Slavery And Its Impact On The United States Essay

1628 WordsDec 7, 20167 Pages
Over the past 35 years a great change has occurred in the study of slavery and its impact on the settling of the “New World.” From a footnote in American history of little consequence until the cotton fields of the antebellum South, it has evolved into a study that now sees the institution as the most significant element in the colonization and exploitation of this hemisphere by Europeans. It also acknowledges the participation of Africans and the Amerindians in this process and furthermore sees it as essential to its occurrence. The added significance of the Atlantic system has created a more compelling picture and thrust slavery to the forefront of the story form the beginning of this historical era, in fact from before the moment Columbus encountered the Arawaks on Hispaniola. To understand the history of the settling of European America is to understand the role slavery played in the economic and political success of the one third of the migrants that arrived by choice at the expense of the two thirds that arrived in chains. The discussion of modern historians now centers on when and where did the transformation take place that brought ten to twelve million Africans to the Americas in bondage, how did the social structure change with their arrival, what effect did they have on the greater culture and in what ways were they able to create/maintain their own Creole-African culture. Though the authors seemed to be split on ethnocentrism/racism being the primary cause
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