18th Century Commerce in the Western Hemishpere

Topics: Slavery, Poverty in the United States, Poverty Pages: 3 (894 words) Published: November 15, 2006
Colonial America during the Eighteenth Century gave people the opportunity to become land owners, explore their religious freedom, and to take part in a growing economy. Whether you were poor or rich, all free men and women had an opportunity to raise their standard of living. Along with the rise in commerce came more problems such as slavery, taxes, conflict with the natives, debt, and much more. As expressed already many positives and negatives were brought on by increased commerce in Colonial America and West Indies during the Eighteenth Century. In closing, are examples of how commerce affects Americans and others in contemporary times as well. With a growing economy and increased production, Europeans needed a workforce but the natives couldn't withstand the European diseases. Africans of many cultures were still uncivilized and there was much war between the different nations. Prisoners of war were made into slaves and the slaves were in turn traded for European goods. The demand for slaves grew because of their immunities to many diseases, so did war and kidnapping. In the account of a minister from Germany who interviewed many slaves from different nations and tribes says, "There are almost constant internal wars. One tribe attacks another solely for the purpose of capturing men to be sold to whites as slaves… (5-5)" Slavery was only a problem for Africans who feared losing their liberty and being taken from their homeland. Becoming a slave or being born into slavery was the worst destiny for many Africans during the Eighteenth Century. Slavery took away the hope and dignity of Africans making them feel as if they had nothing to live for or aspire towards. This was a major reason for the actions of Arthur, a boy born into slavery that ran away from home at an early age and lived a short life of crime (5-1). Arthur describes early on in his confession, "…my Mother being his slave… was treated very kindly by my Master; but was so unhappy… which caused me...
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