Black continent in European shackles

According to historians, slavery began to emerge in America at the beginning of the 17th century: at that time the Dutch ships brought the first - still very few - black people to the continent, which was destined to develop at an unprecedented pace. Then the slaves arrived primarily in Jamestown - one of the oldest British colonies in North America. The first settlers quickly assessed the efficiency and cheapness of labor, which they supplied from the black continent. Slaves mainly involved in the plantations with tobacco, rice. Slaveholding relations have spread to a large area, almost the entire west coast - from present-day Maryland in the north to Georgia in the south.

Slave owners Emanuel and Rebecca from Virginia. Source:
Slave owner arranges a wedding. Source:
The plantation owners visit the slaves. Source:

According to specialists, in the 18th century alone, up to 18 million blacks were taken to North America, leaving the African continent without a huge portion of the working population. However, the attitude towards slaveholders in the northern states and in the southern states quickly became different. In the north, the planters tried to introduce technical innovations, the Southerners were not in a hurry with this, preferring to increase the volume of labor through new and new slaves. Be that as it may, even the war of independence, which the Americans won, did not grant freedom to black people. The US Constitution recognized the institution of slavery, in fact guaranteed the return of slaves to the owner in case of escape, and also established a special quota for slaves in terms of taxation: each of them was estimated at "three fifths of a person."

Taskmaster oversees the work of slaves in Southern California. Source:
Rise of the slaves on the plantation. Source:
Slave owner in Brazil. Source:

By the end of the 18th century, the southern states became more and more dependent on slave labor: the fact is that tobacco, for example, had ceased to be so popular, but in Europe there was a so-called “cotton boom” - the American cotton literally flooded the market, and in order in order to increase the pace of production, a lot of new labor was needed

The slave owner returns from the auction. Source:
A column of slaves walking through the streets of Washington. Source:
Purchase slaves on the island of Barbados. Source:

By 1804, all the northern states in which slavery was initially negative, abolished this institution on their territory. At the same time, businessmen in the south could hardly have imagined their life without slaves — almost all of the industry there depended on the work of dark-skinned people. In 1808, the US Congress banned the bringing of slaves for sale, but by that time there were already so many of them in the country that by and large it wasn’t necessary: ​​their number increased by itself, especially since no one in the country was slave trade. limited.

Slave Market in Rio de Janeiro. Source:
The arrival of a new batch of slaves in the American continent. Source:
Slave market in Brazil. Source:

In the southern states, slaves, according to rough estimates, accounted for up to one third of the total population. They were not allowed to learn to read or write, nor could they move freely. Although marriages were sometimes made among slaves, which, incidentally, did not have any legal significance under the laws, slaveholders often separated families, selling the husband, for example, separately from his wife.

Auction for the sale of slaves in Martinique. Source:
Inspection of a slave before buying. Source:
Abduction of a black man for the purpose of sale. Source:

The blacks, naturally, did not intend to endure all their lives the mockery of the planters - an example of this is the numerous uprisings of the blacks, among which the revolt led by Nat Turner is the most famous. In the south, in this regard, they only intensified repression against slaves, in the northern states they were perplexed about this. The emerging contradictions resulted first in a tough discussion and debate between politicians, and then, in 1861, to a civil war in which the north, having won, finally canceled slave-owning relations in the United States.

  1. Portal History

Watch the video: The Shackled Continent (February 2020).


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