Slavery the collapse of the roman empire.

Slavery existed for basically the same span of human history. It was important to Ancient Greece and Rome. Slavery has been in northern Europe after the collapse of the roman empire. In West Africa, slavery and trading slaves anticipated the rise of the Europeans, and a low scale of slavery existed throughout Native Americans. However, slavery in all these cases were very different from the business that developed into the New World.

In the New World between 1492 and 1820, there has been 7.7 million Africans that have been transported there, and more than half arrived between the 1700’s and the 1800’s (Eric Foner, 131). There are thirteen colonies, and in each colonies there are slaves and in the colonies there are different ways they treated their slaves, some less brutal than others and some undesirable. In the colonies, the two colonies that stood out and had brutal system upon slaves was the Chesapeake Colony, and the colony with less brutal system was Northern Colonies.

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  By the mid-eighteenth century, there has been three slave systems that were enforced in britain’s mainland colonies: In Chesapeake colony their plantations were based on tobacco (Eric Foner, 136). The oldest and largest of the Chesapeake systems was the tobacco plantation system, where about 270,000 slaves inhabited in 1770, that’s half the population of the region. “The eighteenth century was the great period of the importation of slaves from Africa throughout the whole New World, and most of the slaves brought to colonial North America came in the eighteenth century. This was the period when the plantation system was expanding enormously—tobacco-growing in Virginia, rice-growing, indigo in South Carolina and then Georgia—and it was almost completely reliant on slave labor” (18th Century Slavery). In the eighteenth century, the demand for tobacco boosted slave imports. When virginia moved towards the west, so did slavery.

Most of the Chesapeake slaves, male and female, worked in the fields, but thousands labored as teamsters, as boatmen, also in skilled crafts. Most women slaves became cooks, seamstresses, dairy maids, and personal servants (Eric Foner, 136). With the strengthening of slaves population in the Chesapeake, planters made the law books so that the masters had power over their human belonging and restricting slaves to freedom. “Violence lay at the heart of the slave system”, Landon Carter a planter who had pride on his concern for the well being of his slaves, he said in his diary, “they have been severely whipped day by day,” this shows that some people have a good heart and treat slaves a little more humane than others.Slavery in the north was less in the middle to the economies of new england and the middle colonies, where small farms are strong. The slaves population was very small in these colonies, and it was unheard of for rich people to own more than one slave. Furthermore slavery was not marginal in the northern colony. Slaves worked in art shops, unloading and loading ships, and also as personal servants.

In the early years of the 18th century, around less than half of the urban elite owned one slave. But since slaves had such a small part of the population, they had no threat to the white group, laws for the slaves were better than it is in the south. Around 1700 in New England the 17,000 slaves had less than 3 percent of their population, when slaves got married they actually got recognized in law, physical punishment towards slaves was forbidden, slaves could dress with suits in court, they could testify against whites, they can also own property which later they can pass to their children (Eric Foner, 139).In the Carolinas African-born slaves, farmed, took care of livestock, and they were allowed to be in the militia to fight the Spanish and Indians. In Virginia the staple crop also known as rice, started economically developing Virginia.

South Carolina was the first mainland colony to have a more black population. according to the documentary slave catchers, slave resisters, “by 1708, africans outnumbered Europeans, by 1731 1,000 enslaved africans are arriving each year in south Carolina(slave catchers, slave resisters  )”.  By the 1730s, at this time North Carolina had become a separate colony, more than half of its population was black.

Later in the 1740s a staple crop, indigo (used in making blue die), it was grown by slaves. Africans were the ones who taught English settlers how to grow rice, which then later became the base of South Carolina slavery and one of the richest slave owning class in North American mainland (Eric Foner, 137). But according to Eric Foner he says “In the South, where the plantation was the basis of the economy and slaves were fifty percent or more of the population, from Virginia southward, the law gave slaves very, very few rights, very, very few rights. The law was meant to control, restrict, police the slave population; very little recognition of any legal rights for the slaves”(18th Century Slaves’ rights).

Even though in the south the law was very restricting towards the slaves, marriages still took place in the primary image called The Old Plantation, it shows a group of slaves with different instruments and european type clothing dancing and having a good time (The Old Plantation, 1763), the slaves weren’t always treated bad they had some fun time of their own that they can enjoy. Later, According to Stono Rebellion Report, when the slaves acted violently, and killed many white people along with burning down homes, the report says “It was the Opinion of His Majesty’s Council with several other Gentlemen that one of the most effectual means that could be used at present to prevent such desertion of our Negroes is to encourage some Indians by a suitable reward to pursue and if possible to bring back the Deserters” (Stono Rebellion Report, 1739). They rewarded the local Native Americans to capture the slaves that have escaped. In the West Indies for the institution to even take place because of their shortage of labor, they had to convince government authorities that importing slaves was the only way they can solve their shortage of labor. In the seventeenth century, taking slaves from Africa to the new world in ships became a major international business. But the way that they were brought to the new world was very brutal according to a slave in the ship described the conditions at which they were put in “The slaves were branded with hot irons and restrained with shackles. Their “living quarters” was often a deck within the ship that had less than five feet of headroom — and throughout a large portion of the deck, sleeping shelves cut this limited amount of headroom in half.

4 Lack of standing headroom was the least of the slaves’ problems, though. With 300 to 400 people packed in a tiny area5 — an area with little ventilation and, in some cases, not even enough space to place buckets for human waste — disease was prevalent”(The Middle Passage, p 5). A small bunch of the slaves were brought to England’s mainland colony.  By the 1600’s, major sugar plantations that were runned by african slaves had made it to Brazil, a colony of Portugal. Later in the seventeenth century, Holland, England,Denmark, and France joined Spain in owning the West Indian islands. Since the Indian population was cleared of by a disease, and the white indentured servants not wanting to do the hard work of sugar cultivation, the big importation of slaves from Africa started.

Towards the end of the seventeenth century, big sugar plantations worked by tons of slaves dominated the West Indian economy, also in most of the islands the African population outnumbered the European Origin (Eric Foner, 98).   The chesapeake colony has brutal system towards slaves, they had a tobacco based plantation where there are more than half of slaves in the region’s population. Slavery was common on small farms and plantations, about half of virginia’s white families owned at least one slave in 1770. Planters signed the law books with making the master’s power more over the slaves they own and restricting blacks to their freedom.

The white people considered the free blacks dangerous and undesirable. Free blacks were not able to have white servants and to bear arms, they got special taxes, they can also be in trouble if they hit a white person, no matter what the cause was. In this colony not many slaves resisted to slavery like they did in the south, Eric Foner says that the slaves from the Chesapeake colony were familiar with white people nature and in one advertisement it said, they could “pretend to be free” (Eric Foner, 144). The northern colonies had less brutal system mainly because small farms were prominent in the north. The slaves had a small percentage of those colonies population, also it was not common for rich families to own more than one slave. Slaves mostly worked as slave hands, in artisan shops, loading and unloading ships, and as personal servants.

Furthermore, with slaves being a small part of the population they have no threat to the white majority, laws were less harsh and punishing than in other colonies. Slave marriages were recognized by law, physical punishment of slaves was abolished, slaves could also dress in suites in court. Slaves can also testify against whites, and also own property.

In an act of active resistance, in 1712 the first slave outbreak took place in New York City, a group of slaves put houses on fire outside of the city and killed the first 9 white people who came to the scene (Eric Foner, 144).In conclusion with all the information stated about each colony, and what each colony consists of as well as how the slaves are treated and which types of conditions depending on the work type was put on the slaves. In this case with everything said the colony with most brutal system was the Chesapeake and the colony with the least brutal system was the northern colony. The chesapeake also just had too much for the slaves to do compared to the North, they had less things to do because they were smaller than the Chesapeake colony.

In the video Thomas Jefferson: part 1, a historian John Hope Franklin says,  “Thomas Jefferson claims to be a man of enlightenment, he was a scientist, a humanist he knew what he was saying when he said ” All Men Are Created Equal”, and it cannot be reconciled with the institution of slavery” (Thomas Jefferson part 1, segment on early life). Thomas jefferson said all men are created equal but what about when slavery was going on with all the african americans. With this said slaves were treated very un human like in the colonies but more in the chesapeake colony.


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