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Ch. 5, Sec. 4 The Beginnings of Slavery in the Americas

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1 Ch. 5, Sec. 4 The Beginnings of Slavery in the Americas


3 The Origins of American Slavery
Slavery- The practice of holding a person in bondage for labor. By the 1600’s, slavery was firmly established on the American continent. The institution of slavery, however, was nothing new as its roots went back for thousands of years. Nearly every civilization dating back to nearly every time period has had slaves or practiced slavery. Africans were not the only form of involuntary labor, however. Indentured servants of Scottish and Irish descent were a large part of the population of early America.

4 Why Africans? Africans were immune to most diseases.
They had no friends or relatives in America to help them in escaping or rebelling. They provided a permanent source of cheap labor. Many were familiar with agriculture and farming.

5 The Slave Trade At first, the slave trade grew slowly and began to increase when the sugar plantations began to grow and profit. The rulers of West Africa profited from the slave trade as well. Local African kings or leaders would often capture and sell their enemies to the Spanish and Portuguese slave traders.

6 African Sources of Slavery
The vast majority of Africans came from the west coast of Africa. With little exception, slaves never came from more than 300 miles in the continents interior. As time progressed, the buying and selling of African slaves, first by the Dutch and Portuguese and then by the Spanish, French, and English became a very profitable trade and business for buyers and sellers.

7 The Middle Passage Before the end of the slave trade in 1810, approximately 12 million slaves had been enslaved and imported into the Western Hemisphere. This removal of people from Africa against their will is known today as the African Diaspora. Middle Passage- The horrible voyage from Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to the American continent.



10 Slavery in the Americas
Arriving in the colonies, the African slaves were sold at human auctions. Families, mothers, fathers, and children were often separated, never to be seen or heard from again.

11 To regulate the treatment and behavior of slaves, the Spanish and Portuguese governments would pass slave codes, which were harsh laws that were designed to prevent any rebellions or uprisings. As the institution of slavery and the slave trade increased, so did the idea of racism, of the belief that some people are better or inferior to others because of the race or skin color.


13 The Slaves That Time Forgot
“They came as slaves and indentured servants; vast human cargo transported on tall British ships bound for the colonies in the American Colonies. They were shipped by the hundreds of thousands and included men, women, and even the youngest of children.” These were the Irish.

14 Ireland quickly became the biggest source of human livestock for English merchants during the 1600’s. During the Colonial era, the majority of the early slaves and Indentured Servants coming into North America were white.

15 The North, during this same period, was setting the stage for the industrial revolution that would transform the nation the next hundred years. Just as in the South, a large workforce was needed to work in the factories and textile mills of the North. These immigrants worked long hours for little pay in what can be argued as “legal slavery.”

16 In 3 – 5 sentences, explain why there is nothing new about the practice and institution of slavery.
When and where were African slaves first used in North America? List at least two reasons why Africans were used as slaves in North America. 4. _______________ is the name given to the horrible journey from Africa to the Americas. 5. The vast majority of African slaves were taken from the EAST or WEST coast of Africa? 6. What was the name given to a series of harsh laws which governed treatment of slaves? Which other group of people were used as slaves besides Africans? 8. __________ is the belief that people are better or inferior because of skin color.

17 Bibliography

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