The Need for Slavery in the Colonies
Farming, sewing, and taking care of livestock were just a few responsibilities that were left to slaves during the 1600's. White families received all of the benefits from the work done, yet they rarely had to lift a finger, unless it was to correct a slave. Today's generation reads about slavery and regards it as morally wrong. While I agree that slavery was one of America's greatest wrongdoings, it paved the way for America as we know it today.
One of the largest uses of slave labor was in the southern plantations. Virginia's economy depended greatly on the production of tobacco. However, the problem being that tobacco plants required thousands of workers to produce the extensive amount that was being exported . Without the use of slave labor, there would not have been enough man power to fuel the plantations.
Virginia was not the only colony in need of help on the plantations. Rice plantations in the Carolinas became a cash crop in the early 1690's. However, slaves were not first to work on the rice plantations; white indentured servants were. The servants did not last long because of the malaria carrying mosquitoes that infested the swamps, and African Americans were soon enlisted as slaves to work the plantation .
The plantation owners saw two advantages to having African American slaves as opposed to the white servants. Some African Americans came to the colonies already in possession of the skills needed to cultivate rice, and they could teach these skills to their masters. The second reason was that Africans tended to be immune to malaria and yellow fever, both of which existed heavily in the marshes2. Requiring slaves to cultivate the marshes made for a more efficient way to produce the rice.
Plantations did not always start out with the availability to produce crops. It took a lot of manpower and time to get the land into shape. Slaves were brought into the plantations when it was just...
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