African American History

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate September 2001

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Downloaded 38 times

We as Americans, are still faced with the question of why were Africans enslaved? There have been many historians who have touched on this topic and have came up with some very convincing answers. Some of which are Eric Williams, Winthrop D. Jordan, and David Brion Davis. Each has proposed a very convincing and believing theory of how Africans became enslaved. While each man's work is very contrast, they are also a tad similar. In viewing these theories society should be able to come closer to their own conclusion.

Eric Williams believes that slavery was of an economical result and not an inferior motive. Mr. Williams believes that Africans were taken into slavery because the cost was extremely high to keep Indians, who would easily become ill, and Whites, who were indentured servants who would eventually become free. If we break down what Williams is saying, we would paint a picture of strategy.

In other words the Spaniards were beginning to see their empire fall and had to come up with a plan. They realized that the Indians rapidly succumbed to the excessive labor demanded of them, the insufficient diet, the white man's diseases, and their inability to adjust to the new way of life (Williams's p.4). Being accustomed to a life of freedom, the Indians constitution and temperament were poorly adjusted to the plantation life style. Now we come to the White man who replaced the Indians. The Spaniards once again had run into a problem. They realized after a certain period of time, that the white mans service would come to an end. They finally discovered that one Negro was worth twice as many Whites and Indians.

While Winthrop D. Jordan believed that slavery didn't cause "prejudice"�, or vice versa, they seem to have generated each...