Slavery in the Southern Colonies Essay

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Introduced to Britain's North American colonies in 1619 by the Dutch, the slavery of African Natives did not become a notable source of labor for the southern plantation system until the eighteenth century. Economic factors such as the development of plantations made the use of slaves more necessary and profitable and greatly influenced the idea of slavery. Also, social factors including politcal and religious views had a large impact on the growth of slavery in the colonies. In the southern colonies, helped by fertile soil and a warm climate and encouraged by open land, large plantations of crops such as rice and indigo became the main source of economic stability and produced surpluses for export which resulted in the development of…show more content…
Most plantation owners began using enslaved Africans to provide the labor and from 1730 to 1750, the slave population more than doubled. As use of slaves became more profitable and necessary, more laws had to be passed to regulate slave trade. Making slavery heriditary based of the mothers' status virtually guarantees the supply of new slaves. Religion also played a principle role in slavery. John Saffin once said "It is no Evil thing to bring them [Negro slaves] out of their own Heathenish Country, where they may have the knowledge of the True God, be Converted and Eternally saved.." Many religious people shared the same views of Saffin. The Catholic Church wanted to convert the Africans to christianity, but also had the belief that blacks were ignorant, inferior, and better off being told what to do. Along with the religious veiwpoint, political opinion also affected the issue of slavery. According to Thomas Jefferson, blacks were "inferior" and lack understanding, education, and intellect. Slaves were even sold at slave auctions that advertised them like any kind of animal would be advertised. In 1705, a law was passed that made the status of African slaves very clear. The Act of the Virginia General Assembly stated that slaves were the property of their owners and could be punished even by death as seen fit by the master. Southerners defended slavery as a necessary but kindly labor system which served as a civilizing force for the allegedly
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