Today, the idea of slavery is taboo in Western society while racism is
still a very real thing. Slavery was a huge part of the early colonies of
America. You might be surprised to read that Africans, not Indians, were the first
American slaves. By 1617, one hundred and twenty five years after
Columbus and his European men arrived in North America; Virginian had
become an established colony and they were in trouble. They had lost
hundreds’ as a result of starvation and had become desperate for both food
and labor. This, you could say was the “historical force” behind slavery in
the colonies. Virginia could not enslave the Indians; they were outnumbered
and would have lost lives trying to do so. It was normal for the white people
to look at the black men as slaves, because Portuguese and Spanish people
had been stamping them as slaves for hundreds of years before that.
The historical force that led to slavery in the colonies was the fact that the
white men were new to America. The Indians thrived off the land and were at
home there while the English people struggled to adjust to their new world.
Like it says in Drawing The Color Line: “There may have been a kind of
frustrated rage at their own ineptitude, at the Indian superiority at taking care
of themselves that made the Virginians especially ready to become the
masters of slaves” Of course the African people were going to be used as
slaves in the colonies. They were not considered savages as the Indians were,
they were as advanced as the English and going through crisis of their own,
making them easy to target and good for the modern work of the English.
This leads me to my next topic, was the color of their skin, or circumstance
that led to not only slavery, but such hate and racism in America as well?
The slaves taken from Africa couldn’t brace themselves enough for
what they would be going through once they found...
Cited: The Color Line From A People 's History of the United States By Howard Zinn
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