Slave Trade in the American Continent

Slave Trade in the American Continent The American continent is incomparable to the world with reference to economic and technological advancements. Every other continent envies America although their rapid early growth is subject to criticism. While some people believe that the economic prosperity is based on continuous efforts of the Americans, others believe that it came from slavery and hence, is not based on their effort. Howard Zinn believes that African slavery was very cruel, and the Americans racially discriminated the Africans and used them in their agricultural farms.

Labor provided in all American farms came from either slaves or poor American servants in sixteenth and seventeenth century. The English law at that moment did not protect the rights of the Africans, and they ended up being overworked and mistreated. Their hard work and high production rate formed the backbone of the successful and rigid economic status that prevails in the American continent. Although not only Africans who were victimized by slavery, they formed the greatest percentages of manual laborers since they were much stronger physically and were easily available.

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The labor shortage in America promoted slave trade, and the European powers were competing on the number of slaves. The same completion remains, but has been converted into economic and power competition. An estimation of over fifty million Africans were taken as slaves as early as the year 1800. Most of these slaves were separated from their families and ended up disappearing far away from their people (Zinn 27). Zinn says that slavery is the root of racism since the inferiority of Africans started secondary to slave trade (Zinn 29).

The American economy at this period was controlled mainly by agriculture and the richest people were those doing agriculture. Most of this people later ventured into other businesses, which fostered the rapid economic growth of the American continent. The Americans were not concerned with the well-being of the slaves and they even killed the slaves with little work rate. They were inhuman and their only interest was limitless profits from their agriculture. The Africans, on the other hand, were not united due to their ethnic diversities and could not come together to aid themselves out of European slavery.

The first slaves from the American continent went to Jamestown at around 1619 and they were used in agricultural firms. The area experienced faster agricultural growth and this led to other English settlers demanding for African slaves to work on their farms. With available and cheap labor, the Americans expanded their agriculture particularly on tobacco farming. Tobacco farming developed the Americans on the expense of the slave’s heavy labor (Zinn 33). The rate at which slaves were ferried to the American continent increased since every farmer focused on expanding their sales in order to gain more profits. However, not all Americans farmers were involved in the slave trade since some Americans even helped the slaves escape (Zinn 34).

Slave trade ended in the late seventeenth century after consistent rebellions against the slave trade by the slaves and some Americans who were against it. By this time, the settlers had already accumulated a lot of wealth and were among the richest people in the American continent. The continent itself has grown economically and hence it can be argued that the growth was facilitated by the slave’s efforts. In conclusion, the Americans who practiced slave trade were more focused on agricultural excellence and they formed the foundation of the strong economy in the continent.

Works Cited

Zinn, Howard. A Peoples History of the United States, 1492-Present. Pymble, NSW: HarperCollins e-books, 2009. Print.

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