The article discusses the different opinions of historians on how slavery began in the New World. The major two points are: some prescribe that racism caused it, others subscribe to being economic factors. Both views have valid facts that support their arguments. At its pinnacle, blacks were seen as inferior to Europeans; in addition, they were the backbone of the flourishing plantations.
The question, then is which if either was the cause of system of slavery employed in the New World to develop. In the Old World no such system had ever developed. As far as the black slavery system created, it would seem it is a combination of the two. Europeans tended to consider any one that was not Christian as heathen, thus not as valuable. This can quickly slide to a point to where such groups not even thought of as humans anymore. This has seen many times through out history.
Jews during Nazi Germany being a prime example. U.S. history also reflects this, with in the Constitution it was pointed out that Blacks were be counted as not full persons. When Europeans arrived in the Americas, they saw the natives not being as technologically advanced and savages.
From the onset, the idea of superiority was engraved in the American psyche. In the early periods, the small numbers of blacks that were here were not considered a threat; they were simply not enough of them around for most people to worry. However, as the southern colonies developed a need for labor, which could not be filled by local population; economics took advantage of slavery. A setup that of Europeans seeing other people as non-humans, a need for grunt labor, and a ready supply of people from Africa. Once slavery started in these conditions, racism and slavery became a virtual close loop feeding of each other. Being a slave meant one was inferior. Being inferior meant one was slave material.
Nothing is ever clear cut, thus it makes no sense to argue that exclusively racism or economics were the primary causes of how slavery developed in the U.S. Both points were in existence at the time effecting how things would develop. If racism is taken out of the equation, then in all likelihood an indentured servant type of labor force might have developed as dominant. Obviously if there had never been a lack of laborers then slavery would not have develop either. With out both forces acting on the colonists of the time, then such a system of bondage would not have flourished