Explain how and why slavery developed in the American colonies.

Slavery vs. Indentured Servitude

Explain how and why slavery developed in the American colonies.
Describe in what ways the practice of slavery was different between each colonial region in British North America.
Analyze the differences between slaves and indentured servants.

Answer & Explanation
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Slavery developed in the American colonies as a result of various economic, social, and political factors. The first Africans were brought to Virginia in 1619, but it wasn’t until the late 17th century that slavery became an entrenched institution in the colonies.

Economically, the demand for labor to work on large-scale plantation agriculture, particularly for crops such as tobacco, rice, and indigo, led to the use of enslaved Africans. These crops required a significant amount of labor to cultivate and harvest, and the profit margins were high enough to justify the high cost of importing enslaved labor. Initially, the English colonies relied on indentured servants, who were mainly poor Europea

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Step-by-step explanation
ns who agreed to work for a fixed period in exchange for passage to America. However, as their numbers dwindled, plantation owners turned to slavery as a more reliable source of labor.

Socially, the belief in racial superiority and the dehumanization of Africans made slavery acceptable in the eyes of many colonists. The idea of Africans as inferior and uncivilized was reinforced by the prevailing scientific theories of the time, which categorized human beings into different races and ranked them based on perceived differences in intelligence and culture. This attitude was further strengthened by the existence of a thriving slave trade that provided a steady supply of enslaved Africans.

Politically, slavery was also supported by the colonial governments, which passed laws that legalized and enforced the institution of slavery. These laws restricted the rights of enslaved Africans and granted their owners almost complete control over their lives. Slave owners also had considerable political power and influence in colonial legislatures, which further entrenched slavery as an institution.

In conclusion, slavery developed in the American colonies as a result of a complex interplay of economic, social, and political factors. The desire for cheap and reliable labor, the belief in racial superiority, and the legal and political support for slavery all contributed to its growth and perpetuation.

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