Slavery and the Economy of the Southern Colonies Essay

1282 Words 6 Pages
Everybody has something they feel that makes their lives easier, something a person becomes so accustomed to they could not live without it. This is what African slaves were to the Southern colonists. Slavery was a huge factor in the Southerner’s lives. Originally the colonists used indentured servants to work in their homes and on their plantations. This situation was not ideal because the Southern farmers wanted more control over their workers (orange). Virginian farmers heard about the success of slavery in the Caribbean and thought it would be a good solution to their problems (blue). The southern colonists had a very different way of earning a living than in the north. They needed people to work through “the harsh realities of a …show more content…
Many laws were created in an effort to ensure a white man’s position over a black man’s position. It was made illegal for an African American to insult any white man regardless of either person’s position (red). Also, slave owners were allowed to punish their slaves in any form they deemed necessary. Often they would punish a slave more harshly in order to show the rest of their slaves the repercussions for their missteps. Southerners also used race to justify the negative claims about slavery. They claimed that the white colonists were civil while the African Americans were barbaric and dangerous. When referring to African Americans, white southerners used language similar to the language used by educated Englishmen while describing the extremely poor (red). This influenced others to believe that African Americans were beneath them, which led more and more people to begin to condone slavery.
Aside from social benefits, geographical aspects made slavery seem more appealing. Average food crops were not compatible with the southern soil, so southern farmers turned to rice, cotton, and tobacco. Cotton and tobacco were the South’s most important and profitable crops (green). Tobacco became the main source of revenue for the southern colonists (yellow). It requires eleven months of intense labor on the plantations (pink). This gave plantation owners another reason to dislike indentured servitude; they