Slavery was present in the United States from the moment the declaration of independence was signed. It 's presence during this critical time period of development in the United States, from the day the United States was founded and beforehand allowed for it to interweave itself in almost all aspects of America; primarily economically, politically, and socially. Slavery impacted America in numerous ways, from the political balancing act of free and slave states, to the growth of the southern slave centered economy, slaveries presence during americas infancy was extremely influencing.
Slavery was first introduced to english north america in Jamestown, Virginia 1619. A dutch slave trader made port and exchanged 20 “negars” for food. It would take 240 years until slaveries abolishment in 1865 Nearly 12 generation of slaves would have to endure the harshness of slavery. Slavery didn 't start out as the horrible institution that it would soon become, the very first africans to arrive were treated as indentured servants no different from their white counterparts. They had the ability to gain freedom after a set period of servitude or by converting to christianity. Slavery had a slow initial start in the colonies. At first african slaves were difficult to acquire in north america because of the Caribbean 's voracious appetite for slave labor. African population growth in north america started off very slowly. “In 1625 their were only 23 africans present in virginia.” 25 years later there were only 950, 3-4% of the colonies population, and they were still treated in the same manner as an indentured servant.
The main reason behind slaveries growth in america was economy based. Economic success was important for prosperity in north america. Shortly after the founding of Jamestown the colonist realized that tobacco, an extremely profitable crop, could be grown in the soil. The only problem was that it required
Bibliography: Virginia Slavery Act, (December 1662), in Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, ed. William Waller Hening, vol. 2, (Richmond, Va.: Samuel Pleasants, 1809-1823), 170 -Declaration of Independence [ 4 ]. Lincoln-Douglass Debates. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincoln%E2%80%93Douglas_debates (accessed December 17, 2012) [ 5 ]