The primary cause of the demand for slaves in the

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

Downloaded 386 times

The primary cause of the demand for slaves in the new world was the fatal diseases that European colonizers brought with them when they arrived to Native America. The Indians in America never encountered the types of the diseases that European invaders carried because they were divergent territories and Europe's ecology and environment was dissimilar to America's. European peoples had already acquired immunity for the diseases which did not harm them anymore. On the contrary, the natives did never confront such types of diseases. At this point, Peter Reitbergen, who had researched the cultural history of the Americas, indicates that the massive depopulation among the Indians in America in the first decades of the sixteenth century largely resulted from such illnesses as influenza, measles, mumps, smallpox and tuberculosis which the Europeans had brought with them (1998, p.236). In addition to Reitbergen's point, it can be said that the spread of the unprecedented diseases gave rise to the massive deaths of the natives.

According to the estimations of (source) the total peasant population that was about 3 million declined approximately to 270.000 in one century period because of the illnesses that the natives were incapable of resisting.(source). This data clearly shows the catastrophic effects of the diseases that the Indians were caught. Moreover, the crucial point is that the arrival of the Europeans with diseases caused great absence in the work force. The colonizers demanded strong work power in both agricultural and non-agricultural spheres because workers were the vital elements of the exploitation process. However, the diseased workers were not capable of fulfilling the requirements of their new landlords and consequently the death of most of these work forces resulted in the massive import of slaves who were urgently required for the profitable business of the interlopers.

Apart from the losses that the diseases from Europe had caused, the physical strength with the efficiency of the black slaves was also a crucial factor in bringing them to the new world. The white slaves who are the natives themselves had the adequate capability of running agricultural works where they produced tobacco, coffee, potato and so on because processing the lands did not require great effort. However, the new world had great reserves which provided the colonizers inexhaustible supplies of precious metals such as gold and silver. Doubtlessly, the mining process of these metals required fast and efficient work force which is also cheap and easy for obtaining maximum profit. However, the white slaves were not capable of achieving this task. According to J. H. Parry who researched the European invasion through the world stresses that the gold and silver mines opened by Spanish were worked from 1520s to 1530s but soon they were seen to be physically unfit for this kind of hard labor and it was one of the main reasons why black people started being imported as slaves (1966, p.152). Other than the need of black slaves in mines, they were also asked for in order to work in sugar plantations because fertile sugar plantation was due to continuous hard force. Moreover, the production cost high therefore, it was essential to make use of minimum payment to slaves for maximum profit. Clive Ponting also argues that throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries slave trade was inseparable from Spanish sugar industry in which the Negroes were considered to be the key element of this lucrative business because of their cheapness (2000, p. 532). By the help of Ponting's emphasis, it can easily be said that black slaves labor force in sugar plantation was preferred to those of whites because they were physically stronger and cheaper.

The eventual cause of making use of slaves instead of the natives was that the slaves had remained no connection with their cultures in the New World, therefore, they were easier to tackle. The slaves were removed from their homelands leaving their cultures, traditions and most importantly their identities behind. In the New World they were like aimless people whose roots were detached from their lands. Desperately, they could never find the strength to stand against the coercion that they were faced. Therefore, they kept enhancing the status and sweetening the lives of their rulers without being able to rebel against the exploitation of their lives. Keith Hopkins reports on slavers are also focused in this issue. She states that in 1663, sixty three percent of the population of Santa Domingo were Negro slaves who were considered to be incapable to revolt due to the divergent cultures of their homelands and the new land (1980, pp. 78-79). By looking at this, it can be interpreted that the natives were more likely to rebel because of their profound bonds with their lands. In other words, the natives were in their motherlands where they maintained their cultural and traditions. Therefore, it seemed possible that they could refuse being evicted from their own lands and refuse becoming a supply of wealth for the rulers. "The Indians were too sensitive to loss of liberty therefore they were considered as potential rebel forces."(Stephen J. Lee, 1996, p. 52) As it can be assumed from Lee's explanation, the rulers saw natives as a threat for their permanent dominance, consequently Negro slaves supplied the solution.

During sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, history witnessed the unpreventable expansion of Europe throughout the globe which finally ended up with the capturing of the land by ignoring their civilizations. Certainly, the New World was a never ending source of income for the Europeans who had itching palms. They were so greedy for money that they soon succeeded in finding way for maximum profit. The most efficient way was to bring slaves who hade innate inferiority. The initial need for slaves occurred when the Europeans arrived at the New World with carrying viruses. Soon the contagious viruses gave rise to massive losses among the natives who had never experienced the diseases before. Consequently, the ruler solved the human force problem by importing slaves. Furthermore, natives were suitable for basic agricultural labor but not for hard and skill required labor such as sugar plantation or gold and silver mining. It was maximum gain that the Europeans wanted, therefore, they needed efficient, strong and also cheap workers. The ideal people fitting in this definition were again slaves. The final reason of preferring slaves has cultural basis. Because slaves were totally detached from their homelands leaving their cultures behind, they were not the same people anymore when they arrived at the new lands. Because of their emotional weakness and purposelessness, they would surely not dare to revolt against the system of the head powers. All these properties of slaves and the existing conditions of the time made the usage of slaves a secure and an attractive way of making money.

Serra TUZCUOGLU 6266 Section: D Instructor: Oguz ERDUR Assignment 2 PART A The republican and the liberal approaches on citizenship are two conflicting paradigms where the first one supports a political definition of man in which he realizes the human good by political life and the second one defends an economic definition of man and a society of market based relations in which there are competitive individuals. Some thinkers such as Aristotle defends the republican approach and supports the ideal of a public realm where the citizens go beyond their private interests and become a political man. On the contrary, Hobbes and Locke believed in citizenship as a fanciful conception of men where he satisfies his interests in market relations and private sociability. Through this conflict, the neoconservative revolution has changed the idea of citizenship where civic relations between people turned out to be market relations in which people put the prices of their commitment to others instead of not giving value for money. In addition, Aristotle's ideal type of citizen was the one who could put public good ahead of private interest and for him, the ones fit to be citizens were the free ones that were capable of rational choice. Therefore, dependents such as slaves(the economy depended them), women, children were excluded and adult male property owners were considered as citizens. At this point, it can be said that this citizenship justified the coercive rule of the included over excluded. Moreover, this myth of citizenship was anti bureaucratic, anti imperial and it stood against the forms permanent cadre such as army. Soon