Slavery and Racism In Early Colonies

Topics: Slavery, Atlantic slave trade, Caribbean Pages: 3 (626 words) Published: October 30, 2013
Today, the idea of slavery is taboo in Western society while racism is

still a very real thing. Slavery was a huge part of the early colonies of

America. You might be surprised to read that Africans, not Indians, were the first

American slaves. By 1617, one hundred and twenty five years after

Columbus and his European men arrived in North America; Virginian had

become an established colony and they were in trouble. They had lost

hundreds’ as a result of starvation and had become desperate for both food

and labor. This, you could say was the “historical force” behind slavery in

the colonies. Virginia could not enslave the Indians; they were outnumbered

and would have lost lives trying to do so. It was normal for the white people

to look at the black men as slaves, because Portuguese and Spanish people

had been stamping them as slaves for hundreds of years before that.

The historical force that led to slavery in the colonies was the fact that the

white men were new to America. The Indians thrived off the land and were at

home there while the English people struggled to adjust to their new world.

Like it says in Drawing The Color Line: “There may have been a kind of

frustrated rage at their own ineptitude, at the Indian superiority at taking care

of themselves that made the Virginians especially ready to become the

masters of slaves” Of course the African people were going to be used as

slaves in the colonies. They were not considered savages as the Indians were,

they were as advanced as the English and going through crisis of their own,

making them easy to target and good for the modern work of the English.

This leads me to my next topic, was the color of their skin, or circumstance

that led to not only slavery, but such hate and racism in America as well?

The slaves taken from Africa couldn’t brace themselves enough for

what they would be going through once they found...

Cited: The Color Line From A People 's History of the United States By Howard Zinn
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