Institution Of Slavery Essay

1376 words - 6 pages

Title: Project 1
Date of submission: 19 May 2007
Course Name: African American History
Project 1

Institution of Slavery and the Civil War

History is the root for all origins of life; every race that I have ever had to study had an exact beginning point, except for my people. We have numerous points of origins that begin our passage to the Americas, as presented by (Colin Powell, 2000, pg.1) our people were in slavery before the year 1502, in mainly the Caribbean’s, and South America. As momentum started to increase in the white colonies, for labor our people would endure a lifestyle that I would not wish on no one. The Spaniards and the Portuguese were the main ...view middle of the document...

Therefore, the 16th century organization of slave trading was entrusted to a company which was given the sole right by a particular nation to trade slaves, and to erect and maintain forts. However, these companies had two major opponents: the planter in the colonies, who complained of insufficient quantity and poor quality of high priced slaves, and the merchants at home. The failure to deliver enough slaves led to free trade in the 18th century. While it is easy to analyze the various economic systems utilized in the African slave trade, it is far more difficult to determine a precise estimate of how profitable the trade was.

The slave trade was one of the most important business enterprises of the 17th century. The nation states of Europe stabilized themselves and developed their economy mainly at the expense of African people. During the latter half of the century; Colbert, a Frenchman, stated that, "no commerce in the world produces as many advantages as that of the slave trade". The wealth of the New World in the form of sugar, tobacco, metals, gold, cotton, etc. was extracted by African labor and then exported from the colonies to Western Europe. Western Europe drew profits from the trade of slaves, along with the commodities produced through the service of shipping. According to Eric Williams, no other commerce required so large a capital as the slave trade which kept the wheels of the industry turning. Cities such as Liverpool, Amsterdam, and Bristol were built upon slave labor. The capital and raw materials derived from the African slave trade contributed significantly to the Commercial and Industrial revolution. (James Rawley, 1981), "black slavery was essential to the carrying on of commerce, which in turn was fundamental to the making of the modern world". In other words, the modern world was built upon the blood, sweat, and tears of my African ancestors.
It is obvious that the primary cause of the Civil War was the economic prosperity brought about because of slavery and the fear of losing those financial gains. Therefore, slavery was undoubtedly the immediate fomenting cause of this woeful American conflict, despite the fact that modern day history tends to place the origins of the War to the fight for state’s rights. It was the great political factor around which the passions of the sections had long gathered in a political forest. However, slavery was not the sole cause of the prolonged conflict. Neither its destruction on the one hand, nor its defense on the other, was the energizing force that held the contending armies to four years of bloody work. I believe that if all living Union soldiers were summoned to the witness stand, every one of them would testify that it was the preservation of the American Union and not the destruction of Southern slavery that induced him to volunteer for the call of his country. As for the South, it is enough to say that perhaps eighty per cent of her armies were...

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