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Trans-Atlantic Slavery Research Paper

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The Trans-Atlantic slave trade occurred during the fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries. In determining the role that trans-Atlantic slavery played in shaping the United States economy, one need only to look to the expanding role of labor intensive agriculture, particularly cotton after the invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney, as a major factor in this development. Slavery provided a reliable labor force that strengthened and increased the capitalism in the economy of the emerging United States.
It was soon discovered by European colonists that the abundance of land they were settling was useless without sufficient labor to exploit it. The first attempts at filling these needs proved to be unsuccessful or unreliable. The Native …show more content…
Indentured servants were not a reliable workforce because their servitude was voluntary. They would sign an indenture to work for a certain amount of years and then were “freed” once their contract ended, but often indentured servants would leave before their contract was finished. The issue with indentured servants retrieving to somewhere else, is that it was hard to keep track of them due to their pale skin. Indentured servitude was effective, but was not profitable and did not impact the economy like slaves. In the late 1600’s fewer Englishmen were coming from England, which lead to the increase use of trans-Atlantic slavery. As a result, planters replaced indentured servants with slaves as their main source of plantation labor. Slavery was reliable because their work was forced. It was also harder for them to retrieve elsewhere due to their dark skin color. A language barrier also existed that made the trans-Atlantic slaves vulnerable targets for potential …show more content…
Plantation slaveholders’ “whose appetite for labor was nearly insatiable” that lead to an increase in commercial production (Berlin, pg. 54). Plantation owner’s thrived off the slave trade. The more land they had, the more slaves they needed which lead to an increase in production and profit. An increase in plantation production lead to an economic increase which shaped the emerging United States, economically. At the heart of the nation’s economy we see an increase in the cultivation of tobacco in the Chesapeake, sugar in the lower Mississippi Valley, and cotton across the extensiveness of the southern interior (Berlin, pg. 55). In Virgina, Olmsted said that “tobacco required fresh land, and was rapidly exhausting, but it returned more money, for the labor used upon it…” (_________). Meaning that tobacco was a profitable crop that used little land that was fresh and a lot of hands to work through it. Although sugar was popular, cotton from Mississippi became the nation’s largest cotton providing state. The cotton industry was one the world’s largest industries, and most of the world’s supply of cotton came from the American South. Cotton became such a huge sensation that by the mid-1800s cotton was America’s leading export, and raw cotton was essential for the economy of Europe. The size of these slave-grown crop plantations throughout the United States far exceeded those

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