United States Becomes A Slave Nation

Essay by sandwichezUniversity, Master'sA, November 2006

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From the very beginning of American history, slavery has been a controversial issue. It was the darkest decision made by American colonists to exploit and enslave another man for personal gain, a decision that would riddle American History for centuries to come. The focus of this paper is to explain why slavery was instituted in America, the process by which slavery developed, as well as the economic, political, social, and religious reasons for slave institution.

From the beginning of American history, there was a high demand for labor in the new developing territorial colonies. At the time of America's infancy, the success and growth of the economy was determined by the exportation of goods. Therefore, by 1619, the use of indentured servants brought the first Africans to America by way of Jamestown, Virginia (Jones et al. 124). The quest for more land and an economy based upon profit were two of the major points that escalated the demand for more slaves in America.

The entire southern American economy needed laborers to work on the plantations to farm rice, indigo, tobacco, sugar cane, and cotton for English export. French ships began to transport African slaves by the thousands to the new colonies. And by 1740 the slavery system in colonial America was fully developed.

Economically speaking, the manual labor performed by the African slaves is what kept the colonial economy growing. The colonist did not posses the skill or ability to produce the volumes of goods that were needed to make a profit. The slaves became the backbone for economic success of the colonies.

For the colonial rise to a political power, the new economy needed to succeed. A federal law, which was passed in 1793, allowed for the Fugitive Slave Act, which continued the slave trade and prohibited the freedom...