“Slavery is a social-economic system under which certain persons - known as slaves - are deprived of personal freedom and compelled to perform labour or services.” 1 Slavery played an important role on our history. Almost 11 million blacks were brought to the Americas by slave traders between sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. More Africans then Europeans came the Americas between 1650 and 1831. Slave traders were those who would trade or sell Africans.
Mali and Joloff officials in Africa traded slaves with Europeans but required the Europeans to pay tolls and fees. A European trader would be offered a slave for a certain amount of iron or gold. Rum was also used by New England Merchants to purchase slaves on the coast of West Africa. Those slaves would be traded in the South, the Caribbean, or South America for molasses, usually. The molasses would be used to make more rum. Some African slaves were obtained by Europeans through raids and kidnappings as well. 2
Landowners in the early New England colonies originally enslaved Native Americans and hired indentured servants from Europe. Not very many slaves from Africa were imported at first due to the higher cost than that of an indentured servant. The people in the New England colonies could not afford the higher prices that were wanted by the slave traders. The cost for a slave was pricey because many of the Africans would not come to the New England colonies directly from Africa. They came from Barbados or through New Netherland instead. 1
The owners of the indentured servants would pay the entire trip across the Atlantic Ocean and in return the servants would work for the owners for four to seven years on average. The indentured servants were promised land when they finished their period of labor. 4 Many, however, were cheated and became members of “a growing, disaffected landless class in seventeenth century Virginia”. 3 Less... [continues]
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