Slavery in Mexico

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Mckenzie Gorbet
Unit II part I
6/7/2012

Slavery In Mexico

In 1519, the conquistador Hernan Cortes brought Juan Cortes, the first African slave, to Mexico. Many decedents of Mexico took him for a god considering they had never seen such dark skin before. Though he was the first, he was not the only African trapped in the works of slavery. Panfilo Narvaez brought a slave into Mexico which whom brought in the 1520 smallpox epidemic. In these early years, most were use more as personal servants than actual hard labored slaves. Some would think of them as squires. By the year 1570, the population of Africans in Mexico was 20,569. But with time came an enormous increase in number. The number nearly doubled by 1646 with a population of 35,089. Out of all colonies in the Western Hemisphere, historical records show that Mexico (New Spain) had the most enslaved Africans over the three hundred years the slave trade lasted and had brought in around 200,000 Africans. Many blacks had been born in Mexico and were forced to follow their parents into the act of Slavery. Due to diseases killing off a great number of colonists, the labor of Africans was vital. They took on a majority of the burden of work. The slaves were used for labor in silver mines in many areas including Taxco, Zacatecas, Pachuca, and Guanajuato in the central and northern regions. In southern regions, they were used on sugar plantations of the Morelos and Valle de Orizaba. The west coast recruited them in textile factories. But not all slaves went into these trades. Others worked as household slaves or worked in skilled trade, or on cattle ranches. The number of African slaves never surpassed more than two percent of Mexico's population but with all the labor they had put in, their contributions were tremendous. Slavery in Mexico was just as brutal as slavery in any other region, if not worse. Slaves were tortured especially and psychologically. The abuse was constant and resisting oppression would...
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