creation, shaped by African traditions and American values and

More about What Was The Role Of Slavery In Colonial America

Open Document