Slavery Essay

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Slavery vs. Economics

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness"
--Declaration of Independence

Slavery is a societal institution based on ownership, dominance, and exploitation of one human being by another and reciprocal submission on the part of the person owned. The owner may exact work or other services without pay and virtually without restriction and can deny the slave freedom of activity and mobility. Slavery is one of this country's most debated topics. In America's history slavery and economics go hand in hand. Most people think that the ban of slavery was …show more content…

The economic systems that dominated slavery reflected the transitions in Americas economic system. Initially, mercantilist views characterized the conduct of the slave trade. The primary purpose of mercantilism, an economic system that developed during the transition of America from colonies to states, was to unify and increase the power and financial wealth of a nation through strict government regulation of the national economy.
According to Carl Abbott, in the years following the American Revolution, slavery, which had never been so prevalent or economically important in the North as in the South, became the South's "peculiar institution." Between 1774 and 1804 all the northern states undertook to abolish slavery. In some states emancipation was immediate, but more often--as in New York and New Jersey--it was gradual, freeing slaves born after passage of the state's emancipation act when they reached a given age, usually in their twenties.(Abbott)
Nevertheless, despite widespread questioning of its morality and a surplus of private liberation's in the Upper South during the revolutionary era, bondage actually expanded in the southern states. The spread of cotton production following the invention of the cotton gin in 1793 sharply increased the demand for slave labor and made possible the emergence of a vast new slave empire as southerners moved west. At the outbreak of the Revolution, the United States contained about half a million slaves. Between the

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