Slavery in the Southern Colonies

Essay by chrisdeyHigh School, 11th grade September 2014

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Chris Dey

1st Period AP US History

September 25th, 2014

Slavery in the Southern Colonies

Between 1607 and 1775, slavery was a very prominent aspect of the Southern Colonies. Throughout this era, slavery's interpretation, social standing, and importance will change but its motifs remained constant. These core motifs included the economic, geographic, and social factors of the Southern Colonies.

Due to the nature of southern plantations, slaves were not only viewed as an aid, but a necessity through the eyes of rich-white plantation owners. Tobacco was the principal product of southern commerce and promised the possibility of high profits, but the market competition was fierce and raising tobacco was a labor intensive process. This combination of the possibility of financial success coupled with the need for laborers, contributed to the Southern Colonies' investment in slavery as a source of free labor.

The Southern Colonies had prime access to the imported African slaves in the Caribbean, which was a key position in the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade was a simple, yet highly influential cycle of the 17th and 18th centuries. The cycle began with England trading weapons, refined metals, and special goods to the West Africans. The West Africans would in return give the English captured slaves that were sent off the African coast to the Caribbean. The Caribbean (which now possessed the man-power to effectively cultivate mass primary resources) then sold the natural goods to England which were in high demand throughout Europe.

Pre-1676, many Africans (including the first captured slaves to arrive in the Southern Colonies in 1619) were given a status similar to that of indentured servants. However a shift in labor occurred in 1676 with Bacon's Rebellion. The rebellion was led by a privileged white settler, Nathaniel Bacon. Bacon rallied various indentured servants...