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What were the Origins of Slavery?

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Presentation on theme: "What were the Origins of Slavery?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What were the Origins of Slavery?
What Impact did it have on the development of the North American colonies?

2 Key Concept 2.1.ii The British–American system of slavery developed out of the economic, demographic, and geographic characteristics of the British-controlled regions of the New World.

3 Slavery In Africa / Pre-Colonial
NOT generational (children could not be enslaved to their mother’s owner) NOT defined as property COULD rise to positions of influence NOT racially prescribed Source:

4 Chattel Slavery, Pre-colonial Period
“chattel” = personal property 15th c. Portugal established slave trade in W. Africa 1482 Elmina, “the mine,” first exchange point for slaves on W. African mainland Portugal and Spain export chattel slavery to New World native peoples  African slaves “Middle passage,” transatlantic slave trade ~10 – 12 million Africans exported from 1492 – 1808 17th – 18th centuries Vast majority to Caribbean, S. America ~400,000 to N. America (and the majority after 1700) Source:

5 Chattel Slavery / Colonial Period
first cargo of African slaves arrive in VA in 1619 still, importing African slaves was expensive Chesapeake depended primarily upon indentured servants until introduction of “slave codes” through the Slave Act of 1705. Source:

6 Indentured Servitude / Colonial Period
“white slaves” Voluntary debt bondage to pay for passage Granted land after 5-7 yrs.(if survived). “headright” system benefitted masters “freedom dues”: seeds, clothes, land Chesapeake imported 100,000 by 1700 hardened lot: discipline, scarce land/freedom dues; low wage hire-backs But they were not slaves The Planter owned the labor, not the body Source:









15 Historian, Howard Zinn When it came to implementing the enslavement of Africans in the colonies, “Racism was not a natural reaction, but had to be instituted by the colonial governments”.

16 Virginia Slave Codes Activity: Document Shuffle Identify the Laws enacted by the Virginian Colonial Government. Why were they enacted? What do you think was the impact of these laws? Identify the economic, demographic, geographic, characteristics of the development of slavery from the documents and the Zinn readings.

17 Growth of the Black Population in Virginia
1625 – – – 2, – 3, – 16, – 26, – 30, – 60, – 210,000 Source: Colonial Williamsburg

18 Characteristics Economic developments Demographic developments
Shortage of indentured servants Growing European demand for colonial goods Demographic developments Lack of effective means to enslave native populations English colonies attracted males and females Little intermingling/marriage = rigid racial hierarchy Strong belief in British racial, cultural superiority Geographic developments Abundance and consolidation of land Thriving tobacco, wheat plantations in South Source:



21 Slave Rebellions Africans developed both overt and covert methods to resist the dehumanizing aspects of slavery 1712 New York City slave revolt 1739 Stono rebellion, largest before the Civil War later 1831 Nat Turner rebellion


23 Discussion Questions Was the development of African slavery in the North American colonies inevitable? (Consider the fact that it was never developed in other colonial areas such as New France )

24 What role did the Spanish encomienda system and British sugar colonies play in introducing slavery to the Southern colonies?

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