European Settlement in the New World

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Native Americans in the United States Pages: 7 (2456 words) Published: November 28, 2010
The displacement of Indians and the enslavement of Africans tarnished the early history of European settlement in the New World’. Illustrate this statement by discussing the African slave trade and relations between European settlers and the various Native American peoples.

America was regarded as the continent of new opportunities, religion freedom, new ideas, innovation. In other words, it was claimed to be the New World. Many people headed to America hoping to give a new beginning to their lives. Up to this point, we expect to learn wonderfulthings about the foundation of the States. Nonetheless, the displacement of Indians and the enslavement of Africans tarnished the early history of European settlers in what it was supposed to be the New World. Besides this, there were two other developments that, together with the introduction of this system of chattel slavery, shaped life in the mainland colonies between 1640 and 1720.

The English were amateurs when it came to slavery, though other Europeans were not. During the fifteenth century, the Spanish and Portuguese had already imported enslaved Africans as labourers into the islands of the Mediterranean Atlantic. The rising demand for sugar, coffee, cotton, and tobacco created a greater demand for slaves by other slave trading countries. Thus, Europeans needed bound labourers, that is, people who, by law or contract, could be forced to work. In the case of the English, the candidates for this workforce were young English men who were offered opportunities so as to work in the New World provided the accepted a seven year contract. Nevertheless, when the supply of English indentured servants began to become scarce in the 1660s, Chesapeake planters turned to Africans. They began to import already enslaved Africans from Caribbean sugar islands and then to purchase slaves directly from Africa. Due to this African population in Virginia started to grow. Spain, France, the Dutch, and English were in competition for the cheap labor needed to work their colonial plantation system producing those lucrative goods. The slave trade was so profitable that, by 1672, the Royal African Company chartered by Charles II of England superseded the other traders and became the richest shipper of human slaves to the mainland of the Americas. The slaves were so valuable to the open market - they were eventually called "Black Gold." By the end of the century, African slavery was established as the basis of the economy in the Chesapeake.

The settlers went up to the west area of Africa for the selection of slaves for a great deal of reasons. That part of the country was one of the most fertile and densely inhabited regions of the continent so the trade in human beings did not depopulated the area.

In Guinea, the chief consequences of the trade were political and economic. Coastal rulers served as middlemen, allowing the establishment of permanent slave-trading posts in their territories and supplying resident Europeans with slaves to fill ships that stopped regularly at the coastal forts. These rulers controlled both European traders’ access to slaves and inland peoples’ access to desirable European goods. Europeans were the main beneficiaries of this traffic of slaves. The expanding network of trade between Europe and its colonies was fuelled by the sale and transportation of slaves, the exchange of commodities produced by slave labour, and the need to feed and clothe so many bound labourers. The sugar planters of the Caribbean and Brazil purchased slaves from Africa, dispatched shiploads of valuable staple crops to Europe, and bought large quantities of cheap food. By the late seventeenth century, commerce in slaves and the products of slave labour constituted the basis of the European economic system. Europeans fought to control the slave trade. The Portuguese had at first dominated the trade, but they were supplanted by the Dutch in the 1630s. The Dutch...
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