The Reasons For Slavery

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

download word file, 2 pages 0.0

Downloaded 54 times

Slavery in Colonial America was a horrendous institution established in the seventeenth century. However, there are some debates over why slavery was founded in the colonies.

There are many reasons to why slavery developed in Colonial America, but the debate lies in racism. While some historians think that racism was a result of slavery, others believe that slavery began because of racial prejudice. Ultimately, racism was an important part of slavery, however slavery commenced because of economic and social reasons.

Many aspects of slavery must be determined to come to the root of why slavery began. Some historians, such as Carl Degler and Winthrop D. Jordan, argue that racism led to slavery. However some other historians, like Oscar and Mary Handlin, believe that racism developed from slavery. That is not entirely true. There has always been an underlying belief among Europeans that they were superior above all other races.

Europeans held themselves in higher regard than any other race for a long time.

For instance, English settlers called Native Americans "savages". According to Jordan, Europeans had believed that other races, especially blacks, were not worthy enough to serve whites. This belief also came into the Americas, but this belief was not the main source of slavery. The need for labor in Colonial America was a more important reason for slavery.

In many of the colonies, indentured servants were to be set free at a set time. This lead to a large class of dependant white workers who were to be paid, and it also lead way to the need for a permanent labor work force. Slavery was the answer to both these problems. Not only did slavery let landowners pay for a cheap, permanent work force, it also left landowner's minds unobstructed to the fact that they were enslaving a...