American Slavery Essay 3

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Slavery, especially in America, has been an age old topic of riveting discussions. Specialist and other researchers have been digging around for countless years looking for answers to the many questions that such an activity provided. They have looked into the economics of slavery, slave demography, slave culture, slave treatment, and slave-owner ideology (p. ix). Despite slavery being a global issue, the main focus is always on American slavery. Peter Kolchin effectively illustrates in his book, American Slavery how slavery evolved alongside of historical controversy, the slave-owner relationship, how slavery changed over time, and how America compared to other slave nations around the world.

Slavery evolved in many different ways over the years. America was truly changed by slavery and is evident when Kolchin states that “The colonial era saw the emergence in America of a true slave society, the transformation of a society in which some people were slaves into which slave labor formed the basis of the economy and social order (p. 28).” The economy, the way of life, and culture were all transformed when the first indentured servants came over. Throughout the seventeenth century, labor was mainly done by indentured servants. In the 1680’s however, the mainland colonies took on a massive shift from indentured to slave labor. With the demand rising in the colonies and the lack of availability of indentured servants, black slaves became the most popular choice. According to Kolchin, “slaves were held permanently rather than for a few years, and female slaves passed their status to their children (p. 12),” and that “slaves also offered masters a reduced level of successful flight (p. 13),” which were two main reasons of the permanent switch to pure slavery. The shift from indentured servants to slaves was one of the most influential switches in the American economy and changed the way that the nation felt towards blacks.

Such a dramatic switch as the...
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