Role of Slave Labor in Colonial American Society

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Role of Slave Labor in Colonial American Society

By | March 2011
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ROLE OF SLAVE LABOR IN COLONIAL AMERICAN SOCIETY

Differences in classes began to form due to the high demand for slave labor in Colonial American Society. Slave labor also helped to cause racial tension even in the cities. The population also increased in Colonial America due to the high demand for slave labor therefore many African slaves were imported from Africa.

The beginning of slaves in the Americas was through the Columbian Exchange. Indians also became slaves for the English because they were defeated in the Pequot War. With slavery growing more popular, it was obvious that classes would begin to be distinguished. Classes differentiated because the wealthier planters with slaves became the elite class whereas the poorer families became the merchant class. The slaves’ status in society was the lowest. Racial Tension began to form because African slaves started to replace whites. They replaced white slaves because of there was a lack of white immigration and to avoid class conflicts. African Slaves were forced to work harder and longer than white slaves.

The main reason there was such a high demand for slave labor was because wealthy planters needed individuals to work on their plantations. Tobacco became the main occupation and a major cash crop in the South. The West Indies later developed a plantation-slave economy based on tobacco and resettled in the Carolinas with slaves. Sugar then took over in the South which was hard to grow therefore required more slaves. The Carolinas also discovered rice, which required ever more labor than sugar did. As a result of these discoveries, there was a heavy slave importation which caused the African slave population to rise. By 1710, African slaves were the majority of the population.

Slavery was beginning to plot out a very rocky path for the Americas. There were many conspiracies about slavery in New York. There was also the Stono Rebellion in South Carolina. Many of the conspiracies in the Americas...