Native American History-Slavery

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The everlasting problem in the boundless landscape was consequently a shortage of manpower." as Fernand Braudel, French historian and a founder of the Annalesschool of historiography says.(1985, p.392) South America, which was being still conquered and had no settled economy, required a supply of labor that was plentiful, easily controlled, cheap, costing nothing at all in order to develop the new economy, as Braudel foresees. Therefore, two dominant imperial forces, the Spanish and Portuguese Crowns had tried to fill the need for work force by raiding the numerous still-unconquered people that surrounded their colonies along the Brazilian coast.(Hemming, 1978, p.134) In both Spanish and Portuguese America, however, the rulers took steps to replace this early Native American slavery with African slavery. The reasons for the replacement are complicated because it includes both demographic and political factors. Native American populations were not numerous or accessible enough to meet all the demands of the settlers for slaves, and furthermore, economic policies of the Iberian monarchies favored the replacement of Native American slaves by African ones.

Native Americans were not numerous or accessible enough to meet all the demands of the settlers, due to the fact that the attacks of the white conquests and the introduction of the Old World diseases reduced the population of the natives. Outside the core areas of Mesoamerican Empires was fairly sparsely populated, the native population collapsed on the first impact of the white conquests. The Indian natives could only survive where the population density of the pre-existing society were high such as the areas of the former Aztec and Inca Empires.(Braudel, 1985, p.393) Moreover, historians claimed the epidemiological argument to explain why the African slaves became so crucial in all these places. Old World diseases frequently prevented using the Native American workers or slaves, owing to the...