Slavery in the USA, USA United States of America, American colonies, triangle trade, indentures, Virginia, economic benefits, Southern economy, president Jefferson, Declaration of independance
Slavery already existed before the 17th century when it was in the American colonies. The Spanish first introduced it and made tremendous profits out of slavery. For financial and economic benefits, America decided to follow. In the American colonies, the first Africans were brought to Virginia in 1619. They were indentured servants, not slaves. This wasn't related only to Africans: whites could be indentured servants too. After 7 years, they would be free.
[...] Each time a state wanted to join the US, slavery was on the table. Indeed, if a state is free –> challenge in favour of Southerners (in the Senate). Until 1819, slavery had not been a divisive issue in American politics. The NW ordinance of 1787 banned slavery in federal territories while the SW ordinance of 1790 permitted slavery south of the Ohio River (compromise). American pragmatism comes up with a solution even though it is impossible. This compromise took into consideration the climate and the social conditions that favoured slave based agriculture. [...]
[...] In the south, it was a economic issue. The area from Maryland, Delaware down to Georgia was favoured by its climate and soil. Cultivation was a difficult task that most white immigrants avoided. Jefferson (3rd president of the US) was against slavery. Yet he had 300 slaves. He once said : « In a warm climate no man will work for himself if he can make another labor for him ». III. The Southern populations Thanks to this system (cf. [...]
[...] The expansion to south and west followed 2 important events : – the annexation of Florida (Florida integrated the US in 1815) – the Louisiana purchase (French sold Louisiana for 15 million of dollars) It allowed the expansion of slavery and the transformation of the southern economy which moved from tabacco and rice to cotton. The resentment of the north increased because of the spread of slavery and of political dominance of Virginians over politics in Washington. Because of equal representation in the Senate, decisions from the north were blocked by the south. But the House of Representatives was controlled by the north. How to integrate the new territories into the Union ? (cf. Missouri Compromise) Missouri was a slave state. Massachusetts split in two in return. [...]
[...] The number of free blacks increased after the Revolution. – Thousands of slaves fled behind British lines to win freedom. – America freed some who had enlisted in their forces. – The revolutionary mood & the values of the Declaration of Independence encouraged some Americans to challenge slavery because it was considered as immoral and contrary to the civil rights. In Virginia slaves were free or manumitted. However, slavery remained the foundations of the economy of the south. South didn't engage in large scale manumition. [...]
[...] This wasn't related only to Africans : whites could be indentured servants too. After 7 years, they would be free. The first legislations began in Virginia in 1665. Then they spread over the other colonies. Blacks were considered as permanent slaves. Indentured servants had more rights than slaves : they could marry, read and write . Because of economic benefits of the South of America, slavery became a necessity, which was economical. Cotton and rice on a large scale was cultured. II. [...]
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