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Origins of Slavery in America APUSH – Spiconardi.

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Presentation on theme: "Origins of Slavery in America APUSH – Spiconardi."— Presentation transcript:

1 Origins of Slavery in America APUSH – Spiconardi

2 Why Slavery? Profits  Sugar, tobacco, and rice were extremely profitable  Plantation owners wanted to maximize their profits  Slave labor allows for maximization of profits Africa has a history of slavery*  Supplying slaves was a way of life in the West African State of Dahomey  European guns were exchanged for slaves  Dahomey exported 20,000 slaves annually Slaves could not claim the protections of English common law as could indentured servants Terms of service never expire *Some kingdoms like Benin had prohibited the export of slaves

3 The Middle Passage Conditions  Refer to Olaudah Equiano’s excerpt Statistics  11 – 12 million slaves make journey to the New World  70% of slaves are male  Most females go to East Africa and Asia  Mortality rates  3 week journey = 5% mortality rate  3 month journey = 20% mortality rate  1.5 million died overall (14%)  1 in 10 voyages had a staged revolt  100,000 died in these insurrections

4 Slavery in the Colonies The United States imports 6% the slaves who journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean  70% go to VA and SC  20% to Maryland  10% to the North

5 Slavery in the Chesapeake The first Africans arrive in VA in  No mention of slavery until 1640s John Punch  African indentured servant who ran away to Maryland  As punishment, a judge sentenced him to lifetime servitude  Two European men were also caught, but sentenced to extended indentures

6 Slavery in the Chesapeake On average, a slave owner owned 2-3 slaves Slavery and the Law  1662  In cases where one parent was free and the other enslaved, the child’s status was determined by the status of the mother  What might this promote?  Sexual abuse  1667  Conversion to Christianity did not release a slave from bondage  No need to have guilt about enslaving fellow Christians  Additional laws  Interracial offspring illegitimate  White women who birth a black man’s baby could be severely punished  Could free a slave unless he was transported out of VA …These two words, Negro and Slave [have] by custom grown homogenous and convertible *British America did not distinguish mixed-races. The law treated everyone with African ancestry as black

7 Slavery in the Chesapeake Impact of Bacon’s Rebellion (1676)  Virginia further shifted to slavery fearing another rebellion of white indentured servants  By 1720, Africans made up 20% of Chesapeake population  By 1740, nearly 40%  By 1770, nearly half of Virginia’s white families owned at least one slave  Slavery became more brutal and more like the West Indian style  Despite this, slavery was more brutal in Caribbean and South Carolina

8 Slavery in Chesapeake The Gang System  Tobacco requires a lot of care, but isn’t an arduous task  Work completed from sunrise to sunset  Supervisors constantly around the slaves  Whippings and beatings used to ensure steadfast work  English spoken  Slaves in Chesapeake assimilate to English culture

9 Slavery in the Lowcountry (SC coast and Georgia border) Rice was the main crop produced Rice Cultivation  Conditions are oppressive  Rice requires stagnant water  Swamps are drained and irrigation systems created  Large plantations required in order to make back initial investment  Average slave owner had 30 – 150 slaves What conditions might be faced in this environment?  Mosquito diseases, exhaustive labor, and high death rates

10 Slavery in the Lowcountry

11 The Task System  Slaves in the Lowcountry were not under constant supervision as plantation owners left the plantation in hot weather  Retained their own languages  Work with whom they pleased  Once they completed their task they could leave the field Gullah  A culture and language that mixes various African roots and traditions

12 Slavery in the Lowcountry Due to large number of slaves needed and high death rates on rice plantations, the arrival of African slaves was continuous in the Lowcountry  Allows for “re-Africanization” of the black population  Population statistics  By 1705, blacks comprise majority of South Carolina’s population  In 1762, one district had 76 white males and 1,000 slaves

13 Dealing with the Slave Population The overseer went to my father one morning and said, “Bob, I’m gonna whip you this morning.” Daddy said, “I ain’t done nothing,” and he said, “I know it, I’m going to whip you to keep you from doing nothing, “ and he hit him with that cowhide – You know it would cut the blood out of you with every lick if they hit you hard.” Source: “Memories of a Slave Childhood”

14 Slave Reproduction Since laws stated that the offspring of female slaves were slaves, planters increase their workforce by buying female slaves  By 1720, women made up more than one-third of African population in Maryland  Natural reproduction of slaves  What will Chesapeake planters no longer have to do? “Be kind and indulgent to the breeding wenches and do not force them when with child upon any service or hardship that will be injurious to them”

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